UPDATED: May Declares State of Emergency; DeKalb Schools Closed

Residents urged to stay off roads until conditions improve.

Many county roads remained impassable because of ice. (Photo by Jay Scott)
Many county roads remained impassable because of ice. (Photo by Jay Scott)
Updated 8:40 a.m. Wednesday: Hours after schools were closed for Wednesday, DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May has signed a state of emergency declaration related to the winter storm for the county. 

“DeKalb County has endured heavy sleet, freeing rain, and snow.  Many of our county roads are impassable due to ice, traffic gridlock or both, caused by the sudden and severe winter weather,” said May. “If at all possible, I am urging everyone to stay off the roads until conditions improve.  DeKalb Public Safety and Public Works employees are working 24 hours to get conditions back to safety and normalcy.”

County administrative offices, including Parks and Recreation facilities, Senior Centers, water billing offices, Recorders Court and other administrative divisions will be closed Wednesday and report at normal business hours on Thursday morning.

The state of emergency declaration opens up resources necessary for government response. It also activates the DeKalb County Operations Plan, which assigns specific responsibilities to certain agencies, officials said.

County residents are urged to use extreme caution and check their local news for updates regarding severe weather. Tips for getting through cold weather safely and a listing for non-emergency numbers for various county departments are available at www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

Related stories:

When Will the Ice Melt Off Metro Atlanta Roads?
Unprecedented Metro Atlanta Traffic Jam: Who's to Blame?

Road Closures Across DeKalb County

Snow Snarls Traffic, Strands Students

Winter Storm Traffic: Atlanta, DeKalb Become Parking Lot

DeKalb County Schools announced early Tuesday evening that schools will be closed Wednesday for all students and employees. Classes had been dismissed early on Tuesday because of the storm.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, 1.8 inches of snow had fallen in the North Druid Hills-Briarcliff area, the Weather Channel reported.

While some other metro school systems in the northern suburbs encountered challenges in buses getting students home, there were no reports of problems in the immediate area. However, traffic conditions were brutal throughout the metro area Tuesday afternoon as businesses closed early and parents sought to pick up their children from school.

Reports of stranded motorists continued into Wednesday. Facebook and Reddit pages were created to help drivers who needed a place to stay. If you know of a friend or loved one somewhere in the metro area who is stranded, here is a running list of places offering shelter.

DeKalb County government offices closed at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The county rezoning meeting scheduled for Tuesday night was rescheduled to Feb. 25.

Early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service expanded a winter storm warning to include the entire metro area, along with areas of the state along I-20 on both sides of the city.

The new warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"Although the snow will end close to midnight Wednesday, snow-covered roads will make for hazardous driving conditions through Wednesday morning," NWS said in its warning.

The NWS forecast for ZIP Codes 30329, 30345 and 30033 for Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 30. Northwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

For Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 17. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 40. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

"A winter storm warning for moderate snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring," NWS said. "Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."

Check back with Patch as we check on conditions in this immediate area.


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