Atlanta – Roads Cleared, But Cars Abandoned

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ATLANTA — Icy roads led to treacherous driving conditions across metro Atlanta and north Georgia Thursday.In Marietta, city sanitation workers were forced to skip some homes for safety reasons.

“Crews will pick up sanitation and garbage today, but some customers may be missed because of unsafe conditions created by the ice,” said Scott Lawler, manager of Marietta’s fleet operations.

Drivers were asked to take it slow Thursday morning, and to watch out for black ice on area roadways, as ice patches have caused dozens of crashes across the metro area, the the Georgia Dept. of Transportation said.”Slower than normal speeds and extreme caution are urged,” DOT officials said.

Wednesday night’s wintry mix was blamed for the conditions.

At one point on Thursday morning, officials asked Channel 2 Action News reporter Richard Elliot to warn viewers “not to come southbound on Georgia 400 until you get the all clear.” Georgia 400 was closed for a short time between Buckhead and Sandy Springs, but officials have since reopened the road.

Some of metro Atlanta’s biggest school districts decided to close or delay classes on Thursday. Fulton County canceled classes, while DeKalb and Gwinnett counties delayed the start of school by two hours.

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said a Winter Weather Advisory for northwest Georgia was allowed to expire at 7 a.m., but was extended until 10 a.m. for northeast Georgia — which included the towns of Dahlonega, Cleveland, Gainesville, Atlanta, Lawrenceville and Decatur.

“We’ll have a warm up, but it’ll be slow. After 10 a.m., temperatures should be above freezing all across north Georgia,” said Minton.”With this kind of a situation we really need to pay attention hour by hour as new computer information comes in and the weather could deteriorate in some spots,” said Severe Weather Team 2 chief meteorologist Glenn Burns.Snow flurries were reported in the western metro counties and in midtown Atlanta on Wednesday.

Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope said drivers should be especially careful while driving on bridges.”Slow way down. Speed can be the most dangerous thing when you hit a patch of ice,” Pope said.

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