GDOT: Interstates Now Passable, But Still Slick


ATLANTA,None - The Georgia Department of Transportation said Tuesday evening that all interstates in the metro Atlanta area are open and passable for motorists, but GDOT cautioned drivers that some icy conditions persist.

Layers of ice and snow made some metro Atlanta roads and highways virtually impossible to drive for a second day as GDOT crews worked to alleviate the number of stranded vehicles.

GDOT had 45 trucks on the road in the metro area and said road crews were working 12-hour shifts to maintain the roadways, but accidents and vehicle abandonments were still commonplace Tuesday.

Parts of Interstate 285 were shut down at 10 a.m. while crews worked the streets. Earlier in the morning, Interstate 75 in Cobb County was shut down after a tractor-trailer jackknifed in the northbound lanes near the Interstate 20 loop.

"The interstates are proving to be difficult for vehicles to maneuver, so please try to avoid any travel if at all possible," said State Maintenance Engineer Eric Pitts.

GDOT put out an urgent plea asking drivers of tractor-trailers to limit their travel to emergencies only.

GDOT Focuses On Clearing Interstates Truckers Have Trouble Navigating Cobb

"So many accidents. So many cars go in the ditch," truck driver Baulius Kruximiks told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

He said compared to other states he's driven through, Georgia officials did a bad job of clearing the roads.

"It's so bad. I've never seen it like this," Kruximiks said.

But GDOT officials said they were trying their hardest.

"I know people are frustrated and saying, ‘Why can't they get these roads clean? … We're trying as best we can," GDOT spokesman David Spear told Channel 2's Erin Coleman. "Our concern is this may be the warmest day we have the rest of the week, according to some forecasts, so we need to make up as much ground as we can today."

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said temperatures across metro Atlanta would continue to hover around freezing until the end of the week. He warned residents to brace themselves for arctic air moving in from the northwest.

"Significantly colder air is settling in," Nitz said.

The snowstorm, which began late Sunday, prompted former Gov. Sonny Perdue to declare a state of emergency hours before the storm was supposed to hit. Within hours, metro Atlanta was blanketed by several inches of snow, which was compounded by freezing rain Monday.

The weather led Gov. Nathan Deal to cancel all nonessential inaugural activities as he was sworn in Monday. Neither the Prayer Breakfast at Mount Paran nor the Celebration at Philips Arena was held.

SLIDESHOW: The Best Of Your Snow Photos: Empty Store Shelves, Ice Starting To Fall In The Area

By Tuesday, stores, offices and school systems were closed for the second day in a row. Many school districts canceled classes for Wednesday, too. CLICK HERE for a complete list of closings.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed urged drivers to stay off the roads and defended the city's response to the storm during a news conference held Tuesday evening.

"We have received numerous calls regarding abandoned vehicles on the roadway and stranded motorists," said Fulton County police spokesman Kimberley M. Everett.

Atlanta police said they responded to 22 accidents Monday due to the weather. Between 9 p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. Monday, DeKalb County officials said they dispatched 919 calls.

MARTA trains ran through the storm, but said bus service was canceled for two days. No word if bus service would resume Wednesday.

Georgia Power officials said they put all employees on standby to prepare for potential mass power outages. By Tuesday morning, just a few homes were without power. Georgia EMC reported under 200 metro Atlanta outages as well.

"In an ice storm, customers should be prepared for the possibility of widespread outages and possibly extended outages. We recommend that they do whatever they need to be prepared for that," Georgia Power's Mike Williams told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik.

Josh Wade, WSB-TV Kroger line

After service at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International virtually halted Monday, a few flights got in and out of the airport on Tuesday.

Delta Air Lines canceled approximately 800 Delta and Delta Connection flights systemwide for Wednesday. AirTran Airways said the company pre-canceled more than 50 flights for Wednesday. Both airlines said they were gradually resuming operations.

Both airlines are allowing passengers whose flights are canceled to change them without fees.

You can visit for updated forecasts from our team of meteorologists and a complete, updated list of closings.

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