ATLANTA - Metro Atlanta and parts of Georgia are thawing out from a massive ice storm that swept through the state for nearly two days, but many area roads remain icy Friday morning.
Drivers getting back on the road for the first commute after the winter storm found slick spots.
An accident on Interstate-75 northbound at the Lake Allatoona Bridge blocked traffic for hours.
Troopers said two cars crashed first and had pulled over to the right shoulder. A third car stopped to help. That's when a second crash between a car and a tanker caused the tractor trailer to smash into the cars and people still on the shoulder from the first wreck.
"The first wreck there were a few people standing outside their vehicles. Those were some of the injuries. And some inside their cars, so a little bit of both," said Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Kyle Tanner.
At least four people were taken to the hospital, three by helicopter and one on the ground.
Traffic was backed up for miles. Hours later, a line of cars was able to cross the bridge that's now free of ice.
"DOT's been out salt and sanded the road, just the left lane and appears to be fine right now," said Tanner.
State patrol said this is a tragic reminder that bridges are the first to ice and the last to thaw.
Snow and ice blanketed areas with several inches of accumulation. GDOT said it was called to treat icy roads at the following locations:
- SR 136 AL at SR 225; Gordon Co
- I-575 S at I-75; Cobb Co; Right Lane; Ramp
- SR 10 W at Laney Walker; Richmond Co
- SR 61 Ns at South of I-75; Bartow Co
- SR 341 N at Wallaceville School Rd; Walker Co
- SR 211 NS at Dunnahoo Rd; Barrow Co
- SR 211 EW at Dee Kennedy Rd; Barrow Co
- I-285 E at I-75; Cobb Co; left lane
- SR 3 NS at Near Wilson Rd; Taylor Co
- I285 N at Covington Hwy; DeKalb Co
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist David Chandley says there will be some showers on Friday night, but no frozen precipitation. The high on Friday is 53.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has extended the state of emergency to 91 counties through Sunday.
At its peak, the storm left over 200,000 people without power in the metro area. Thousands still are without power Thursday night.
Many of Georgia’s school districts were canceled Wednesday and Thursday as the worst of the storm rolled through the storm. Some are even closed Friday.
Shelters and warming centers opened across the state in preparation of the winter weather.
Deal toured hard-hit Augusta via a Blackhawk helicopter. Tens of thousands are still without power.
Georgia Power told Channel 2 Action News Thursday night that they has restored 95 percent of their customers in metro Atlanta with power. They said at the peak of the storm, they had approximately 615,000 customers state-wide without power.
Operations also started to get back to normal Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Thousands of flights where canceled going into and out of the airport during the storm. Some people spent as much as 36 hours stranded in the airport.
By late Thursday evening, the security line was down to a 15 minute wait. Previously in the day, the wait time was over an hour.
Temperatures this weekend will remain average with highs in the low to mid 50s and lows in the 30s and 40s.
The remnants of the winter storm moves to the Mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast, dumping snow on major cities like Washington, D.C.
Atlanta weather | Georgia thaws out
Survivor in crash that killed 4 friends will be OK, grandmother says
Brothers killed in crash on way to dentist described as 'exceptional young men'
Police: Men crash stolen car, carjack man who stopped to help
Gwinnett DA could drop 30 cases involving officers in brutality case