Gov. Nathan Deal declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

By: Severe Weather Team 2

Updated:

ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal confirms to Channel 2 Action News that he will issue a state of emergency in anticipation of Friday night’s winter storm beginning at noon Friday.

Severe Weather Team 2 is forecasting 2-4 inches of snow possible throughout north Georgia and the Atlanta metro Friday night into early Saturday morning.

Severe Weather Team 2 is tracking the latest models for this approaching storm on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.

[READ: School and business closings, delays]

A Winter Storm Warning was issued shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday for most of north Georgia that will go into effect starting at 1 p.m. on Friday and last until 1 p.m. Saturday.

The declaration will assure that all necessary resources are available for state agencies and local governments to clear roads and all other winter storm-related obstacles.

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The declaration will affect 78 north and central Georgia counties. Those counties include: Baldwin, Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Haralson, Harris, Hart, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Madison, McDuffie, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Murray, Muscogee, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Stephens, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Towns, Treutlen, Troup, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, Warren, White, Whitfield and Wilkes.

The governor told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that he announced the declaration Thursday afternoon so people and businesses can prepare for the upcoming storm.

“I am issuing this executive order to implement protective measures to ensure the public health, preserve the safety of the public, keep property damage to a minimum and to minimize the social and economic impacts of this event on the citizens of Georgia,” Deal said in a news release. “We will continue monitoring the forecast models and make appropriate adjustments as necessary. Georgians should stay calm, make the appropriate preparations and stay aware of a potential change in weather conditions.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley also issued a state of emergency effective at 7 a.m. Friday for all of the state's counties. 

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In January 2014, 2 inches of snow paralyzed the metro area in what was later referred to as Snowmageddon, or Snowpocalypse.

Slick roads caused spinouts and wrecks across metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Crews worked hundreds of crashes over the course several days.

The Georgia National Guard had to be called in to help clear area roads and interstates after drivers abandoned their vehicles. 

Stay with WSBTV.com and Channel 2 Action News as our team of meteorologists tracks the latest forecast models to keep you one step ahead of the winter weather headed our way. 

You can also follow our meteorologists on Twitter throughout the next few days for the latest on the winter forecast:

Glenn Burns 

Karen Minton

Brad Nitz 

Brian Monahan 

Katie Walls

 

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