Few ac­ci­dents re­ported on roads

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

A blan­ket of ice on roads since Mon­day has made driv­ing haz­ardous, but se­ri­ous wrecks have been a rar­ity in Cov­ing­ton and Newton County, ac­cord­ing to law en­force­ment of­fi­cials Tues­day.

“We've prob­a­bly had an in­crease of ac­ci­dents,” said Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Lt. Wen­dell Wagstaff, “but a lot of them are peo­ple slid­ing into ditches and things like that. We haven't had to shut down roads or any­thing like that.”

Law­men said that res­i­dents tak­ing heed of warn­ings about ic­ing on the high­ways and stay­ing at home has helped im­mensely.

Cov­ing­ton/Newton County 911 be­gan re­port­ing sev­eral icy patches and the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion urged ev­ery­one to stay off the roads be­gin­ning Sun­day night when a win­tery mix of rain,

sleet and snow be­gan fall­ing around Newton County. One car flipped on Old At­lanta High­way be­hind Longhorn's Sun­day night, and sev­eral ve­hi­cles were re­ported to have had slid off roads and wrecked.

“ The roads are still very icy in the city,” warned Wagstaff. “ We don't have as much snow re­moval equip­ment avail­able to us as they do in the north,” he said. “ The DOT and county and city em­ploy­ees have worked to­gether and done a fan­tas­tic job. But ev­ery­thing is still slick. We're just ask­ing that peo­ple con­tinue to stay home if they can.”

Ac­cord­ing to Newton County Sher­iff's Of­fice 1st Lt. Mark Mitchell, things in the county have mir­rored the city, few ac­ci­dents, thanks to peo­ple stay­ing off the roads.

“ It looks like peo­ple are heed­ing state and lo­cal of­fi­cial's warn­ings to stay off the roads,” he said. “ We hope they will con­tinue to do that and if they have to drive, not be­come com­pla­cent and let their guard down. It is still pretty icy through­out the county.”

Mitchell said that state and lo­cal of­fi­cials have worked through­out the night salt­ing ar­eas that are re­ported as icy and scrap­ing the roads but res­i­dents are still urged to stay home if pos­si­ble.

“ I would also ask that ev­ery­one con­tinue to be pa­tient be­cause our re­sponse times are de­layed be­cause of the ice,” Mitchell said.

Ge­or­gia State Pa­trol spokesman Gordy Wright said in an email that there have been no road clo­sures in Newton County, in­cluded In­ter­state 20, which was closed in Rock­dale County. He also said that troop­ers only re­sponded to one ac­ci­dent in the county and that ac­ci­dent did not re­sult in se­ri­ous in­juries.

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