City to open, mail likely to go out
For the second straight day, the mail was not delivered in Covington on Tuesday, because carriers were unable to make the trek from the processing center in Duluth in Gwinnett County to Covington’s office.
Covington Post Office Manager Jerry Romero said he expected the mail to be delivered today, but would not know for sure until 8 a. m..
While most grocery stores and major retailers opened for at least most of the day Tuesday, government offices of Newton County and Covington remained closed to the public.
Covington City Manager Steve Horton said City Hall would be open to the public from 11 a. m. to 3 p. m. Wednesday. He said the roads were improving as of 3 p. m. Tuesday.
Residents may also pay bills and conduct other business by phone or e-mail, beginning at 8 a. m. and continuing through 3 p. m.
City Public Works Director Billy Bouchillon said the city was not able to pick up trash Tuesday and would likely not be able to go out Wednesday. Therefore, everybody’s schedule would be pushed back. He said residents should put their trash cans on the curb when they are able to, and the city would pick them up when it was able to.
Newton County Chairman Kathy Morgan had made no determination Tuesday afternoon on when county offices will reopen.
Both the county and city continued to urge people to stay at home because the icy roads are dangerous. Public works crews have been working in rotating shifts since 7 p.m. Sunday to clear streets and respond to emergencies.
Neither Covington nor the county has salt spreaders, but both have dump trucks they use to spread sand, gravel and a calcium chloride mixture. Morgan said the county still had sand, gravel and calcium chloride, but the supply was beginning to run short.
“We don’t stockpile for 5 days, only 48 hours. Our guys are hitting the critical spots, our response is just like the (Department of Transportation’s), we hit the bridges and major roadways. Our critical response is following fire trucks and EMTs, that’s the only time we go off major roadways into residential streets,” Morgan said. “We can’t clear 1,000 miles of roads.”
Morgan said she’s also talking with other government leaders to create a contingency plan in case a major power outage occurs. She was trying to locate public buildings with bathroom and kitchen facilities that could house hundreds of
The county’s grocery stores and major retailers, including Ingles, Kmart, Kroger, Publix and Walmart, opened Tuesday, with many reassuming regular hours. Unless the weather gets significantly worse, the stores are expected to be open again Wednesday.
Snapping Shoals EMC had a power outage Tuesday that affected 1,400 customers, including the Conyers Walmart. The outage occurred at 12:40 p.m. and was repaired by 1:24 p.m. It was caused by a material failure and was unrelated to the weather, Snapping Shoals spokeswoman Leigh-Anne Burgess said in an e-mail.
No other major outages were reported. Horton said that the city had a few small problems, most of which were related to drivers running into electric poles.