New­ton County en­gulfed, schools and busi­nesses closed, and roads iced over

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­

The warn­ing was clear, “stay home.”

That’s what of­fi­cials through­out New­ton County and Covington had to say as freez­ing tem­per­a­tures hit the snow that had fallen Tues­day.

New­ton County and New­ton County Schools de­cided Tues­day night, to re­main closed today.

Reached at about 6: 30, Covington- New­ton County Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency Di­rec­tor Jody Nolan said the pub­lic works depart­ment had al­ready ad­dressed about 20- 25 lo­ca­tions through­out the county with salt and/ or cal­cium.

He warned that through­out the night, it would get worse.

“Tem­per­a­tures are drop­ping grad­u­ally, and ac­cord­ing to the fore­cast at about 10 p. m. most will ex­pe­ri­ence black ice all over New­ton County.”

That black ice was ex­pected to last through Wed­nes­days as tem­per­a­tures are ex­pected to reach just one de­gree above freez­ing for about an hour.

“My best ad­vice is, un­less you have to travel, don’t travel,” Nolan said.

New­ton County Chair­man Keith El­lis echoed Nolan’s state­ment.

“It doesn’t look good for to­mor­row,” El­lis said Tues­day evening. “Peo­ple need to stay at home. Get your bread and milk and stay in the house.”

Nolan said the pub­lic works depart­ment was in 12- hour shifts, with one go­ing from 7 p. m. Tues­day un­til 7 a. m. in the morn­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Nolan, the county had plenty of ice and cal­cium to take it through the night.

“The county pub­lic works depart­ment has done a great job,” Nolan said.

Nolan re­ported two ac­ci­dents without in­juries ear­lier Tues­day and five ac­ci­dents from about 4 p. m. un­til 6: 30 p. m. as the roads be­gan to freeze.

New­ton County closed at 2 p. m. Tues­day as the winter storm came in to the north cen­tral Ge­or­gia area, fol­low­ing NCSS’s lead. The school sys­tem started send­ing stu­dents home at 11: 15 a. m.

Other short­ened work days Tues­day were:

The New­ton County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion meet­ing was can­celled; Covington Fam­ily Y closed at 3 p. m.; New­ton County Li­brary sys­tem was closed Tues­day; and The Covington News closed at 2 p. m. and will re­open at 9: 30 a. m. today, if weather per­mits.

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