Habersham first responders prep for coming winter weather

Habersham County officials attended a winter weather briefing by the National Weather Service, preparing for what's to come this weekend. (Hadley Cottingham/Now Habersham)

A winter storm warning for the Northeast Georgia region will begin Saturday at 6 p.m., running until 8 a.m. Monday. Friday afternoon, members from Habersham County Schools, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services, Public Works and E-911 Department attended a National Weather Service winter weather briefing, where they discussed threats to the Northeast Georgia area coming Saturday night.

“Our confidence is starting to increase even more that we are going to see a pretty significant winter event across some parts of North Georgia beginning sometime Saturday night with impacts being felt into Monday,” the Peachtree City NWS said during the briefing.

The NWS warned that high winds, freezing temperatures, ice and snow are all very likely in Northeast Georgia. Saturday night, those conditions should begin and could stretch into Tuesday. School system officials discussed the possibility of schools being closed Tuesday due to prolonged dangerous conditions.

RELATED: Winter Storm Warnings issued for parts of Northeast Georgia, Winter Storm Watch expanded

HCES is preparing for the weather with salt on the ground at their stations, as well as attaching snow plows to emergency vehicles and bringing in four-wheel-drive trucks made for navigating winter weather.

HCES is getting ready for winter weather, getting their vehicles best suited for treacherous roads. (Hadley Cottingham/Now Habersham)

“Y’all be careful out there,” Sheriff Joey Terrell told first responders today that would be responding to incidents this weekend. “Above all, be careful out there with all this stuff.”

Public safety officials and local power companies expect issues with ice, wind and powerlines. Black ice is also expected— first responders are asking drivers to stay off the roads.

The NWS said in their briefing that Northeast Georgia can expect moderate to major impacts from the storm, which could be a threat to life and property, and would make road conditions in the area very dangerous.

The Georgia Department of Transportation also is anticipating “substantial” icing east of I-75 and North of I-20 and also asks drivers to stay off the roads.

“We just want to make a call to the public to please stay home,” Habersham County Public Information Officer Carolyn Gibson said. “Go ahead and stock up now, the Red Cross recommends three days’ worth of supplies.”

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