Just Stay Put: Don’t Try to Drive

ATHENS, GA – So far so good, says superintendent Kevin Gentry of the ACC Streets and Drainage department. But it only gets worse from here, and he knows that. And as you can see, ICE is the problem. But a combination of ice and people wanting to drive in it, will cause even more problems.

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They have been treating bridges and have gone to eight to ten places to sand them in preparation for more snow and ice. He says the roads are in pretty bad shape but he hasn’t seen a lot of wrecks. The good news: He thinks people are actually heading the warnings and staying at home. They have only received about ten calls about icy roads. The department has switched to 12-hour shifts, which means people are there 24/7.

The GDOT has also been treating roads around Athens 24/7 since Monday, says Dana Garrison, an area engineer. They are responsible for state and 4-lane highways, like US 129 and HWY 316. Their communications director, Rick Parham, says they have 142 machines out in the Athens area. “We are proactive, we don’t wait for folks to call us.” He says he appreciates people staying home because “we can do our work better.”

All of their sand trucks are out right now, and because people are staying off the roads, they haven’t used much sand: only about 20,000 pounds. But he knows it doesn’t get better from here, and they’re prepared for that.

He expressed concern about the rest of the day because of the imminent forecast: more sleet, more snow, more ice, and gusty winds. That is a bad combination for drivers especially. They are prepared for downed trees, with four trucks used just for clearing debris and trees. Their trucks do not have chains, however, so keeping out of their way is another reason drivers should stay off the roads.

Stay put, it’s not worth the risk. Alexa Knowles, reporting.

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