Atlanta is closed. For the most part. For now.
Shelves at local grocers usually packed with bread, milk, and water are doomed to be deserted, as the weather forecast calls for the slightest dusting of snow.
Or a rainy day (9:30 a.m. temperature: 43 degrees). Followed by a dry afternoon (predicted 2 p.m. temperature: 37 degrees) and sunny evening (expected 6 p.m. temp: 36 degrees). Things could get dicey after sunset, however.
Such is life in metro Atlanta, and officials are acting accordingly.
“Currently, the National Weather Service is forecasting one to two inches of precipitation north of the [Interstate] 85 corridor [Tuesday morning],” said Gov. Brian Kemp in a prepared statement released Monday. “Forecasters expect frigid air to follow this precipitation, which may cause roads to freeze on Tuesday and remain icy on Wednesday morning.”
In response, Kemp called for state offices in 35 counties to shutter—“essential personnel,” including employees of GEMA, GDOT, and GSP, are exempt—due to the potential inclement weather.
Impacted counties include:
Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Towns, Union, Walker, Whitfield, and White
Kemp is also considering keeping many government operations on hold through Wednesday, depending on the weather.
Until an official announcement is made, he said, people should stay away from roadways “if conditions remain icy or dangerous.”
Additionally, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has declared that all municipal government offices would be closed on Tuesday, save for essential employees, who “are expected to report to work during normal and emergency business hours,” according to a city email blast.
Trash collection, for instance, is expected to carry on as usual, but public schools in the following districts will be closed for at least Tuesday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Atlanta Public Schools, Cherokee County School District, City Schools of Decatur, Clayton County Public Schools, Cobb County Schools, DeKalb County School District, Fulton County Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Paulding County School District, and Marietta City Schools.
Early weather forecasts called for as much as—brace yourselves—three inches of snow in North Georgia. “Maybe an inch in the metro Atlanta area,” according to the AJC.
Back in 2014, during what many called “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmageddon,” Atlanta roadways became crippled with stalled vehicles, which many people deserted to head toward shelter from the winter weather. Snowfall totals were roughly two inches.
The fiasco made national news and quickly became comedic fodder for late-night talk show hosts and SNL.
This year, Interstate 75’s Northwest Corridor Express Lanes and South Metro Express Lanes are also slated to close, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.