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Parents prepare for school closings as snow and ice move into Atlanta

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Two weeks ago, Atlanta was hit hard by winter weather and now residents are experiencing pangs of "been there, done that" as another storm front approaches and threatens to bring rain, snow, sleet and potentially crippling ice to the region. On Feb. 10, most major school systems in and around Atlanta announced closings to make sure children aren’t trapped on school buses and in classrooms like they were the last time around.

As posted by WSB-TV in Atlanta on Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal has already declared a state of emergency for 45 Georgia counties ahead of the newest storm headed to North Georgia. State agencies including GDOT and GEMA, plus emergency services and schools are coordinating efforts to avoid a repeat of the first storm that stranded thousands of motorists on interstates and ice-caked side roads throughout the metro area.

Most of Atlanta is currently under a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. on Tuesday. However, the northern counties are under a winter weather warning. Sometime Tuesday night, conditions will worsen with the potential of ice. State officials are warning residents of possible widespread power outages and are asking drivers to stay off the roads beginning on Monday night so crews can mobilize throughout the region.

School closings present a challenge for working parents. Most schools will be closed tomorrow and several have already announced closings on Wednesday, too. As reported by the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” on Feb. 10, the worst weather won’t hit until Tuesday night, meaning many parents will have to report to their jobs tomorrow and find childcare arrangements as this new weather front approaches and threatens the city for a second time in less than two weeks.

The following school systems in around Atlanta will be closed due to the approaching winter storm:

  • Atlanta Public Schools (A.P.S.): Closed 2/11 & 2/12
  • Banks County: Closed 2/11
  • Bartow County: Closed 2/11
  • Clayton County: Closed 2/11 & 2/12
  • Cherokee County: Closed 2/11
  • Cobb County: Closed 2/11
  • Dawson County: Closed 2/11
  • DeKalb County: Closed 2/11
  • Floyd County: Closed 2/11
  • Forsyth County: Closed 2/11
  • Fulton County: Closed 2/11 and 2/12
  • Gilmer County: Closed 2/11
  • Gordon County: Closed 2/11
  • Habersham County: Closed 2/11
  • Hall County: Closed 2/11
  • Lumpkin County: Closed 2/11
  • Marietta City: Closed 2/11
  • Murray County: Closed 2/11
  • Paulding County: Closed 2/11
  • Pickens County: Closed 2/11
  • Polk County: Closed 2/11
  • Rockdale County: Closed 2/11
  • Towns County: Closed 2/11
  • Walton County: Closed 2/11
  • White County: Closed 2/11

In addition, many private schools and universities like Agnes Scott College, Emory University, Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Tech, University of North Georgia, and Kennesaw State have also announced closures for Tuesday. As usual, Gwinnett County, the last holdout, still hasn’t announced school closings as of 7 p.m.

Parents and families in Atlanta have been flooding grocery and home improvement stores to prepare for the impending winter storm. Ice melt, generators, ice scrapers, snow shovels, plus bread and milk are running low. Meteorologist Glenn Burns reported at 6:30 p.m. on WSB-TV, “This is going to be a major ice event.” He went on to explain that an ice storm of this scope happens in Atlanta only once a decade or so. WXIA reported that GDOT is bringing in 30 additional crews from south Georgia to supplement the nearly 500 workers in the metro Atlanta area.

The big question is…

Have city and state officials learned from the past? Will Atlanta handle this round of snow and ice or will it make national news yet again for the city's inability to handle winter weather? Only time will tell, but be sure to stock up…just in case.

For the most up-to-the-minute list of school, business and government closings in Atlanta, head to WSB-TV.com.

To receive future articles by Jackie Kass, click on SUBSCRIBE. Do you have a story idea? I'd love to hear from you! E-mail your ideas to me at jackiekass@bellsouth.net.

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