The Citizen winter storm news updates
Updated 4:42 p.m. Thursday – Fayette County is starting to thaw out from the great ice storm of 2014 as most roads are clear, and the traffic lights have been repaired at the intersection of Ga. Highways 54 and 74, though power outages still affect traffic lights at some intersections.
Caution is still advised due to downed trees and potentially live downed power lines, and a number of Fayette and Coweta homes remain without power as Georgia Power and Coweta-Fayette EMC crews continue to work on storm repair. Motorists are reminded to treat nonfunctioning traffic lights as a four-way stop to avoid collisions.
Peachtree City police also have posted the following report on caution ares on the path system as well:
Behind Balmoral Village
Paths around Concord Village
Peachtree Parkway @ Braelinn Road
Log House near Heritage
Braelinn Recreation behind tennis courts
Cameron Trail @ Terrace Way
McIntosh Trail @ Creekstone
Sweetwater Oaks @ Lake Peachtree
Hwy 54 bridge near Partners Pizza
Wisdom Road across from PTC Elementary
Fielding Ridge area
Emerling Lane near the cul-de-sac
UPDATED 10:30 a.m. Thursday — Most roads passable but “dangerous”; treat non-working traffic lights as 4-way stops; Coweta slammed with 11,000 power outages, 1,500 without power in Fayette
Fayette County EMA Director Pete Nelms at 9:30 a.m. said conditions in Fayette are seeing some improvement but stressed that roadways are still dangerous due to trees and power lines on some roads.
Fayette County Public Works reported closures on Ga. Highway 279 between Mayfair Lane and Lafayette Drive and on Antioch Road between Goza Road and Hampton Road. To a lesser degree, trees are down and causing road blockages in sporadic areas of the county.
Nelms urged citizens to stay at home until conditions improve. He noted that there is the potential for black ice to form if the forecast for temperatures falling below freezing tonight plays out.
Power outages are still in evidence across Fayette and Coweta, with a total more than 1,475 customers in Fayette and nearly 11,000 in Coweta without power.
Georgia Power at mid-morning reported 869 customers without power in Fayette, with the nearly all those occurring in and around Fayetteville. Less than 50 customers without electricity were reported around Peachtree City.
Coweta-Fayette EMC at mid-morning reported 610 customers in Fayette without power. Of those, more than 450 were in the Bernhard Road area in central Fayette while another 56 were in north Fayette.
EMC reported 9,081 outages in Coweta, with nearly all occurring in a band in the eastern portion of the county and extending from the Palmetto area in the north through the Senoia area in the south.
Georgia Power reported 1,679 outages in Coweta. Those figures included 464 in northeast Coweta, 470 in east and southeast Coweta, 483 in the Newnan area, 180 on the south side of the county and more than 80 in the northwest.
Phil Mallon, Fayette County Public Works, says these are the rules for traffic operations at signal with power outages:
Treat each traffic light as a four-way stop, with the driver on the right having the right-of-way.
Proceed with caution only when traffic permits.
Enter intersections only when it is safe to do so, using turn signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
As always, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Watch out for and obey police officers directing traffic within intersections.
Don’t use the emergency number 9-1-1 to report a power outage.
Call your local power provider to report outages.
“What do I do when the traffic lights are on flash?”
For flashing red, stop (treat like a stop sign).
For flashing yellow, proceed with caution.
Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton says, “City Hall is still without power. As such, non-essential city offices will remain closed today. We plan to resume normal hours on Friday.”
Temperatures in Fayette and Coweta counties have risen above freezing, but emergency management officials in both counties are urging motorists to stay off roadways. Things should begin to get back to normal once temperatures rise throughout the day, though there is the potential for black ice to form on some roads if temperatures falling below freezing tonight as expected.
Coweta County EMA Director Jay Jones at 9:15 a.m. urged motorists to stay off roadway unless travel is necessary. The problem is not with severe icing as was seen in the winter storm a couple of weeks ago, said Jones. The problem today is with falling trees and power lines which are hitting roadways sporadically around the county.
With that, Jones said crews are out and the roads are passable, though will be issues on secondary roads.
Jones said Coweta-Fayette EMC currently has 50 crews working in its coverage area.
UPDATED 8:45 a.m. Thursday — F’ville businesses powerless at 8 a.m., roads ‘dangerous but passable’
The great ice storm of 2014 has left thousands of Fayette Countians without electrical power — including a wide swath of Fayetteville’s business section as of 8 a.m. Thursday, according to Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson.
“There are 9,568 residents without power – 4,200 EMC and 5,368 Georgia Power,” Rapson said this morning.
“Road conditions are dangerous but passable and [officials] are requesting that residents do not drive until conditions improve,” Rapson said.
Here’s his 8 a.m. report:
Fayette County has experienced at least a 20-year ice storm event that has impacted utility infrastructure in all areas of the county. Fayette continues to experience utility issues form falling trees on power and transmission lines.
As of 5 a.m. the Emergency Operation Center was fully operational and call volumes are expected to increase. The center was staffed through the night to ensure continuity and command and control.
Fayette County government offices and schools are closed today.
Impacts — All [emergency responders] are still very busy responding to and coordinating calls for service, particularly in the areas of trees on power lines, trees across roadways and debris. Call volumes were above average; however, call volumes have decreased and stabilized over night as winds subsided.
Requests for shelter have continued to increase [and] have been met by ESF 6 Mass Care opening a shelter at Fayette Middle School. [Only a few] citizens have sought shelter as of 6 a.m.
Residents in the shelter were assessed by the county nurse manager, and are being fed by Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Emergency Management staff and the Faith Based Team Leader will be staffing the shelter through the night. Fayette County Board of Education Transportation Department has been shuttling those citizens in need of transportation of residents seeking shelter. There currently 20 residents in the shelter – including 4 from Clayton. (Compliments of Facebook wood-burning posting.)
While progress is being made in restoring power, however, due to the severity of damage, some areas could experience outages for at least 12 or more hours. There are 9,568 residents without power – 4,200 EMC and 5,368 Georgia Power.
City of Fayetteville lost power 4 a.m. and Georgia Power is working the problem. EOC is using backup power and still online and fully operational.
Ongoing issues — The weather continues to be a large factor in the ongoing response and county operation and response. Conditions are expected to stabilize as the precipitation moves out of Fayette this morning ... the National Weather Service expects temperatures to get above 32 and hopefully improve road conditions.
Road conditions are dangerous but passable and [officials] are requesting that resident do not drive until conditions improve.
Weather forecast — Fayette County is under a Significant Weather Alert up to an additional one inch of snow. Major problems are power outages and a major focus on restoring power is ongoing. Thursday highs and forecasted to get into the upper 40 to low 50s. Max winds Thursday, gusting 24 mph, will increase threat for widespread downed limbs and power lines.
Please continue to use extreme caution - stay home and off the roads
Fayette County Administrator
UPDATED 7:30 p.m. Wednesday — From reporter Ben Nelms — Fayette County EMA Director Pete Nelms shortly before 5 p.m. there are still issues with trees falling on power lines along some roadway, leading to blockages of those roads. Nelms also noted that bridges continue to be a concern.
Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon said the main road closures due primarily to fallen trees and power lines include Antioch Road, Hilo Road and Ga. Highway 92 and Ebenezer Church Road.
Nelms stressed that motorists should stay off roadways tonight.
Coweta EMA Director Jay Jones late Wednesday afternoon said there continue to be areas of concern with roadways throughout the county due to icing and fallen trees. Areas of significant concern exist mainly in the north and east portions of the county along with a fewer number of roads in south Coweta.
Jones said Coweta crews were scraping some roads and had been applying sand and salt but have temporarily discontinued the applications. The reason, said Jones, is due to what crews are seeing now and what is coming later tonight.
Crews just before 5 p.m. reported the temperature on some of Coweta’s roadway at 27 degrees.
“We’re concerned with that,” said Jones. Coweta is approximately twice the geographical size of Fayette County. “We’re still expecting up to two inches of sleet and snow later tonight with temperatures in the mid-20s so we want to conserve salt and sand supplies.
Electric providers near 5:30 p.m. Wednesday reported 7,417 homes with power in Fayette and 5,253 without power in Coweta.
Georgia Power reported 1,240 outages mainly in east and southeast Coweta with a smaller number in the Newnan and Moreland areas. Ga. Power outages in Fayette totaled 2,193, with more than half of that total in northeast Fayette and several hundred in the Bernhard Road area. Nearly 90 outages were reported in the Fayetteville area and nearly a dozen in Peachtree City.
Coweta-Fayette EMC reported 5,214 outages in Fayette, with nearly all those occurring in the Fayetteville and Tyrone areas, around Bernhard Road and across north Fayette. A lesser number of outages were reported in Brooks.
EMC reported 4,013 outages in Coweta. Those outages were in the Sharpsburg, Newnan, Moreland area, near Fischer Road and Ga. Highway 34 and in south and northeast Coweta.
Due to the ongoing dangerous weather, all City of Peachtree City offices and facilities will remain CLOSED on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Residents are asked to continue to stay off roadways and paths. The ice is hazardous and falling trees and downed power lines are even more dangerous. The city also recommends:
• If you need assistance for a non-life-threatening situation, call Fayette County’s non-emergency number 770-461-HELP.
• If you have an emergency involving criminal activity, fire, or a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.
• For power outages, call your electric power provider (NOT 911):
— Georgia Power: 1-888-891-0938
— Coweta-Fayette EMC: 770-502-0226
From Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson as of 6 p.m. — Fayette County has experienced at least a 20-year ice storm event that has impacted utility infrastructure in all areas of the county. Fayette continues to experience utility issues form falling trees on power and transmission lines.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday the County’s Emergency Operation Center is still activated with the following emergency support functions (ESF):
ESF 1 Transportation School bus available for transport to shelter
ESF 2 Communications 911 Center
ESF 3 Public Works Manning EOC Road Assignment Desk
ESF 4 Fire Services Coordinating Fire Service Response
ESF 5 Emergency Management EOC Operations and PIO
ESF 6 Mass Care Shelter Operations
ESF 8 Public Health Shelter Operations
ESF 12 Energy (Utilities) Coweta Fayette EMC onsite prioritizing power outages and damage surveys
ESF 13 Law Enforcement Manning Law Enforcement Desk, Assisting with roads, Security in the Shelter
As of 7 p.m. the Emergency Operation Center will reduce staff to ensure sufficient rest for the next operation period tomorrow morning when call volumes are expected to increase. The Center will be staffed through the night to ensure continuity and command and control. Staff and employees have been fed and have sleeping quarter arrangement here at headquarters.
Fayette County government offices and schools are closed tomorrow. The employees’ inclement weather information line has been updated to reflect the closure and to inform county employees in a timely manner. It has also been posted to the website to inform the public.
Impacts: All ESFs are still very busy responding to and coordinating calls for service, particularly in the areas of trees on power lines, trees across roadways and debris. Call volumes are well above average; however call volumes are decreasing and are expected to stabilize through the night as winds subside.
Requests for shelter have continued to increase have been met by ESF 6 Mass Care opening a shelter at Fayette Middle School. Minimal citizens have sought shelter at of 1:30 pm.
Residents in the shelter have been assessed by the County Nurse Manager, are being fed by Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Emergency Management staff and the Faith Based Team Leader will be staffing the shelter through the night.
Fayette County Board of Education Transportation Department has been shuttling those citizens in need of transportation of residents seeking shelter. There are currently 8 residents in the shelter.
Coweta Fayette EMC reports some improvement but there are still wide spread power outages. Progress is being made in restoring power; however, due to the severity of damage some areas could experience outages for at least 12 or more hours.
Ongoing issues: The weather continues to be a large factor in the ongoing response and county operation and response. Conditions are expected to possibly worsen with increased snow and frozen precipitation in the early morning hours. According to the National Weather Service temperatures are expected to creep above 32, melting frozen precipitation and welcome an improvement in conditions.
Road conditions are dangers and [officials] are requesting that residents do not drive until conditions improve
Summary: Major problems are power outages and a major focus on restoring power is ongoing.
Our Sheriff, Fire, E911, Public Safety, Emergency Management and Road Department continue to be the stars along with Piedmont Fayette Hospital, the Fayette County School Board and our Faith-based Organizations – what a true team effort.
I couldn’t be prouder of our response thus far. — Steve Rapson
UPDATED 1:55 p.m. Wednesday — Peachtree City residents are being asked to stay off the cart paths due to dangerous conditions from falling trees.
City police officers and public works crews are not clearing trees from the cart paths because they are focusing on clearing them from roads, officials said.
The precipitation has changed to freezing rain and sleet, officers are reporting.
Peachtree Parkway North was closed to traffic arond 1:30 due to slippery conditions as the road has iced over.
UPDATED 1:10 p.m. Wednesday — Things may be looking up with fewer people without power at this hour than earlier today, and an improving forecast.
Ga. Power: Coweta County, 1,321 out of power; in Fayette, 2,160 without electricity. EMC: Coweta, 2,881 with no power; in Fayette, 6,229 with no power.
The good news is that the National Weather Service reports that precipitation will be ending across the area between 5 a.m. Thursday to noon Thursday.
The not so good news is that area temperatures will maintain ice on roads through at least Thursday morning, the NWS reports.
UPDATED 12:25 p.m. Wednesday — Fayette EMA Director Pete Nelms just before noon said roadway problem areas include Hawn Road between Redwine Road and Old Senoia Road, areas of Rivers Road in north Fayette, Ga. Highway 92 South at the Kingswood subdivision and various areas along Ga. Highway 85 South.
“The winds are our enemy, but we’re holding our own,” Nelms said of the remainder of the winter storm period where additional freezing rain, sleet and snow are being forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS) for Wednesday during the day and through the night.
Nelms said the county's advanced preparation is paying off thus far.
“We leaned into this one very hard before the storm happened,” he said. “And it’s paying off.”
Coweta County EMA Director Jay Jones at noon said while there are no major trouble areas, crews are out countywide responding to trees down on roadways due to wind or ice that has formed on trees and power lines.
Jones said none of Coweta’s roads have been closed, though he again cautioned motorists to stay off roadways because bridges and overpasses are experiencing problems with icing.
The Coweta County School System announced that classes and extra-curricular activities have been cancelled for Thursday.
Frozen precipitation in various forms is forecast to continue today and tonight with temperatures falling into the uppers 20s. Between 1 and 2 inches of additional snow and sleet is possible tonight. Snow is expected later tonight, with less than half an inch accumulating by Thursday morning, according to the NWS.
UPDATED 12:10 p.m. Wednesday — Closings and cancellations:
“The Fayette County Government will be closed on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 due to ongoing weather conditions. This closure also constitutes a cancellation of the scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting.
“Emergency services will continue to remain in operation,” said Floyd Jones, Fayette County clerk.
The Greater Fayette Republican Women's Club Meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m. has been cancelled due to inclement weather. “We regret any inconvenience this causes our members and supporters and hope to reschedule the senatorial candidates who were invited to speak,” said Debby Dickinson.
Peachtree City government offices are also closed today, but the decision about whether to open Thursday will be made later this afternoon, City Clerk Betsy Tyler said in an email.
UPDATED 11:55 a.m. Wednesday — Ben Nelms reports that at 11:15 a.m., EMC’s storm center page is saying Fayette has 9,728 customers affected. Coweta has 3,352 customers affected.
Ga. Power’s storm page is saying Fayette has 18 customers in the F’ville area and less than a dozen in PTC.
Coweta has 1,388 total. That’s 709 in east Coweta, 399 in northeast Coweta and 280 in east Newnan.
More of your Facebook reports (with no corrections):
• Power back on Sandy Creek Road. That was pretty fast. Thanks EMC!
• still have power off 54 near weatherly walk.
• Power up and running inside, huge limb down outside. At least it didn’t hit anything. South Jeff Davis area. Thanks EMC for getting our power back on. It was getting chilly in here.
• Power went out at 8:30. Got the generator hooked up and while doing so could hear trees snapping like toothpicks
• Ice in the trees, but can’t see any trees down yet. Power blinked a few hours ago but still on in Estates subdivision.
• Power off again on Sandy Creek Road. Several fire trucks and ambulances with sirens passing through.
• We’re just off Inman Rd. a few miles from Fayetteville.... power was out from about 7 to 10 this morning and has blinked a few times since... lots of ice and the wind is blowing like crazy and we can hear limbs snapping from time to time... nasty day out for sure so we’re just staying put.....
• Spoke too soon...power off again in Southampton in Tyrone. At least I got 1 cup of coffee!
• Power out here since 7 Deep Forest Subdivision off of Hwy 54 Fayetteville
UPDATED 11:06 a.m. Wednesday — Coweta EMA Director Jay Jones said the significant issues in Coweta County during the late morning hours dealt with power outages. He said a number of trees and power lines are down countywide.
Coweta-Fayette EMC reported 2,188 customers without power in Coweta while Georgia Power said 33 of its customers were without electricity.
Jones said there are problems with bridges and overpasses, adding that motorists should stay off roadways.
Fayette County EMA Director Pete Nelms said several thousand electricity customers are estimated to be without power across Fayette County.
Nelms said by late morning some roads are blocked due to debris from falling trees and downed power lines. He cautioned drivers to stay off roadways.
Both Nelms and Jones said crews from power companies and public works in their respective counties are in an active response mode.
UPDATED 11 a.m. Wednesday — Go to The Citizen Facebook page to report conditions in your neighborhood. We’ll update our website reports with your reports on our Facebook page.
Some locations in Peachtree City received the print edition of The Citizen today. However, many other areas will receive delayed delivery of the print edition on Thursday, after roads improve.
UPDATED 10:50 a.m. Wednesday — Coweta-Fayette EMC is reporting 10,000 customers in Fayette County — 29 percent of its customer base — without power by mid-morning.
Just over 2,100 (4 percent) are affected in Coweta County.
Locations reporting power outages or storm damage via The Citizen Facebook page (with no attempt made to correct spelling or punctuation):
• PTC off McIntosh Trail lost power at 7 a.m.
• Fayetteville off Highway 92 North, power off at 8 a.m.
• F’ville off New Hope Road and Hwy. 314, power off since 7 a.m.
• PTC Holly Grove Road, tree down in front yard, “almost hit the car!”
• PTC, Power out on Stevens Entry in ptc about 7:45. Lots of limbs snapping, neighbor had huge pine limb (10') land on his roof.
• F’ville, No power off Burch Rd in Fayetteville.
• Power out here (Kenwood rd area). Just was told that 8 out of the 12 power grids in Fayette are down.
• Jeff Davis plantation off south Jeff Davis out.
• Power still on hwy 154 in sharpsburg. But I have pine tree limbs down everywhere. Two have demolished my backyard fence and one blocking driveway. Every one stay safe please.
• Power out in senioa
• Power is out (EMC customer) on Middlebrook Dr, Fayetteville.
• No power in Briers Ridge.
• Power out on rising star in Brooks roads don't seem to be to bad but the wind is no joke!
• Daughter's electricity out in Stonebriar subdivision in Fayetteville. We are fine by Kedron Elementary in Peachtree City.
• Power out on Bluegrass Trace in PTC (EMC). Neighbor has special needs child that needs power.
• Power is out on Gingercake and Hood. (Emc)
• No power in stonebriar park in Fayetteville. My fiancée and I have three kids bundled up next to a fireplace trying to keep warm. Emc isn't answering the phone.
• Representing the Weatherly Walk staff at the apartments -- our power has been going off intermittently and after walking the property it seems to be mainly slush on the driveways, but the wind is definitely causing small limbs to come down between us and Bay Branch as well as behind some of the buildings. If you live on property, PLEASE call the office if you have an emergency!! Chuck and I are here to light pilots and help any way we can!!!
• Off Hilo road out too
• A tree fell on my house, punched a hole in my roof and an upstairs wall.
• Power out in the Woodlands off South Jeff Davis.
• Sandy Creek Road in Fayetteville lost power at 7:45 this morning. People are out and flying by at high speeds as usual. I have seen several EMC trucks but they are all heading toward Pinewood Studios...
• Power out on Adams Court off Flat Creek Trail sine 8:15 am
• The Coventry (near Partner's) and at least part of Smokerise still have power.
• Power out between Sharpsburg and Senoia. Coweta county reporting trees down on Seavy St and Stallings Rd.