ATLANTA — With memories of thousands of vehicles gridlocked for hours on icy metro Atlanta highways fresh in their minds, officials north Georgia prepared today for another round of winter weather, with the governor declaring a state of emergency for 14 counties.
Gov. Nathan Deal, who was criticized for his response to the Jan. 28 storm that paralyzed the metro area and left motorists stranded in vehicles overnight, tweeted this morning about the weather-related emergency declaration and said it would be expanded as necessary. In a statement Sunday, he said he had put emergency response agencies on alert and begun significant preparations.
The governor scheduled a news conference for noon today to discuss winter storm preparations.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather watch from 7 p.m. today through 7 p.m. Tuesday and a winter storm watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning for the metro Atlanta area.
The storm has potential to reach beyond Atlanta and Georgia into other parts of the South. Forecasters said Alabama, which also saw stranded vehicles and other issues in the January storm, was likely to get a wintry mix of precipitation.
Areas of Mississippi could see three inches of snow late today through noon Tuesday. And a blast of snow over a wide section of Kentucky slickened roads and closed several school districts.