Sunday, April 20, 2014

Snow Jam encore?


By Pat Cooper

As of press time Monday, County administrator Steve Rapson said that a lot of decisions regarding handling the forecasted snow and ice event wouldn’t be made until around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.
During an afternoon press conference on Monday, Governor Nathan Deal expanded his state of emergency declaration from 13 to a total of 45 counties. Deal said he would expand the order to additional counties as conditions warrant. Additionally, the government, both city and state, are implementing a ‘liberal’ leave policy so employees won’t be penalized if they opt to stay home when the storm is supposed to hit.
“We’re going to open as usual tomorrow,” Rapson said Monday, “and a decision about any closings will be made after a called 11 a.m. meeting of emergency services personnel and county officials.”
Rapson said that since the last snow event depleted the county’s own store of salt and sand, he had
negotiated with the Georgia Department of Transportation to obtain more and dispatched dump trucks to pick up those materials. The supplies will be distributed among Fayette’s municipalities later, as the need arises.
“We’re just keeping an eye on everything,” said Rapson, and added that the county was working closely with a retired weather service employee to help them understand the information coming in so they can make the appropriate decisions.
“This is supposed to be more ice than snow, and that makes it more difficult to react to, when you consider the possibility of snapping trees and downed power lines.”
Additionally, the county will be working with the Fayette County Board of Education to negotiate if any schools can be opened to use as emergency shelters.
In Peachtree City, public information officer Betsy Tyler said the city is working closely with public works, the fire and police departments both on a city and county level.
“I know we’re watching the weather closely and [Emergency Services Director] Pete Nelms continues to keep us updated. I will have reminders on the city’s facebook page and in today’s UPDATES for people to stay informed about the weather (and links to do so).”


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