4:30 p.m. Barrow County Emergency Services has issued another alert to ask the public not to venture out on the roadways. The streets are still icy, with sleet and ice still falling and expected to get heavier in the coming hours. GDOT crews are in Barrow County salting state highways, and local public works departments are working hard to salt local roads.
2:09 p.m. update: Barrow County public schools will be closed again on Thursday, school officials announced.
11:47 a.m. update: Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith says he has never seen the county’s roads this bad.
“There’s about a quarter- to a half-inch of ice packed on the ground, and all roads are white,” he said. “It’s just a sheet of ice on everything. Terrible conditions. People walking down the sides of roads are slipping and falling.”
He likened the situation to trying to control a vehicle on a hockey rink.
“We are urging people not to get out in this unless it’s an absolute emergency,” the sheriff said.
So far, that is what most — but not all — local residents are doing.
“We are responding to a call right now on Highway 316 of a vehicle in a ditch,” Smith said. “We’re not sure if she’s hurt.”
But the sheriff said in the four miles of Highway 316 that he has just driven, he has seen only one 18-wheeler driving about 20 miles per hour and one other smaller truck.”
The only emergency calls to the sheriff’s office today have been to check alarms triggered by the winds, vehicles stuck in ditches, and a few people “not using common sense,” Smith said.
“We’ve had a couple of calls about people doing donuts and stuff in the roads.”
From the Barrow Journal staff: Do you have some photos of your family's encounter with Winter Storm Pax? If you would like to share them, just email them to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!