Fire, power, road crews prep for weekend cold blast in metro Atlanta

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 6:21 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2022 at 6:36 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Wednesday, agencies across the state began making preparations ahead of an extreme cold front sweeping across Georgia starting on Friday.

“We are preparing for this extreme cold weather event,” said Russell McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

GDOT crews began loading brine, a solution used to pre-treat roads, into trucks on Wednesday.


McMurry said GDOT crews will begin pre-treating roughly 21,000 miles of state routes, bridges, and interstates on Thursday morning ahead of the cold blast on Friday.

“Tomorrow we ask for your patience while you’re out and about, in fact, if you don’t have to travel tomorrow we suggest you stay home because we will have to brine these roadways during the day,” McMurry said.

Fire crews are also preparing for the effects for the freezing temperatures and potentially heavy winds.

“We’re just ready just in case,” said Captain Jennifer Ware with the Atlanta Fire Department.

Capt. Ware said crews are prepping their trucks to be weather-ready.

She said the top priority for their crews this weekend will be the potential for water freezing impacting their ability to access fire hydrants.

“So if hydrants freeze up we’ve got thaw kits with cans of diesel, rags, ways to light it so we can unthaw hydrants if we need to get the water out,” said Capt. Ware.

Fire officials urged the public to keep space heaters at least three feet from curtains or anything flammable.

They also said generators should remain outside and ensure any indoor live Christmas trees are properly watered.

Power crews said they’re prepared for any potential power outages caused by heavy winds.

“We anticipate weather like this and have plans in place to protect our equipment from freezing temperatures,” said Ryan Poole, Storm Operations Manager for Georgia Power. “We invest in our generation fleet. We invest in our grid to ensure it can maintain reliability for our customers even when the temperatures get into the single digits,” said Poole.

Georgia Power provided these additional tips during the extremely cold weather this week:

Winter Weather Safety

· Have a flashlight, a portable phone charger, and spare batteries on hand in case the power goes out.

· Maintain ventilation around fireplaces.

· Use space heaters only on level surfaces and keep away from furniture, curtains, water, children and pets.

· Never use generators indoors. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions supplied with the generator model.

· Prepare an emergency supply kit for your home and vehicle.

· If there is a power outage in your area, visit our Outage & Storm Center to review safety tips, enroll in outage alerts and more.