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Johns Creek preparing for winter weather; city closings

February 10, 2014

Icy roadAccording to the National Weather Service, a Winter Weather Advisory for winter precipitation is in effect for portions of North Georgia, including Johns Creek, from 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, through 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11.

On Tuesday evening a Winter Storm Watch goes into effect when a potentially more severe winter storm with sleet and/or snow is expected to last through Thursday morning, February 13.

National Weather Service (NWS) winter notifications are as follows:
  • Winter Weather Advisory:  an 80 percent chance of a winter precipitation event, causing inconveniences but not meeting warning criteria.
  • Winter Storm Watch:  a 50 percent chance of a significant winter storm.
  • Winter Storm Warning:  an 80 percent chance of a winter event having at least one predominant hazard expected to cause a significant impact, such as a 2 inches of snow in 12 hours, at least a half-inch of sleet, or a quarter-inch of freezing rain.)

The NWS forecasts rain Monday night, which could change to snow or a snow-sleet mix by sunrise Tuesday morning with up to an inch of snow. As temperatures warm, precipitation will likely change to rain before transitioning again to a mix of rain-sleet and snow when temperatures drop Tuesday evening. Wet road surfaces are expected to freeze overnight.

By Wednesday, morning, the weather service anticipates a daylong mix of falling temperatures, and sleet and freezing rain that will finally transition to snow Thursday morning. Wednesday could see another two inches of snow accumulating with a tenth- to a quarter-inch of ice on the road. Gov. Nathan Deal is encouraging people to stay off the roads.

For the latest information on Johns Creek road conditions during the winter storm, visit www.JohnsCreekGA.gov, the Police Department's Facebook page, or follow the Police Department's Twitter feed.

Residents and businesses can sign up for free severe weather warning alerts at CodeRED (select Winter Storm as one of the warnings you would like to receive).

Subscribers to the City's News Flashes will receive regular updates on road conditions. Citizens can sign up online.
Johns Creek preparations
The Emergency Operations Center is expected to open Tuesday afternoon and will be staffed around the clock to coordinate the City's response to the weather emergency.

Eight crews are on stand-by with three spreader trucks and four flatbed trucks loaded with salt and sand mix. Crews are scheduled to work 12-hour shifts, possibly as soon as Monday night. The City has 600 tons of salt and sand on-hand at three locations with additional supplies readily available across the border in Forsyth County.

The City also has reserved a motor-grader, and will use its Transportation Response Vehicle to help clear roads of stranded vehicles. Crews will carry chainsaws for cutting up fallen trees.

Starting Tuesday, Johns Creek Police will extend shifts and has added chains to cars to better patrol streets and identify problem areas, to assist stranded motorists, or help in other emergencies. The Johns Creek Fire Department also carries chainsaws and is prepared to respond to fires and serious medical situations.

City closings
All city offices will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 12. No decision has been made about Thursday, although no Municipal Court proceedings will be held on Thursday.
Cases originally scheduled for Tuesday have been re-scheduled for March 25 at 8:30 a.m.
Cases originally scheduled for Thursday have been re-scheduled for March 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Citizen preparation
If you can stay home, please do.
If you need to buy non-perishable food, do so now.
If the power is out, use flashlights or other battery-powered lights if possible, instead of candles. If you must use them, place candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.
Fill the vehicle's gas tank and clean lights and windows to help you see.
A quarter-inch of ice accumulation can cause tree branches to fall, resulting in possible power outages. If you lose power, do not use generators, or kerosene or gasoline heaters indoors.