Metro Atlanta officials and weather experts are expecting several inches of snow on Friday and are urging people to be off the streets by 4 p.m. to keep roads clear, and people safe, as precipitation begins to fall. A winter storm warning goes into effect at 4 p.m. with anywhere from one to four inches of snow expected overnight.

Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs prep

Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are preparing for the expected severe weather by prepping roads and urging residents use extreme caution if they have to drive. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is calling for staggered departures from the city that started this morning with students of local schools.

According to Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun, their latest prediction expects precipitation to begin late Friday, including snow, with various models showing accumulations of 1 to 4 inches.

“The good thing is, they’re not predicting ice, but the bad thing is a lot of snow and it won’t melt anytime fast,” said Kraun.

Sandy Springs is activating its winter storm operations center with crews set to work 12-hour shifts. Public Works crews are ready to pre-treat bridges and overpasses with de-icing materials starting tonight. Public Works has trucks and graders with plows to handle snow.

Brookhaven and Dunwoody are also preparing for the storm.

“Public Works contractor Roadworx is mobilizing for pre-treatment of major roads and bridges on Friday afternoon and will continue to monitor conditions,” said Brookhaven city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill. “Treatment crews will remain in town Friday and possibly Saturday as conditions warrant. Citizens should report any issues to Brookhaven Connect, and for emergencies dial 911.”

Brookhaven City Hall and the Lynwood and Briarwood recreation centers was set to close at 3 p.m. Friday. Dunwoody City Hall closed at 1 p.m. due to the weather forecast.

“The city is closely monitoring the winter weather forecasts for the next several days and has equipment and supplies staged to be at the ready should inclement winter weather occur,” said Dunwoody city spokesperson Bob Mullen. “In addition, key departments have strategically assigned staffing resources for 24-hour coverage through this period to potentially address accumulations of freezing rain, snow or ice in the most effective way possible.

Georgia DOT, local school closings

The Georgia Department of Transportation began treating the area’s state highways with brine–salt water Thursday night to prevent ice. GDOT warns drivers to watch for black ice and to keep their distance from road crews and dump trucks that may be spraying gravel and rock salt.

Fulton County Schools announced that its schools will close at noon on Friday. Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools will close two hours early, but Reed is asking parents in Atlanta to pick up students sooner if possible. He asked local businesses to allow employees leave at 12:30 p.m. and city employees are expected to leave at 1:30 p.m.

DeKalb services closing early, warming stations opening

DeKalb County offices, libraries and recreation centers are closing at 1 p.m. on Friday and all Friday afternoon and Saturday events and programs are cancelled. Senior centers will close at noon, according to a press release.

DeKalb County employees who are parents of school-age children will be permitted if necessary to leave work at whatever hour is appropriate in order to pick up their children at school or meet them when they arrive at home.

“The safety of our youngest residents is a top priority for DeKalb County,” Thurmond said in the press release. “If parents need to leave work before 1 p.m. to meet their children, they are urged to do so.”

Click here for ongoing weather information.

Friday residential sanitation service is planned to run as normal, while single stream recycling and yard debris pickup will stop at 1 p.m.

DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) will open warming centers starting on Saturday for citizens at the following locations:

  • Fire Station 3: 24 N. Clarendon Ave, Avondale 30002
  • Fire Station 4: 4540 Flakes Mill Road, Ellenwood 30294
  • Fire Station 6: 2342 Flat Shoals Road, Atlanta 30316
  • Fire Station 8: 2711 Clairmont Road, Atlanta 30329
  • Fire Station 18: 4588 Barclay Drive, Dunwoody 30339
  • Fire Station 25: 7136 Rockbridge, Stone Mountain 30087

Atlanta, statewide warnings

Reed said local businesses should allow employees to leave at 12:30 p.m. and that city employees would begin leaving at 1:30 p.m

All Georgia State University campuses, including the Perimeter College branch in Dunwoody, closed at noon on Friday.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced that he will declare a state of emergency due to the storm in northern Georgia, including DeKalb and Fulton, effective noon on Friday. The emergency declaration provides more state resources locally, but it does not close state offices. Local school districts remain free to set their own schedules.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.