Snow blankets the Old Fourth Ward on Jan. 17 (Photo by Collin Kelley)

Intown residents woke up to several inches of snow this morning with a state of emergency declared by Gov. Nathan Deal in 83 counties. The Georgia Department of Transportation was urging motorists to stay off the roads with temperatures not expected to climb out of the 20s all day.

Atlanta Public Schools, City Schools of Decatur, Fulton County Schools and DeKalb County Schools are closed today, Jan. 17, due to the winter weather. So are local colleges including Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Agnes Scott College.

Along with the schools, the City of Atlanta announced that government offices and municipal courts would all be closed on Wednesday.

MARTA announced it’s running on a modified schedule with rail running a Sunday service and train frequency every 20 minutes. See the list of operating bus routes at this link.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has delayed or cancelled hundreds of flights. Passengers are encouraged to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms urged the public to use caution and remain indoors today while extreme low temperatures and hazardous road conditions persist. In a statement to the media, Bottoms said the City of Atlanta had opened its Joint Operations Center, which coordinates preparation and response activities, and is fully engaged in responding to the ongoing winter weather event.

“The City of Atlanta, along with the metro region, is experiencing dangerously low temperatures and hazardous road conditions due to ice and snowfall. We ask that the public use caution, and remain indoors and off the roadways as much as possible while the City works to treat and clear the roads,” Bottoms said. “The City has opened three emergency warming centers to ensure that anyone needing shelter has a place to go. These facilities will remain open while temperatures are dangerously low, and all are welcome to seek shelter.”

The Department of Public Works (DPW) began pre-treating Priority 1 and 2 routes and bridges prior to precipitation beginning on the evening of January 16, and will continue working around the clock until roads are clear. Roadways around critical facilities, including hospitals, police stations and fire stations, have been treated. DPW mobilized 11 salt spreaders to deploy 104 tons of salt, and applied 48,000 gallons of brine to roadways prior to snowfall. Solid waste collection will be delayed by two days because of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and inclement weather. This change will affect Tuesday through Friday collections, including recycling and trimming collections. Tuesday collection will now occur on Thursday, Wednesday collection will now occur on Friday, Thursday collection will now occur on Saturday and Friday collection will now occur on Sunday.

The City has opened three warming centers which will remain open until temperatures increase and conditions change. Men, women and children are welcome. Anyone seeking transportation to a warming center may call 404-546-2710 for assistance.

The warming centers locations are:

Old Adamsville Recreation Center, 3404 Delmar Avenue SW, Atlanta, GA 30331;
Central Park Recreational Center, 400 Merrits Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30308; and
Grant Park Recreation Center, 537 Park Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30312.

Residents are also encouraged to sign up for NotifyATL at to receive alerts on emergencies and critical information on severe weather, unexpected road closures, and other alerts.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.