Winter storm blankets Cherokee
by Michelle Babcock
February 13, 2014 05:00 AM | 2881 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City of Canton road workers plow and salt the bridge on Waleska Street  over the Etowah River on Wednesday morning as the freezing rain continues to fall.  <br> Staff/Kelly J. Huff
City of Canton road workers plow and salt the bridge on Waleska Street over the Etowah River on Wednesday morning as the freezing rain continues to fall.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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A lone pedestrian leaves his path in the slushy ice and snow Wednesday morning as he walked to the Canton Wal-Mart to retrieve supplies during the storm.
A lone pedestrian leaves his path in the slushy ice and snow Wednesday morning as he walked to the Canton Wal-Mart to retrieve supplies during the storm.
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Roads closed and some residents temporarily lost power Wednesday as a winter storm of epic proportions continued to move through Cherokee, but most residents stayed off the highways, cutting down on problems.

Cherokee County School District schools and offices, Cherokee Charter Academy, Reinhardt University and Chattahoochee Technical College were closed Wednesday and scheduled to remain closed today, as travel is expected to remain treacherous, officials said.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. today, and Cherokee County was anticipated to get another 1 to 3 inches of snow Wednesday afternoon and into early this morning, reports show.

Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said the National Weather service predicted more snowfall into Wednesday night and possibly more ice, but said conditions should start to improve Friday.

“It’s my understanding that the temperature is going to increase, going up into the 40s on Friday, and it’s going to start thawing out then,” Baker said Wednesday.

Roads across Cherokee were glazed in ice Wednesday, as snow, sleet and freezing rain fell around the county throughout the day.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday, many roads were already closed after becoming impassible, including areas of Rope Mill Road and Cherokee Street, said Robby Westbrook, director of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Homeland Security-Emergency Management.

Baker said most residents made the right decision and avoided the roads Wednesday.

“We’ve had minimal accidents,” he said. “We know it’s not over with yet, but it looks like a lot of people stayed home. It’s made a huge difference on the roads being treated and the number of accidents we’ve been able to avoid.”

Westbrook said Cherokee Emergency 911 call volume began increasing Wednesday afternoon, with additional auto accidents, two sledding accidents and several downed trees.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 6,000 residents had lost power in Cherokee, Westbrook said and more than 100,000 customers statewide.

Baker said early Wednesday morning around 3,000 customers just east of Canton lost service, but Georgia Power “corrected that almost immediately.”

Around noon Wednesday about 3,000 customers in Holly Springs also lost power temporarily, but Baker said so far most outages in the state have been south of Cherokee.

“There were some brief moments in some location in Cherokee where the power went out, but it looks like the majority of the outages were inside the perimeter around Atlanta,” Baker said.

Woodstock city parks were closed until further notice on Wednesday, and Canton Police reported that the National Guard was escorting emergency vehicles if necessary.

Two shelters are operating in the county for those who need a warm place to stay.

Action Church at 271 Marietta Road, and a Red Cross Shelter at Canton First Baptist Church, at 1 Mission Point, are available for those who need shelter.

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