Serious snow: Dozens of accidents reported

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

CONYERS -- Icy roads from snowfall Sunday night shut down most of Rockdale County Monday and officials predicted it wouldn't thaw out today.

Snow began falling about 9 p.m. Sunday night and freezing rain started about 2 a.m. Monday.

By 10 a.m. Monday, there were reports of 32 accidents since Sunday night. No injuries or deaths were reported and no power

outages were reported.

"Most of that was just slick roads and, to be honest, people going faster than they should and they slide off the road and then they have a problem," Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said of the city's accidents.

Lake Capri Road and the Parker Road bridge were closed to traffic Monday morning. And by noon Monday, Conyers Police announced all lanes of traffic on Interstate 20 between exit 82 and 80 would be shut down. Conyers Police assisted the Georgia Department of Transportation in the closing.

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, which serves as the county's Emergency Management Agency, opened its emergency operations center about 5 a.m. Monday, Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington said.

He said RCSO officials were told that 38 degrees would be the high for Tuesday.

"It doesn't appear it's going to get above freezing until some time (today). We aren't expecting any clearing today and, hopefully, they'll be some tomorrow," Wigington said. "It's not going to thaw out between (Monday) and tomorrow. So the roads could get worse before they get better."

That mainly depended on how warm it gets and how much road clearing takes place.

RCSO had been working with the county transportation department to clear roads.

Wigington said Monday morning there was "very little activity" on the roads and most of the county roads were in pretty good shape.

"It seems like people are staying home," Wigington said.

Wigington encouraged residents to stay off the roads. But if they have to drive, they should drive slowly, sensibly and not make quick stops.

Freezing rain and the potential for a refreeze is what concerned both officials.

"When we have inclement weather like this we have certain older cars that we put snow tires on and we have quite a few four-wheel drive vehicles that we call in and put out," Wigington said. "So we haven't had any trouble getting around so far."

Wilson said Conyers PD also made runs to take people to essential locations, such as the Remington House retirement community.

"We worked to do that and we'll make sure we get them home this afternoon," Wilson said.

City and county government offices were closed Monday.

Conyers spokeswoman Jennifer Edwards said city offices would be closed today, with only emergency personnel reporting.