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Public safety officials brace for second wave of snow, ice

COVINGTON — Despite a break in the freezing rain and sleet Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening could prove to be perilous for roads, trees and power lines.

Newton County Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien said the area could expect to see between 1/4- to ½ inch of ice and an inch or more of snow by 1 a.m. Thursday.

“With ice and the accumulation we’re already seeing on trees and powers lines, we could get an extensive amount of damage to trees and power lines,” O’Brien said mid-afternoon Wednesday.

“Our concern right now is we’re seeing people on the roads. There was a bit of a lull in the weather and people may have gotten complacent. We’re starting to see a lot more traffic this afternoon and we need to stress that people need to get off the roads.”

He said county public works crews have been working hard all day to remove downed trees and the volume of calls was increasing as the day progressed.

Ice has been reported on numerous roads in Rockdale County as well, including on Old Salem Road, Ga. Highway 138 at the South River and on Costley Mill Road.

Rockdale Fire and Rescue Lt. Chris Kozikowski said a car went partially into a lake in the Lake Capri subdivision Wednesday afternoon.

“Roads are continuing to worsen and we highly encourage everyone to stay completely off the roadways,” he said.

Kozikowski said forecasts predict that the freezing rain is expected to shift into snow later in the evening. Snow on top of icy roads will only make conditions worse, he said.

Temperatures are expected to warm Thursday to the 40s, but will drop back to the 20s Thursday night, resulting in refreezing, O’Brien said.

Moving into the weekend, temperatures should get into the upper 40s and lower 50s.

“Until then, we have a little ways to go,” O’Brien said.