GDOT ready if icy conditions develop in SWGA

The National Weather Service reports the winter storm impact is expected to be minimal locally. / MGN Online

Southwest Georgia DOT crews are ready for sleet and ice that may develop late tonight and into early Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service reports the winter storm impact is expected to be minimal locally. However, freezing temperatures are expected to move into some area counties later tonight and wet bridges could freeze by daybreak. Georgia DOT's southwest district, which encompasses 32 counties, is prepared for ice that may develop on roadways and bridges.

Eleven plow trucks and 54 employees from southwest Georgia are in Atlanta to assist with managing the winter storm there, but the local area is still well covered. The district has a total of 331 maintenance employees. Two snow plows that were disabled have been repaired and are being relocated to the northern part of the district where ice is more likely to be a problem. That area includes Quitman, Randolph, Terrell, Lee, Crisp and Wilcox counties.

Spreaders that can distribute a mixture of salt and rock and 18 motor graders are also available. Maintenance employees will be on call and will respond to reports of ice as needed.

"We've got everything ready. We can handle anything that comes up," District Maintenance Engineer Stacy Aultman said.

Motorists are asked to stay off roadways if hazardous conditions develop. Black ice, which is almost totally transparent, can easily catch drivers off guard. Slow down on bridges and overpasses and avoid applying brakes on ice as it may cause a vehicle to skid.

Motorists should not pass a DOT truck spreading the salt/stone mixture, as stones may get kicked up at their cars and could break windshields. Please follow at least 100 feet behind DOT vehicles and never pass a Georgia DOT, contractor or local government truck treating the road.