Deal declares emergency for North Georgia counties

February 15, 2015

Governor's move opens up state resources for disaster preparedness in areas expecting ice

Acting on a recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command, Gov. Nathan Deal this evening signed an executive order to declare a state of emergency for disaster preparedness for the 15 North Georgia counties under a winter storm warning and will ask state workers in affected areas who are not involved in emergency response to work from home.

"I am issuing this order out of an abundance of caution, so the state can make all preparations necessary to quickly and efficiently address any potential winter weather problems," said Deal. "We will monitor the weather throughout the night and allocate state resources as needed should ice formation creep further south into the metro area."

Deal has declared emergencies for Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Habersham, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield counties. The governor's order notes that in these counties forecasts call for ice accumulation and moderately high wind gusts that could bring down tree limbs.

“I remain hopeful that the low pressure system will move northward, thus allowing warmer temperatures into our state,” Deal said. “With forecasts showing temperatures hovering around the freezing point, however, we have to work on the assumption that we’ll face icy conditions.”

In an effort to minimize the number of afternoon commuters, Deal is directing state agency heads to close state offices in the 15 affected counties as well as on Capitol Hill, with the exception of all essential and emergency personnel. State employees in these areas are encouraged to telecommute.