Winter storm hits Cherokee
by Michelle Babcock
January 28, 2014 05:39 PM | 6317 views | 5 5 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Motorists abandon their vehicles on Highway 140 near the bottom of the large hill leading just outside Canton and start walking to their homes. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Motorists abandon their vehicles on Highway 140 near the bottom of the large hill leading just outside Canton and start walking to their homes.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Cherokee County ground to a stop Tuesday as a winter advisory quickly turned into a winter storm dumping several inches of snow onto roads and causing hundreds of wrecks and stranding motorists and school children.

With temperatures never making it above freezing, the roads quickly became treacherously slick, sending cars and trucks sliding into ditches, obstacles and each other.

Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office urged people to stay off the roads until they become safe.

“It is not likely that road conditions will improve until possibly Thursday. Ice is a huge concern. Roads are already icy and will likely get worse as the day continues,” Baker said Tuesday.

Baker said another huge concern is school buses that were en route as the storm worsened. Cherokee County Schools were let out two hours early Tuesday, with elementary schools being dismissed at 12:15 p.m. and others dismissed as late as 1:45 p.m.

Some buses were stranded on icy roads and others turned around and headed back to the schools where they came from, said Carrie McGowan, Cherokee County School District spokeswoman.

“Due to buses being stranded by weather, traffic or impassible roads, the superintendent has authorized the Transportation Department to temporarily suspend bus services. Until our roads are made safer, it isn’t prudent to continue to put students on buses at this time,” McGowan said Tuesday. “Students who are at school will remain there safely; a parent or guardian can pick their child up if they are able to travel. Schools will be in direct communication with parents of those students still in their care and are prepared to shelter students as necessary this evening.”

Baker said more than 132 accidents were reported on various roads from Salacoa to Woodstock between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The main problem, Baker said, was that there are a lot of people out on roads. The threat of drivers being stranded is a big concern.

“From all we have seen, temperatures are going to continue to fall and it will be treacherous. If people don’t have to leave, we don’t want them to leave,” Baker said.

The winter storm warning will be in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday, with snow accumulating from 1 to 3 inches across the county, the National Weather Service reported at noon Tuesday.

Snow was expected to continue to fall into the night, and visibility could be reduced to half a mile, based on National Weather Service reports.

The National Weather Service said motorists should only travel in the case of emergency, as travel will be dangerous or impossible.

“Keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the report warned.

Temperatures are expected to be in the low 20s and teens throughout the winter storm.

Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan said the department would be posting up-to-the-minute information on road conditions and closures on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

“At this time, our primary concerns are ensuring the safety of all drivers on the roadways while also treating the roads so as to continue to with an adequate response time to priority calls,” Duncan said Tuesday. “We ask that citizens remain patient, drive with caution if they are currently on the roadways, and once home, remain there unless a need to drive arises.”

Duncan said city officials are doing their best to handle the winter weather.

“City of Woodstock Public Safety and Public Works Departments continue to work diligently and are fully staffed and equipped with personnel and resources,” she said.

Baker said the Emergency Operations Center was activated at 9 a.m. Tuesday and was continuing to monitor the situation in Cherokee.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 29, 2014
Any time a Government official says that they are getting ready for the upcoming weather issue .... They lie. And they still can keep their job. Try that in the civilian workplace.

Almost a total failure in Canton even as early as noon on Tuesday. Wish I got paid to stir in the snow traffic.

So, I guess using those people dressed in orange jumpsuits and shovels and a pickup of sand is out of the question?
holy moly
January 29, 2014
I saw that Atlanta's mayor has declared victory in handling the snow in the city. It only took Rep. Michael Caldwell 10 hours to get home from the capitol after the GA House adjourned early No pre-prep of bridges or other historically dangerous areas. Well done City of Atlanta. Seems that both Cherokee and Cobb school districts weren't on the weather channel as both failed to close schools early enough to prevent the fiasco that occurred with children left on stranded buses, left in school houses. or walking several miles to home. I guess that with all the technology available the failed to heed the weather warnings. Both Supts. get a big FAILING GRADE their stupidity makes you wonder if parents and teachers will continue to have any faith in their abilities (if any) to provide safety for our children. MIss handling of snow warnings cost a former Mayor of Chicago her job many years ago. Perhaps these two failed administrators should resign immediately so avoid the wrath of irate citizens at their next school board meetings. What say ye school board members, chances are if you don't take immediate action your seats will not be safe during the next couple of elections. Thank You
Fire All of them
January 29, 2014
Fire the governor. Fire the mayor. Fire the head of DOT. Fire every superintendent who kept schools open even as snow was falling.

Teacher Cherokee
January 29, 2014
Agreed! These people are making too much money to make these kinds of stupid decisions. You are an idiot if you don't think those in charge knew about this weather. In this day and age of technology, this should not have happened. If you are a Dr. P fan, like a few of the brain washed people are in Cherokee county, and your butt is sitting at home warm and fed, don't even make a comment. Most of us are sick of you and your thoughts too. There are still teachers and administrators at schools. If those of you that are still working say this was unavoidable, then feel free to comment. The rest of you can keep your mouths shut.
January 29, 2014
Really!? The news clearly stated WINTER STORM, stay off roads don't send your kids to school. This is the south and they are not well equipped to clear the roads. Quit looking to blame someone and take some personal responsibility for going on the roadways and sending your kids to school.
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