Officials: Severe winter weather to hit Cherokee
by Michelle Babcock and Rebecca Johnston
January 04, 2014 11:30 PM | 2426 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch that includes Cherokee County for Sunday evening through noon Monday.

Main threats include 1 to 3 inches of snow, black ice and strong winds with gusts to 40 miles per hour possible, according to the Weather Service.

Robby Westbrook, director of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office’s Division of Emergency Management, said the county is gearing up for the weather.

A meeting will be at the Emergency Operations Center today at 1 p.m. to coordinate all agencies in the county, he said.

Westbrook said the new cold front moving toward the county is expected to bring single-digit temperatures Monday and Tuesday, just days after nearly 2,000 Cherokee residents lost power Thursday when high winds passed through the area.

Westbrook said now is the time for residents to prepare their homes for “the Arctic outbreak.”

“It would be a good time to check on family and friends that might be vulnerable to long periods of below freezing tem-peratures,” Westbrook added.

The cold front is forecast to bring “very cold conditions to Cherokee County Sunday night,” Westbrook said.

“Rain is forecast to change to snow late Sunday with some accumulation possible,” he said. “Temperatures will be falling to the single digits Monday night to Tuesday morning with below zero wind chills. Any snow or leftover water will freeze on roadways Monday morning.”

Westbrook said “we could see more than 60 straight hours” of below freezing temperatures from Monday to Wednesday.

High winds on Thursday left almost 2,000 Cherokee residents without power, Westbrook said.

“The total power outages were just under 2,000 with the two largest outages being in the Ball Ground area and in Free Home,” he said. “Other outages were scattered across the county. High winds seemed to be the biggest issues Thursday night with several trees being blown down.”

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