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Posted: March 2, 2009 7:11 p.m.

Newton County pummeled with snow Sunday

Drivers warned about wet roads re-freezing

Photo by Jennifer T. Long/

A snowy scene in southwestern Newton County Sunday afternoon.

Around 3,000 Newton County residents remained without power Monday afternoon because of the widespread nature of the power outages from Sunday's winter storm.

Tens of thousands of Snapping Shoals EMC, Georgia Power and Covington Utility members were left without power Sunday night, mainly because of falling tree limbs, spokespeople from the companies said. Most downed lines had been repaired by Monday morning, however, Covington Public Services Director Bill Meecham said that the number of small outages scattered around the city and county made the repair process take longer.

"This has been the worst (snow) incident we've had in a couple of years," he said. "Not in the sheer numbers (of residents affected), but in the sheer number of small incidents."

About 2,000 Covington Utility customers, 1,000 Snapping Shoals customers and four Georgia Power customers in Newton County remained without power Monday afternoon, according to spokespeople. The organizations hoped to have most repairs finished by Monday evening, but Meecham said some repairs for Covington Utilities may be finished tomorrow.

Georgia Power Spokesperson Carol Boatright said the company had less than 27,000 outages remaining statewide, with most of them in the North Metro Atlanta area. Repairs were difficult in many areas and 900 crew employees from south Georgia were called north to help, Boatright said.

"We're still having tress fall over," Boatright said. "We get one (power line) repaired and then another tree falls on it. (When) we see some warm-up with the weather, (we'll be able) to get things more stabilized."

The weather also led to some minor property damage and flooding, Facilities Maintenance Manager Luther Bouchillon said. The Covington Police Department's weight room experienced some minor flooding, and a meter-reader truck behind city hall was hit by a falling tree.

"We survived pretty good for the amount of the snow we got," Bouchillon said.

Weather-related accidents
They were 17 accidents Sunday and Monday morning, city police officials said.

Covington Police Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said several fender-benders occurred because people weren't staying far enough away from the vehicle in front of them. Captain Ken Malcom said there were a lot of single-car accidents as well with drivers sliding off the roads.

Both officers said the roads were looking better, but that some of the secondary roads could still be icy. Tonight's temperature is expected to drop to the mid-20s, so any water on the roads will re-freeze, Wagstaff said. He warned drivers to stay off the roads if possible and pointed out that roads on hills with water running down them would be particularly prone to developing ice.

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