Another winter storm is coming and this time around ice is expected to be more abundant, causing even worse road issues than two weeks ago and adding the increased chance of power outages, officials said Monday as they prepared for the worst.
The first front will hit Tuesday morning with possible of some rain and sleet, but the second front coming Wednesday morning is the one officials are worried about.
“DO NOT TRAVEL unless absolutely necessary,” was the main point of advice on the bulletin put out Monday by Newton County’s public safety and emergency officials.
County Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien said most businesses and organizations will likely be closed Wednesday and potentially even Thursday if the weather gets bad and he said residents are urged to stay home and off the roads.
Kevin Johnson, director of Newton Medical Center’s EMS, said any accident on the roads will tie up emergency resources and put more people in danger; in addition, accidents without severe injuries may see delayed response.
Jody Nolan, deputy director for Newton County’s Emergency Management Agency, said residents who are oxygen dependent need to make sure they have enough bottled oxygen to survive in case the power goes out.
He also advised residents to get medications, food, water and any other supplies they might need Tuesday before the roads get bad.
Officials also asked residents to check on their neighbors and work together.
All calls for road closures and power outages should be reported to 911 or the utility responsible for power.
Unlike this the last time, the county will have emergency public shelters available if needed, including all Newton County elementary schools, said Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown.
Residents should go to CovNews.com, check The News’ Facebook pages, as well as those of the Covington-Newton County 911 Center and public safety agencies for updates.
Editor Bryan Fazio, News Editor Gabriel Khouli and reporter Danielle Everson contributed to this story.