The Covington News will continue to update residents throughout the day as Newton County recovers from Snow Storm 2014. Please visit throughout the day to find out more on closures, weather, traffic and any possible emergencies.
Here's a list of local organizations and businesses that are closed today:
- Newton County Schools
- Newton County Library System - will resume normal business hours Friday
- Newton County Health Dept.
Most restaurants and businesses are open this morning.
Update 5:28 p.m. - Even local industries were shut down today, though General Mills Plant Manager Mark Bible said he epxect operation to resume tomorrow as temperatures are expected to get back above freezing during a sunny day.
4:20 p.m. - The Newton County Health Department will be closed again Thursday.
3:26 p.m. - Newton County offices will open at 10 a.m. Thursday.
"It appears most of our roads are in good shape," Newton County Chairman Keith Ellis said. "We're still working on some icy places, and we have a list we are working on throughout the night and into the early mornings, but all of our main arteries are clear."
Ellis added that Sheriff Ezell Brown offered if any county employees were unable to reach work and needed or wanted to, they could call the sheriff's department and a deputy would assist them.
2:45 p.m. - The city of Oxford will be closing around 3 p.m., due to lack of business related to the weather.
Oxford Police Chief David Harvey reported there were no incidents Tuesday and Wednesday, and the roards were mostly drivable.
"Our utilities guys stayed on top of it," Harvey said.
Social Circle also didn't have any problems, after receiving roughly two inches of snow.
"Highway 11 is passable through town and Hightower Trail is passable," Social Circle Mayor Hal Dally said. "Crews are working the sidewalks now."
2:04 p.m. - Newton County Schools will be closed Thursday. Employees should not report.
1:17 p.m. - Capt. Ken Malcom with the Covington Police Department said U.S. Highway 278, Ga. Highway 36 and Ga. Highway 142 are passable in the city limits, but there are patches of ice still on the roadway that may cause an accident if not passed correctly. He said secondary streets in the city limits have ice on them as well, and some parking lots, which he said haven’t had any foot traffic or vehicles on them.
“We have been fortunate that most of our residents heeded the warnings,” Malcom said.
He said that city road crews have been treating the roadways around the clock and that the department is continuing to treat roadways, getting salt onto icy areas.
Malcom said some business and restaurants are closed or may have delays in opening. He urged the public to consider staying off the roads unless it’s an emergency.
He said there aren’t many reports of people being stranded in the area, but said some law enforcement officials had delays in reporting to work. He said the police department is providing additional resources because of the weather.
For the most part, Malcom said there is little activity on the roadways as there are a number of hazardous locations. In addition, he said criminal call volume has been lower as well.
Newton County Sherriff's Office - Investigator Jeff Alexander said the only roads that were officially closed in Newton County were Ga. Highway 162 at Lovers Lane Road and parts of Ga. Highway 81 North. He said these roads may well be open again by now.
12:57 p.m.- The Newton Medical Center has cancelled its Code Silver drill, originally slated for Thursday.
Due to the stress placed on local police departments, the drill will be moved to early February.
12:40 p.m. - Most of the main roads in Covington are clear of snow and ice, according to employees and other who have been out on the roads. Some of the side roads are still hazardous.
Alcovy-Jersey Road, north of the Newton County Sheriff's Office, still has some bad spots.
Interstate 20 is also clear bewteen Newton and Rockdale counties.
Post any road status (good and bad) on our Facebook page or email info to email@example.com.
10:02 a.m.: The City of Covington is open today, but will discuss a more than likely closure at 3 p.m., according to Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon.
Bouchillon, who drove into work Wednesday morning said he noticed 278, Hwy 142, Floyd Street and the main arterries into downtown are accesible - at a slow speed.
Covington had public works employees working throughout the night and put down nine loads of sand in the spreader truck, that was purchased after the ice storm of 2011.
Garbage pickup will be effected due to closures at the landfill. Covington garbage trucks have no where to dispose of the refuse, and will not be able to pick up at residences and businesses Wednesday.
9:42 a.m.: Reports from Newton County Chairman Keith Ellis are that there were no serious injuries from the ice and snow throughout Tuesday night. There was one fire at about 3 a.m. Also a couple of fire trucks got stuck throughout the night, and public works were able to get them out.
9:34 am.: County roads continue to be worked on
Newton County has been diligently working to make the county roads safe and accessible.
According to Chairman Keith Ellis, roads were treated Tuesday and Tuesday evening but will need another treatment today.
Crews worked a 12-hour shift last night, beginning at 7:30 and made the first round with salt, chemicals and calcium on the 750 miles of county roads within Newton. A replenishment of chemicals is needed before progressing throughout the day, and the public works will head to BioLab in Conyers - who are closed for regular business today – for a refill.
Along with the roads, many of the parking lots throughout the county are iced over, causing dangerous situations if you do arrive to a business safely.
“If people get out, a lot of the businesses are not even going to be open,” Ellis said.
The county offices are closed Wednesday, and Ellis said their parking lots will be targeted with salt next to “see if we can open offices tomorrow, depending on how things go and how well we fair today.
9 a.m.: Porterdale has announced its closure for Wednesday, joining others such as Newton County and the Newton County School System.
According to Covington-Newotn County 911: most roads are still iced ove. The only road completely shut down is Lovers Lane Rd between Hwy 162 and Hwy 815. Drivers are encouraged to stay home.
The winter storm warning has been extended to 1 p.m. Wednesday in Newton County.
Delivery of The Covington News has been delayed throughout the county due to icy roads. We are hoping to resume delivery after noon., conditions permitting.
Roads: The following roads are closed due to icing, according to Conyers Police - Parker Rd. Bridge, Sigman Rd. from Milstead Ave. to Ga. Hwy 138, the intersection of Rockdbridge Rd. and Salem Rd., and Salem Rd. to the Rockdale-Newton county line. Drivers are advised to stay off the roads if possible.