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County officials warn of ice storm dangers
Conyers Police set up cots, distributed by Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, and prepare to stay the night in order to respond to the ice storm - photo by Submitted Photo

STORM UPDATES (Feb. 10-13)

Rockdale County emergency and public safety officials reported on the impending snow and ice storm and what residents can expect.

Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Morgan warned at Tuesday's county commission meeting of "major icing," from Interstate 285 through Interstate 20, all the way to South Carolina.

The expectation is more than half an inch of ice on the roads. At just a quarter of an inch, trees and power lines typically come down, Morgan noted.

"So it's going to be a major event for us," Morgan said. "Anything you have to do, it needs to be done before dark tonight," Morgan warned.

Rockdale County Sheriff's Office chief deputy Scott Freeman echoed the urging for the public to stay off the roads.
"Traffic conditions will be perilous," Freeman said.

He added, "if there is an emergency situation, let emergency responders come to you rather than you trying to go to the hospital."

Given the potential of fallen power lines, Freeman also "highly cautioned," the public to stay away from the power lines. Freeman said motorists should not chance driving over power lines because vehicles' wheels may not protect motorists if the power line is charged.

"That's a very big concern for us," Freeman said.

Children and teens tend to go outside during snow storms. But Freeman especially suggested parents give their children "the extreme stern warning," to stay away from down power lines.

"Because we do not want a death as the result of electrocution," he said.

Freeman said RCSO is "very well prepared," for the storm and assured that the logistics and support are in place to staff public safety. In addition, public safety will assist Rockdale Medical Center and assist in getting RMC staff to work at the hospital.

Residents are encouraged to follow what will be continuous updates from the RCSO Facebook and Twitter social media feeds.

Morgan added that emergency and public safety workers have seen residents bypassing barricades that have been put up to prevent the public from entering.

"Please do not go around barricades," Morgan said. "Either we're down there working and you're going to hit us or you're going to hurt yourself."

Morgan is also the county's emergency management agency director said EMA had a three-hour meeting yesterday and assured his team is prepared.

"We've got everything from sand and salt to cots," Morgan said.