BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Dangerous arctic air has moved into Fannin County following the cold front that brought with it Winter Storm Inga.
As the day progressed roads have cleared of the icy conditions that caused treacherous travel situations throughout north Georgia.
Public Works Director Zack Ratcliff updated FetchYourNews about road conditions in Fannin County: “The main roads have cleared up, but there are still some trouble areas on them. Secondary and dirt roads are still really bad.”
“The high today was only 17 degrees, so the secondary roads got very little thaw. A lot of them have shaded areas,” Ratcliff explained.
The concern going into tonight and the early morning hours tomorrow is black ice. “All that has melted and not dried will refreeze. The temperatures will be in the low teens,” Ratcliff stated.
Fannin County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Robert Graham also expressed concern over black ice forming: “More than likely overnight we will have more than a few areas where patches of black ice will form.”
Graham did want to thank the residents of Fannin County for using caution when getting out on the roadways today. “We’ve had a couple of fender benders, but that’s it. We’ve had a lot fewer 911 calls than expected in conditions like this.”
Employees of the Public Works Department will be working late into the evening to help clear roads for emergency vehicles as the need arises.
The State of Emergency declared by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal remains in effect for Thursday, Jan. 18. The State of Emergency was declared for 83 counties, including Fannin County. It states that state government offices will remain closed. This comes on a recommendation from the state Emergency Operations Command.
Deal stated, “Our top priority is to ensure the safety of Georgians and to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to continue doing its job.”
There are currently no shelters open at this time in Fannin County. If you are in need of assistance and it is not a life-threatening emergency, you can call the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 706-632-6022 or 706-632-2043. All life-threatening emergency calls should be placed to 911.
***UPDATED JAN. 17, 10:42 p.m.***
***OPENING LATE JAN. 17***
City of Blue Ridge Government Offices will open at 10 a.m.
Fannin County Government Offices will open at 10 a.m.
Fannin County Health Department will open at noon
***CLOSED JAN. 17***
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (The Art Center)
Fannin County Division of Family and Children Services (DFACS)
Fannin County Magistrate Court
Fannin County Schools (12-month personnel may be asked to report later in the day)
- Blue Ridge Elementary School
- East Fannin Elementary School
- Fannin County High School
- Fannin County Middle School
- West Fannin Elementary School
***LATEST WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY***
Wind Chill Advisory until 10:00AM Thursday
…WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THURSDAY… …WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST THIS MORNING…
* WHAT…Occasional light snow and very cold wind chills expected. Little or no additional accumulations are expected. Expect wind chills to range from 10 above zero to 10 below zero.
* WHERE…Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin, and White Counties
* WHEN…For the Winter Weather Advisory, until 9 AM this morning. For the Wind Chill Advisory, until 10 AM Thursday.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Roads will remain icy and treacherous as temperatures remain below freezing all day. If you must drive, use extreme caution. The cold wind chills may cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frost bite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.
* AFFECTED AREAS: DAWSON … FANNIN … GILMER … LUMPKIN … PICKENS … TOWNS … UNION … WHITE
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BLUE RIDGE, GA- The latest models of Hurricane Irma’s path show that Fannin County could be in for severe weather beginning early Monday morning.
Governor Deal, at a press conference Friday, stated, “Just because the weather appears to be calm now, don’t take that for granted.” After his latest briefing, Deal expanded the state of emergency to include all 159 counties in the state of Georgia.
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City issued a Flash Flood Watch for Fannin County beginning Monday morning and remaining in effect until Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 8:00 A.M.
Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham said that flooding is one of the major threats related to this storm. Recalling when Hurricane Opal hit our area in 1995, Graham said “There was widespread flooding along with power outages due to downed trees.”
The National Weather Service is putting Northern Georgia at a high risk of heavy rain, with rainfall amounts between 3-7 inches.
Graham also said the wind could be an issue. “We will be seeing the Northeast quadrant of the storm. This is the more active side.” Graham has “saw teams”, responsible for the removal of downed trees, on standby to immediately address the safe removal of these trees when conditions are stable enough to reach the problem area.
The National Weather Service currently ranks our area at a moderate risk for isolated tornadoes. Graham acknowledged that there is a higher risk for tornadic activity on the front side of this storm.
Residents of Fannin County welcomed evacuees seeking refuge and are now bracing for Irma’s effects themselves. Grocery stores are reporting that there has been a run on the necessities such as bread and bottled water, but other food items such as canned goods are well instock.
Fannin County Schools and Government have announced closures for Monday, September 11, 2017 in anticipation of severe weather and are watching Irma’s track closely to see if there is a need for further closures or delays.
EMA Director, Graham said that he will have “extra personnel on duty monday evening” and that his team is prepared for the latest severe weather predictions.
Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.
Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m.
Follow this link to read the executive order.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website.
The media won’t be happy until they see a picture of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto presenting President Donald Trump with the BIG check. You know the Publishers Clearing House size check that has written in the memo area “Mexico payment for the wall”.
Congress has to pass a spending appropriations bill before the end of April to prevent a government shutdown. Trump is asking for money to start the famous wall. You know the one, Mexico will pay for.
Attorney General, Jeff Sessions along with Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly stress we need to start construction of the southern border barrier now.
Sessions is determined to shut down America’s worst criminal gang MS-13. Kelly warns that the next major attack will come from terrorist groups like ISIS partnering up with Mexican drug cartels. Both Kelly and Sessions sound the alarm on the enormous amounts of opiates, heroin and cocaine coming across the border. Just recently Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed a State of Emergency to deal with opiate addiction problem.
The media keeps asking how we are going to pay for the wall? We have paid for the wall. We have paid with the blood of our children butchered by illegal alien gangs like MS-13. We have paid with the lives of our children who are dying daily from drug addiction.
Don’t accept your congressman asking how we are going to pay for the wall. Tell them they need to support the President and the wall is already bought and paid for!
January 21, 2016
Ahead of a second winter storm this week, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a new state of emergency for 21 counties beginning Thursday evening and lasting through Sunday, Jan. 24, at midnight. The emergency declaration extends to 21 counties under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. They include Banks, Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield Counties. Deal continues to monitor an additional 24 counties, including those in metro Atlanta, under a winter storm advisory.
“In order to prepare for the second round of storms, I’ve directed state agency heads to encourage employees to telecommute where appropriate,” Deal said. “Capitol Hill agencies and other state government offices will close at 12:00 p.m. on Friday to allow time for roads and bridges to be treated in advance of possible freezing rain and snow. I encourage municipal governments and private businesses in metro Atlanta and other affected areas to follow suit. I will continue to monitor those counties under a winter storm advisory and revise my executive order as needed.”
The National Weather Service has issued the advisory for Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Polk, Rockdale and Walton Counties.
GEMA/HS and Emergency Operations Command will continue coordinating response efforts between the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources.
On Tuesday evening, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 15 counties under a winter storm warning. These counties include Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Chatooga, Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties.
“The winter storm is predicted to cause snow and ice accumulations on roads and bridges in affected areas, and the safety of our residents is my top priority” Deal said. “I’ve directed the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) to coordinate with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources to move assets to area where snow and ice are expected. GEMA/HS will work with local officials, including those school systems, to ensure resources are available as needed.”
Following heavy rains, thunderstorms, and flooding Georgia Governor has declared a State of Emergency in three counties in north Georgia, Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer Counties.
More severe weather is in the forecast for Christmas day. Governor Deal has stated they will continue to monitor the situation. Additional counties may be added.
Heavy rains and thunderstorms created flooding in much of North Georgia on Christmas Eve 2015. FetchYourNews.com talked with Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas who told us he had been dealing with fire and floods today. Early this morning the Fannin County Fire Department responded to a lightning fire on Scenic Mountain Road off of Dial. The lightning hit a gas line which caused a fire in the furnace in the basement. Thomas explained it was a forced entry situation where once inside fire fighters were able to put out the fire with fire extinguishers.
While the firefighters were inside clearing the smoke and ensuring all was safe the water outside was rising. Chief Thomas said by the time they were finished and preparing to leave they realized the water had risen 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep. All of the trucks were large enough to get out except the Chief’s and he will have to wait until the water recedes to remove his vehicle.
Flooding has affected several areas in Fannin and Chief Thomas said there were multiple roads and bridges flooded or washed out. FYN has received the following list from Robert Graham, GaCEM, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency Director
Weeks Creek Rd
Silver Fox Trail
Mountain Rivers Rd
Lowery Rd near Cutcane
Were all closed at last report.
In addition, the bridge on Hwy 5 in McCaysville is closed until the state bridge inspector checks it.
There may be water still standing in other areas as well. Drivers should use caution when traveling tonight and if we get more rain tonight, these areas may flood more/again.
Thomas encourages citizens to please not enter any areas with water and to use the “Turn around, Don’t drown” rule when you cannot tell how deep the water may be. Fannin has been declared a State of Emergency due to the flooding. North Georgia has several areas affected by the flooding on Christmas Eve. See earlier coverage: Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in North Georgia Christmas Eve