published Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Updates: Snowstorm on the way to Chattanooga area

LIVE WINTER WEATHER UPDATES:

10:45 p.m. The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority facilities will be closed Wednesday. Locations include the Old Dixie Landfill and Convenience Center, McGaughey Chapel Convenience Center, Westside Convenience Center and the M.L. King Convenience Center.

8:55 p.m. City of Chattanooga employees will have a 10 a.m. delay Wednesday. This excludes essential employees, including road clearing crews, public safety personnel and 311 operators.

7:15 p.m. Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order to close state government Wednesday in the 91 counties under a state of emergency. The order applies to all employees except those involved in the emergency response. Deal has also added Candler and Bulloch counties to the state of emergency list, bringing the total to 91.

6:15 p.m. UTC will be closed Wednesday.

6:14 p.m. North Georgia Health District office and health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties will be closed Wednesday.

6:10 p.m. Hamilton County Commission's Wednesday agenda meeting is canceled.

5:58 p.m. Dayton City Schools and Sequatchie County Schools will be closed Wednesday.

5:23 p.m. Hamilton County General Sessions Courts will be closed Wednesday.

5:16 p.m. We want to see your best snow photos! Send them to us by uploading them to our Facebook page! www.facebook.com/timesfreepress.

4:56 p.m. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says asking for generators was a priority in a request for winter weather assistance to President Barack Obama.

In a statement, Deal said he requested federal assistance Monday night. Officials have predicted that ice accumulations could lead to widespread power outages as freezing rain begins to fall. Deal says the federal declaration also allows state officials to request food, blankets and other necessities.

The federal declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts in the 45 counties where Deal declared a state of emergency on Monday afternoon.

Deal says FEMA is authorized to provide equipment and resources at its discretion, and the federal government is paying for 75 percent of emergency assistance it provides.

4:53 p.m. CURRENT SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR WEDNESDAY:

-- Bradley County Schools

-- Calhoun City Schools

-- Catoosa County Schools

-- Chattooga County Schools

-- Chickamauga City Schools

-- Cleveland City Schools

-- Dade County Schools

-- Dalton City Schools

-- Georgia Northwestern Technical College's campuses

-- Gordon County Schools

-- Hamilton County Schools

-- McMinn County Schools

-- Walker County Schools

-- Whitfield County Schools

4:50 p.m. In anticipation of hazardous road conditions, North Georgia EMC’s Trion district customer lobby and drive thru will be closed to the public on Wednesday, February 12. The hours for the NGEMC business offices in Calhoun, Dalton, and Fort Oglethorpe may be adjusted if necessary. Members are encouraged to be safe and avoid driving to a local office to make a payment. Members may submit payments via the website 24/7. NGEMC will not disconnect power for non-payment through the end of business on Thursday.

As always, NGEMC line crews are on duty, prepared to respond if outages occur. Members may report outages using the mobile outage app or by calling any local NGEMC office. Calls are answered 24/7; however, widespread outages may affect hold times.

4:49 p.m. Phone service for some EPB Fiber Optics business and residential customers is restored after a brief outage this morning.

Hamilton County Emergency Services will activate the Emergency Operations Center at 6 a.m. Wednesday to coordinate emergency responses.

4:48 p.m. Due to potentially treacherous conditions, motorists are asked to stay off roadways Wednesday.

3-5 inches of snow is expected in the Hamilton County area, with higher snow accumulations for mountainous regions.

4:47 p.m. NWS predicts the snowfall to arrive around 6-9 a.m. and end between 10 and midnight.

4:45 p.m. ALERT: The National Weather Service is upgrading the Winter Advisory from a Winter Watch to a Winter Warning.

Your snow photos

Earlier story:

The National Weather Service continues to point to added snowfall in the Chattanooga area over the next day and a half.

The service said there is a winter storm watch pointing to potential significant snow accumulations in the area that includes Hamilton, Bradley, Marion, Sequatchie and west Polk. The period covered by the watch extends until Thursday morning.

For north Georgia, including Walker, Whitfield, Catoosa, Chattooga and Dade counties, the service has out a winter storm warning that continues until 1 p.m. Thursday. A storm warning for snow means "severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring" the service said.

The service explained that the potential for snow is north of a line from Rome to Dawsonville and then to Cleveland.

From tonight through Wednesday night, there is the possibility of an added five to seven inches of snow with isolated amounts of up to nine inches.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville, Ala., calls for a winter storm warning from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. (CST) Thursday with the target area including DeKalb and Jackson counties in Alabama.

The service said that snow will become widespread and heavy at times on Wednesday morning and on occasions may mix with sleet.

"All areas of north Alabama and southern Tennessee are expected to see accumulating snow," the service said, while it will diminish Wednesday night.


Earlier story:

Parts of Georgia and Alabama are covered in snow of up to an inch, and there’s more on the way for Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

Adam Baker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., said light snow is still falling across northern Georgia with an additional 1 to 2 inches expected to fall by this afternoon. By evening, it’ll taper to another half inch.

“Then overnight tonight to Wednesday, you could see additional amounts of 4 inches in Northwest Georgia to upwards of an additional 7 inches in far Northeast Georgia,” Baker said.

Snow also is reported in parts of Northeast Alabama and in Tennessee along the Georgia line.

Jackson County authorities are allowing only one vehicle at a time on Alabama Highway 35 east of Scottsboro, and state Highway 40 is now closed and barricaded.

Southeast Tennessee will likely not see significant snow until Wednesday, said David Hotz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

The very southern parts of Tennessee could get some light accumulations today, he said, but overnight it’ll be pretty dry.

“But the big snow will occur Wednesday and Wednesday night across Southeast Tennessee,” Hotz said. “Snow will move into the Chattanooga area by 6 or 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. It might starts as a mix of snow, sleet and rain but will quicky change over to all snow.”

Chattanooga could see 2-4 inches while 4-6 inches are possible on Signal and Lookout mountains, he said.

The snow should taper off by 1-3 a.m. Thursday. But Friday could bring more snow.

“The crazy thing is we also have another system pulling in here for Friday,” Hotz said.

Up to another inch of snow could arrive late Friday and Friday night.

“After that, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “We do have a warm-up coming up next week.”

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