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This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. EST shows a prominent area of clouds off the Eastern Seaboard as a powerful winter storm centered off the southeastern New England region pulls away. Clouds are streaming across the Upper and Mid Mississippi Valleys with some scattered snow as a storm system moves across the Northern Plains.

Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in 15 northern counties, including Catoosa, Dade, Walker and Whitfield.

Deal said in a news release the move opens up state resources for disaster preparedness in areas expecting ice, though he noted the forecasts were still evolving Sunday night.

"I am issuing this order out of an abundance of caution, so the state can make all preparations necessary to quickly and efficiently address any potential winter weather problems," said Deal. "We will monitor the weather throughout the night and allocate state resources as needed should ice formation creep further south into the metro area."

State agencies in those counties will be closed except for essential and emergency personnel.

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