School delays, closings
Hamilton schools are closed
Athens City Schools will be closed Thursday
Chickamauga City Schools are closed
Catoosa County Schools will be on a 2 hour delay
Chattanooga Christian School will open with a 2 hour delay
The Greater Collegedale School System will be closed
Dade County Schools will open with a 2 hour delay
Dalton City Schools close at noon.
Marion County Schools will open with a 2 hour delay
McMinn County Schools closed
All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will close at 2 p.m.
Meigs County Schools closed
Notre Dame will start at 10 a.m.
Polk County Schools will open with a 2 hour delay
Rhea County Schools closed
Sweetwater City Schools will open with a 2 hour delay
Signal Mountain Christian School will open with a 1 hour delay
Walker County Schools will open with a 2 hour delay
Whitfield County Schools will be closed
Other closings, delays
The TEA Road Tour & Community Conversation scheduled for Thursday, March 5 is cancelled. Rescheduling plans are being made.
Bledsoe County: Sleet is falling with some ice accumulation on roads. Crews are salting.
Grundy County: Light snow/flurries are keeping routes wet with light snow. Crews are salting and plowing.
Franklin County: Some patches of snow and ice remain on roads. Crews are salting and plowing.
Rhea County: There are patches of snow and ice on roads. Crews are salting.
Due to icy conditions, both the W Road and Roberts Mill Road have been closed.
Courthouse offices in DeKalb County, Ala., and Jackson County, Ala., are closed due to icy conditions.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports icy patches on Alabama Highway 79 and County Road 146.
The McMinn Central girls state basketball tourney game scheduled for today has been postponed because of inclement weather. Reset for tomorrow.
What a difference a day makes.
Just yesterday, people walked around downtown in short sleeves in balmy, albeit overcast weather that reached 73 degrees. With a winter storm watch in effect from 1 a.m. today until 4 p.m., today is a different story.
A cold front moved in to the region last night behind rain that the National Weather Service said would "plunge surface temperatures," leading to freezing rain that is likely to change into sleet and snow over the course of this morning and afternoon. Though accumulations are expected to be low, National Weather Service meteorologist Jessica Winton said that driving conditions could become hazardous.
"The temperature is likely to reach freezing by noon, with a quick shot of freezing rain followed by snow flurries into the afternoon," Winton said.
This latest event is part of a winter that, despite not being historically bad, has kept officials like Chattanooga Department of Public Works Administrator Lee Norris busy.
Between the two major weather events that occurred Feb. 15-23 and Feb. 24-March 2, Norris said the Chattanooga Department of Public Works salted and sanded a total of 5,835 miles of road, brined 8,354 miles and plowed 1,374 miles.
Norris said the city has spent just over $180,000, not counting labor, but that's far lower than the $600,000 spent last year.
"Last year, we had five events, some minor, some not so minor," Norris said. "One event alone cost $290,000."
Hamilton County spokesman Mike Dunne said the county only calculates salt and sand usage at the end of the season, but he said the county was well aware of what it has in its stores.
"We had 600 tons [of salt and sand] available since the last storm," Dunne said. "We have an ample amount of supplies for any winter weather event in the coming weeks."
Dunne said the county would not brine roads ahead of today's weather event, but crews will be on standby. Norris said he would monitor the rain and snow through early this morning, and probably salt and sand in the early morning before people are on the roads.
Jennifer Flynn, the Region 2 spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, has had a different experience this winter. She said the region has used up almost all of its $3.9 million snow and ice budget, spending almost $2.3 million on salt alone. Flynn said that's because many of the 24 counties in Region 2 have been hard hit this winter.
"Our region covers the Sequatchie Valley, Monteagle, as far as Manchester and the Cumberland Plateau, which got hit especially hard with a massive ice storm Feb. 21," Flynn said. "It knocked down trees and snapped power poles in two. There was a lot of debris removal needed up there."
Flynn said the state might receive federal assistance for the storm that led Gov. Bill Haslam to declare a Level III state of emergency, but she said winter's almost blown itself out for the year.
"We're almost to budget-busting time, but we've gone over in the past and increased our budget over the last few years," Flynn said. "If that happens, we'll just have to borrow money from our general maintenance fund."
Contact Will Healey at email@example.com or 423-757-6731.