Now that the bulk of the week's snow has come and gone, forecasters say the real struggle for Northwest Georgia will be combating thawing snow, sub-freezing temperatures and high winds.
Late Thursday, the calls began rolling in. Ice already was forming on numerous local roads, and police dispatchers constantly were sending police to work small accidents across the region.
"Our main concern is the second hurdle -- the icy roads," said WTVC NewsChannel 9 Chief Meteorologist David Glenn. "That's going to be a big problem, not just in the higher elevations but in valleys, too."
Late Thursday, traffic moving along Interstate 75 in North Georgia was progressing at a snail's pace. Motorists said traffic on the interstate moved about 25 mph and wrecks dotted the highway along both sides.
There will be no relief from the freezing weather today.
The National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn., reports that, after the snow showers moved through late Thursday evening, another cold front swept into the area. That system will change the wind's direction and usher in another few chilly days.
"There won't be much accumulating snow (today), but it's going to be very cold," said Matt Sena, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga. "All those wet roads that aren't already frozen will start to freeze by morning."
The wind chill value could fall to the single digits, Mr. Glenn said.
There won't be any relief from the cold weather's grip until Sunday afternoon, when temperatures will begin to crawl out of freezing. Monday's forecast, however, calls for temperatures reliably above freezing, Mr. Glenn predicted, with a high of 40 degrees.
Worries about freezing roads overnight Thursday prompted a slew of school closures across the region. More than 20 systems throughout the region were closed, including Hamilton County.
North Georgia school officials nervously eyed weather maps and forecasts all day Thursday as the snowy front skipped through the region a little ahead of schedule.
About 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dade County Schools Superintendent Patty Priest said it was snowing in Trenton as hard as she had expected to see at 5 p.m. or later. Officials in Dade called off Friday classes just before 4 p.m.
Dalton Public Schools officials announced about noon Thursday that classes would be on a normal schedule today, but hedged their bets, saying developments overnight could change those plans.
Most other North Georgia schools delayed decisions on classes today until Thursday evening. Catoosa, Walker and Dade canceled Friday classes about 4:30 p.m.
Catoosa County offices will be closed today because of the weather, County Manager Mike Helton said Thursday. Offices are expected to be open for normal business hours Monday, he said.
The Cherokee Regional Library System in Georgia, including the Chickamauga, Rossville, Dade County and LaFayette-Walker County public libraries, is closed today.
Across Chattanooga, as school-age children were released early, youngsters could be seen rolling the first dustings of snow into snowballs. On Runyan Drive, just off Signal Mountain Road, brothers Todd and Michael Shirley were chopping wood just as the snow began to fall.
"It's easy to stay warm when you're chopping wood," Todd Shirley said, sweat forming under his hat.
Thanks to the snow, UTC student Jo Davidson was ready for a few days in guy heaven. Roads were too slick to travel and classes were canceled. So he loaded up his car with take-out food -- tacos and buffalo wings -- and stocked up on movies at the local Blockbuster.
"We expect not to be able to get out and about," he said.
He planned to meet his guy friends for a marathon of "Ocean's 11," "Ocean's 12" and "Ocean's 13," plus three other movies his friends were renting.
Then there would be video games, he said.
"I love it," he said. "It's the second time I have seen snow."