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ROUND 2: DeKalb grapples with ice storm
by LaTria Garnigan
February 18, 2014 10:59 AM | 1706 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AP Photo/Ron Harris / John Staton shovels snow to build a snow man in the middle of the street in front of his home last week in Decatur.
AP Photo/Ron Harris / John Staton shovels snow to build a snow man in the middle of the street in front of his home last week in Decatur.
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For many DeKalb residents, the phrase “under the weather” has taken on a new meaning in light of two snow storms that hit the area.

Winter Storm Pax came through last Tuesday and kept most of the area home from work and school the rest of the week.

The DeKalb County School District was closed Wednesday through Friday and City Schools of Decatur were closed Wednesday and Thursday, with a two-hour delay Friday.

Also, local city hall administrative offices as well as the county’s administrative offices were closed through Thursday.

Unlike with Winter Storm Leon, local municipalities and the county were ahead of the game with last week’s storm and were able to treat roads easily due to the fact that most everyone was able to stay home.

DeKalb County Schools
In a statement sent Friday, DeKalb County Schools said they continued to follow their inclement weather protocol in closing schools.

After consultation with the National Weather Service, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the governor’s office, other metro school districts and an assessment of district facilities and equipment, school officials decided to close schools and continue to monitor the weather situation.

The statement added the school district is assessing the impact of the storm on facilities.

The district is also continuing its strategic planning work for addressing academic achievement in preparation for the upcoming CRCT and EOCT tests.

Decatur
While many areas saw downed trees and power outages, the city of Decatur was spared, according to city officials.

Staff with the city of Decatur spread 14 tons of sand/salt mixture on the city’s roadways and the Georgia Department of Transportation supplied the material that was spread on state routes by the city’s public works staff.

According to city officials, Decatur’s response to both storms was excellent.

The city’s emergency management plan was successfully implemented for each storm.

Brookhaven
Brookhaven officials estimated about 500 residents were without power during the peak of last week’s snow storm.

While there were downed trees in the roadways, those were removed by Georgia Power crews, who were also attending to the downed power lines.

Any trees that fell on residential property are the responsibility of the property owners, at no cost to the city.

While city officials provided no amount of the sand/salt mixture spread on roadways last week, they said it was less than what was used for Winter Storm Leon.

Crews were able to plow much of the accumulated snow and ice and use the mix material sparingly.

“I am very pleased with the city’s response actions during both storms,” said Mayor J. Max Davis.

“City staff remained in a constant state of readiness working around the clock to clear roads, update residents and ensure that the city was safe. Brookhaven citizens made the biggest difference in the city’s response actions this time around. As requested by state and local leadership, Brookhaven residents stayed off the streets enabling crews to pretreat and clear accumulated snow and ice from roads much faster.”

Dunwoody
There were an estimated six to eight downed trees in the rights-of-way and roadways in Dunwoody, in which the city is responsible. The overall weather-related clean-up costs are about $2,500.

Residents were referred to contact a tree specialist and their insurance companies for any trees that fell on their property. With this storm, city officials said traffic and weather conditions allowed them to use plows more than the sand/salt mixture to clear roads. They did use about 400 tons of the mixture for this storm.

“The city was highly responsive to both winter weather events but the two storms were very different,” said city spokesman Bob Mullen.

“During the first storm several weeks ago, within 45 minutes of the first sign of snow, there was a colossal volume of traffic in Dunwoody with no place to go. The city was similarly well prepared and responsive to last week’s winter weather event but because the roads were clear and free of gridlock, city crews were able to mobilize salt/sand spreaders and snow plows out on the major roads efficiently.”
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