>> > >
This wreck at Hill City and another in Talking Rock are being blamed on black ice. Drivers urged to stay off roads, show caution.
Two wrecks have already been reported due to icy conditions this evening, both within an hour of each other after 9 p.m. Thursday.
The first at Highway 515 and Antioch Church Road and the second near Hill City Elementary on Highway 53 West.
Reports from the Pickens sheriff office said there was already a sheet of ice formed at the fourlane wreck site.
No serious injuries were reported at either. Both wrecks were single car accidents. The one at Hill City was a roll-over.
Sheriff Donnie Craig cautions drivers to stay off roadways this evening and show extreme caution through tomorrow morning.
Here are some driving safety tips for winter weather, but for this evening the best bet is to stay off the roads until they have a chance to thaw tomorrow moring.
Driving tips for a Snowpocalypse
The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all but if you must these tips may save your life.
>> > > >
Note: Cove Road is closed at the S- Curves
Commissioner Rob Jones reported late Wed. evening that the "historic" winter storm called for by weatherman around the country had not been too bad for road or emergency crews. “The public has really helped us by staying off the roads,” he said.
Jones said the fire departments had handled a number of downed trees across power lines and roads and power crews had restored service in several locations – all relatively quickly.
“Both Georgia Power and Amicalola EMC have done a great job getting power back on,” he said. He said it seemed like there were power outages somewhere all day, but most were restored fairly quickly.
However, Jones said he predicts overnight and tomorrow morning could see the worst road conditions as all the slush, snow and sleet out there now will likely freeze solid.
Road crews have worked around the clock. Scrapping the slush off as much as possible and salting and sanding. “But it’s coming back in tonight and we can’t do much as the temperatures drop,” he said.
Cove Road, the usual trouble spot at the S Curves, is closed for the night and will be re-evaluated tomorrow morning. Jones said there had been several cars off the road there but all have been moved.
He noted the county is operating an emergency shelter but it had not been used as of 9 p.m. He said it is primarily for anyone who has medical conditions, such as needing oxygen, and whose power goes out overnight. If someone needs to reach the shelter they should call 911.
Updated 5 p.m. -- About 300 still without power.
Updated -- As of about 2 p.m. today, 674 Amicalola EMC customers in 25 different areas of Pickens County were without power, according to Amicalola EMC Director of Public Relations Stacey Fields.
There was no estimate of when power to all customes would be restored, but Fields said the number of outages had decreased in the last hour.
“Trees already heavy with ice, weighted down by more snow this morning [caused the lines to go down,” Fields stated. “Outages rose steadily after 3:30 a.m until about 1 p.m. today. As we restore some areas, other areas go out.”
You can see information on outages at the Amicalola EMC webite.>
> > > >>>
>> > > >
Photo of coyote track from Mike Cain.
While the weather today is not ideal for much, a solid snow offers a unique chance to see if you have coyotes near your house.
Mike Cain, of Cain’s Wildlife Removal, was able to use the last snow here to gauge the number of coyotes near the Joy House for a removal job he has underway there (see last week’s e-edition). He estimated four based on tracks.
While even professional trackers acknowledge that telling dog tracks from coyote is difficult, Cain offers some tips to get started.
• A coyote track is more oblong or egg-shaped than a dog’s.
• Coyote tracks are more compact than a dog track.
• For coyotes, their hind foot pad is generally smaller than the front.
• Finally it is not uncommon to see a coyote track where the claws are less prominent than a dog’s where the claws are more visible in the snow or mud. Dogs also tend to have blunter nails than the coyote.