Georgia Department of Transportation crews have been out in full force to treat icy roadways. Above, a truck makes its way east on Highway 53 in the Hill City area this morning around 8:30 a.m.
The county is urging anyone who does not need to be out to stay home, citing hazardous road conditions, especially on side and secondary roads.
Pickens County Deputy EMA Director Rodney Buckingham said county crews are out spreading rock and salt, focusing on highly traveled roads like Steve Tate Highway, Yellow Creek Road and Talking Rock Highway. After these main arteries are cleared they will branch out onto secondary roads.
“The roads are in bad shape,” Buckingham said, “but we haven’t had a lot of calls coming in, other than a few people off Hwy. 136 in the Burnt Mountain area and Hwy. 108 asking how conditions are and if they can get out, which we’re not recommending. People are staying off the roads and that helps us out a lot.”
Buckingham said with temperatures not expected to reach more than a degree or two above freezing today, there won’t be much opportunity for conditions to improve until tomorrow when the high will be in the mid 40s.
“It’s not looking like it will melt today, and what does melt it’s just going to drop tonight and likely create black ice conditions,” he said.
As of around 8 a.m., Georgia Department of Transportation Area Engineer Sam Wheeler reported that with the exception of Highway 136 from Talking Rock to the top of Burnt Mountain, state routes are passable.
“The side roads are rough,” Wheeler said. “If you don’t have a four-wheel drive it’s not a good idea to be out.”
GDOT crews will continue to work on Burnt Mountain throughout the day to mitigate icy road conditions.