The sunshine returned Thursday morning and the extra Jackson Electric power crews hit the road, looking to help other areas with greater problems.
Like most of north Georgia, the Madison County landscape was blanketed with white icing over the past three days. But the forecasted “Snowpocalypse of 2014” didn’t yield the number of emergency calls officials had feared as the winter weather rolled in.
Still, as of Thursday at lunch, the area remained covered with snow and roads remained icy.
“If you can stay off the roads, please do,” said Madison County 9-1-1 director David Camp.
Camp said most people had taken the “stay-off-the-road” warnings to heart. As of Thursday morning, the 9-1-1 office had only received a few reports of motorists sliding off roadways. The worst accident occurred on Hwy. 72 near Tiny Town, where a car flipped over and a woman was taken to an Athens hospital after suffering abrasions.
Camp said a person called Thursday morning to report a tree fallen on a neigbhor’s house on Hwy. 174. While the tree had fallen, it missed the house.
“We’ve had the normal number of medical calls over the last 24 hours,” said Camp, who reported 13 such calls between Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Camp said a diabetic woman in Elberton didn’t have her insulin. The Elbert County ambulance service transported her to the county line, where Madison County’s EMS received her and took her home — but not back to Elbert County.
Camp said his office has not received any reports of power outages.
Unlike the massive snowstorm of several years ago, that left thousands without power for days, Madison County citizens avoided such troubles this week.
Jackson EMC announced Thursday morning that it was releasing extra crews that spent the past couple of days on hand to help in case of major outages.
“Based on the National Weather Service forecast that the cooperative’s service area is no longer under the threat of freezing rain, and the low number of outages experienced during this week’s winter storm, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is releasing the contractor crews brought in to assist with power restoration so that they can assist other electric cooperative south and east of Atlanta that have been hard hit by the storm,” said JEMC officials.
JEMC leaders said that as of 8 a.m. Thursday, there were approximately 124,000 customers without power as a result of snow and sleet blanketing much of north and central Georgia.
“More than 220 additional crews from unaffected areas in Georgia and from at least seven other states are helping EMCs restore power,” officials said.
Madison County schools and county offices were close Thursday. County students were already scheduled to have “winter break” Friday and Monday. That break remains in effect and students won’t return to class until Tuesday.
That means local children are getting plenty of time to play in the white stuff.
Camp said his office has gotten some reports of snow play going too far, such as someone doing donuts in the snow in the Ingles parking lot and another call of a truck pulling kids on a sled.
While the sunshine has already started melting some of the snow off trees, the precipitation could refreeze overnight, Camp noted, causing potential traffic problems Friday morning for citizens returning to work after the winter standstill.
— The Madison County Journal has a gallery of winter photos on our Facebook page. If you have photos to submit, email them to email@example.com
Madison County’s Phillip Griffeth enjoys making a snow angel. For a gallery of Madison County snow photos, visit The Madison County Journal Facebook page. Photo by April Griffeth
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