Jess Powers, Russell County Emergency and Hazardous Materials Coordinator, sent the following the press release about the winter weather heading into the area.
"The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Major Winter Weather Warning for Russell County and all the forecast area for significant heavy wet snow accumulations of 7 to 10 inches starting Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. and tapering off Thursday by noon depending on location, temperature, and elevation.
Another weak snow event is predicted for late Friday with 1 to 3 inches more of accumulating snowfall. Lows in the 20s and highs in the mid 30s. Snow accumulations will be greater in the eastern part of the County from north of Hansonville, east of HWY 19, and the Honaker/Swords Creek/Bellfast/Rosedale areas.
Forecast model confidence is high at this time. Snowfall will be heavy at times up to 1 inch per hour. Visibility will be less than 1/4 mile at times. The weather event will begin with rain, turning to sleet, but rapidly turning into snow on Wednesday afternoon. Northern Georgia has reported 5 inches of snowfall as of 10:00 a.m. this morning.
Please be aware of the following warnings for late Wednesday's commute home and Thursday's/Friday's commute:
• Roads may be become slick late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday lunch time and then again on Friday night.
• Possible school issues late Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday morning due to overnight re-freezing on Thursday.
• Heavy, wet, and deep snow accumulations are forecasted.
• Power Outages may be caused by due to ice and heavy wet snow accumulations freezing on trees/power lines.
• North and Eastern parts of Russell County will receive the greater amounts of ice and snowfall amounts causing travel problems in higher elevations.
• Low driving visibility is expected during the storm event.
• Keep emergency kits including extra blankets in all vehicles. Limit or delay travel plans, if you can.
• The Russell County Emergency Operations Center will open at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
• If needed, a temporary shelter is planned for the Russell County Sheriff's Central Dispatch Office in the event of stranded motorists or residents without power.