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GDOT: Think Safety in High Winds, Strong Gusts

Georgia Department of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions and forecasts as extremely high winds are predicted for Forsyth and other counties.

Georgia Department of Transportation is urging drivers in north Georgia to think safety as Hurricane Sandy brings near freezing temperatures and strong, gusty winds to Cumming and the area.

A wind advisory for Forsyth and other counties, effective through 8 p.m. Tuesday, warns of 20 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph.

“We are continuously monitoring current weather conditions and forecasts as snow flurries and extremely high winds are predicted for Northeast Georgia," said Bayne Smith, Northeast Georgia District Engineer. "Snow, black ice, fallen trees and damaged traffic signals are possible through tomorrow morning. Before you head out on the roads tomorrow please check the weather and road conditions, especially if you live or travel to mountainous areas.” 

Possible trouble locations:

  • Bridges as black ice forms there first and can reform quickly
  • Highest elevations or gaps in nearby Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin, Rabun, Towns, Union, and White counties
  • Fallen trees, root systems are weak because of the drought and high winds are expected so trees across the roadway
  • Traffic signals not operating because of power outages
  • High profile vehicles will be difficult to control in high winds

  “Winds gusts up to 50 miles per hour are possible and weather reports call for slight accumulations of snow in the higher elevations of the Mountains," said Smith.

"So we encourage all motorists to stay off the roadways if possible. If you must be on the roads, please exercise extreme caution particularly at higher elevations and as you approach bridges. If you approach a traffic signal that is dark with no color lit at all then treat the intersection as a four way stop by waiting your turn to move. If the signal flashes yellow then cautiously proceed through the intersection. If the signal flashes red then stop and wait for a safe time to proceed knowing the other roadway has the right of way."

GDOT is set to monitor conditions overnight and respond as needed, if needed overnight based on information from local law enforcement agencies and the National Weather Service.

Georgia DOT urges travelers to exercise caution and call 511 for updated information on roadway conditions before getting on the road during a winter weather event. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including winter weather closures, reports of icing or other hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.  

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