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Wednesday July 8th, 2015 12:29AM

Winter storm prompts emergency declaration in Ga.

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will declare a state of emergency as a winter storm coats the region with snow and ice.

Deal's spokesman, Brian Robinson, said Tuesday that the declaration covers all 159 counties in the state and will help free up resources that are needed to address emergency situations as they arise.

"Many parts of our state have experienced heavy sleet and snowfall, and in the metro areas we're experiencing traffic jams caused primarily by heavy volume after the quick onset of the winter storm," Deal said late Tuesday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, traffic is delaying the ability of crews to treat highways all across the state. I know many people are trying desperately to pick up their children or simply to get home, and I hope they can get to safe, warm stopping point soon. Once at your destination, if at all possible, please stay off the roads until conditions improve. State DOT crews will work around the clock to get roads clear; in addition, the National Guard, the Department of Public Safety and GEMA will work to get the state back to normal as quickly as possible."

A winter storm coated the metro Atlanta region and other parts of Geoergia with snow Tuesday afternoon. State transportation officials said a mass of commuters leaving downtown Atlanta at once created traffic jams on interstates and surface streets. Officials have said the traffic jams complicated efforts to remove snow and ice from area roads.

Robinson says state government offices will remain closed until noon Wednesday. Many school districts, county and municipal offices have also announced that they'd be closed Wednesday.
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