MILTON, Ga. – For the second time in as many weeks, snow fell in Georgia, coating the streets and closing schools and businesses. In North Fulton, accumulation was little more than a few inches. Further north as much as 10 inches fell, bringing everything to a halt.
Unlike Jan. 28, when businesses and governments were caught off guard by the snowfall and, worse, everyone tried to get home at the same time, creating metro-wide traffic jams that lasted more than 12 hours in some places, the Valentine’s week snow was greeted with caution from everyone – from governments to schools and businesses.
Kids being kids, plenty of snowmen were made and sledding was done. Many pets and young children were introduced to snow for the first time.
The difference between this snowstorm and that of two weeks ago was “night and day,” said Jason Wright, communications director of Milton.
“The thing that helped was everyone had lots of time to prepare; they were able to stay in their homes and stay safe,” Wright said. “We really did not have many accidents.”
Public works crews were on the roads promptly, spreading sand and salt on the streets. With bright sun and higher-than-freezing temps Thursday, the roads were easily passable. There were still spots of ice in shaded areas and on some bridges.
“Considering the amount of ice and snow we had region-wide, I’m surprised how relatively quiet it was,” Wright said.
There were a handful of car accidents, where drivers had run off the road, and ice downed some trees. There were no widespread power outages.
The story was similar across North Fulton.
“We were prepared for worse,” said Alpharetta Deputy Administrator James Drinkard. “That’s always what you want.”
In anticipation of the storm, Alpharetta opened its fire stations as emergency shelters in case of power outages, and the salt trucks began early in the storm.
However, people stayed home, leading to few issues, especially with abandoned vehicles left in the roadways, which hampered road clearing efforts.
“Plans for treating the roadways were the same basic plans for treatment as two weeks ago,” Drinkard said. “This time, we could get on the roads to do it. That was the biggest difference.”
Things were so quiet that no one took advantage of the shelters. Drinkard said there was a rumor one person had, but as of Friday, the city could not confirm this.