On a recent walk through Grant Park in Southeast Atlanta, yellow police tape peeks out here and there, and impossibly tall trees lay on their sides, roots up for all the world to see.
In Atlanta, fallen trees have become a regular occurrence.
Alicia Chambers is with the Grant Park Conservancy, a nonprofit that’s devoted to the city’s oldest park. She toured damage after a storm earlier this month.
The first Tropical Storm of the season has formed off the coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to stay well east of Georgia as it passes by on Thursday. Kent Frantz with the National Weather Center says is expected to stay well off Georgia’s coast. The state is on what is called the storm’s “dry side” so there won’t be much of an impact. “We should actually have lesser chances of thunderstorms than we’ve had for several days,” said Frantz. “So we should actually have nicer weather. But it will be a few degrees above normal. We’ll be in the low to mid 90’s for the next couple days as this passes by.”
As the snow and ice started to melt away Thursday, Georgians began venturing back outside. Wesley McConnell owns Thumb’s Up, a Decatur diner that serves breakfast all day. He and several of his employees stayed in a nearby hotel so that he could keep the restaurant open throughout the storm.
The main winter storm has now pushed out of Georgia, leaving a parting gift of two more inches of snow Wednesday night from Macon north. Winter storm warnings will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday because of the chance for more light snow wrapping around the back end of the system.
Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a state of emergency declaration for the entire state of Georgia. In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Deal urged Georgians who have to drive to use extreme caution while on the roads. "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 watch has been issued for most of Georgia from Rome to Gainesville south. Meteorologist George Wetzel with the National Weather Service says wet weather from the Gulf will meet up with arctic air coming down from the north starting Tuesday and running into Wednesday morning. He says an oval running across the state in middle Georgia will see the most snow. “That is going to be north of a line from LaGrange to Macon, to the east of there toward Dublin, and south of the Atlanta metro. So that’s about 3 to 4 inches there.” In southern Georgia, the oval will start as sleet and freezing rain, and the coast will also see sleet and flurries.