Weather Emergencies
Winter Weather​​​

Georgia DOT employees are proud public servants, ready to assist when needed. During inclement weather, Georgia DOT commits to improving driving conditions on Georgia’s interstates and state routes. Georgia DOT advises motorists to slow down and exercise caution when traveling in wintry conditions. NOTE: Georgia DOT does not clear local roads or roadways leading into subdivisions.​

 

 

Winter Weather Preparedness

Georgia DOT is prepared for potential winter weather across the state. Our response teams monitor and respond to wintry conditions on interstates and state routes. We also partner with local and state agencies to monitor conditions and remove debris from the roadway.​​​

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Stay Connected​

Travelers can use the following resources to receive free travel information.

 

 

Winter Readiness at a Glance

Open to the public airports  
2,126
Employees on call covering 49,455 lane miles
Takeoffs and landings 
50,316
Tons of salt on hand
Funding  
46,052
Tons of gravel on hand
Funding  
407
Snow removal dump truck units (one plow + spreader + dump truck = 1 dump truck unit)​


Stay Safe & Plan Ahead

Safety Tips
  • Beware of black ice (especially on bridges and overpasses) and watch for fallen trees or power lines.
  • Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary or postpone until daylight when road conditions, such as black ice, may be visible.
  • Do not pass a GDOT dump truck spreading salt/gravel; gravel may kick up and could break car windows. Follow at least 100 feet behind these vehicles.
  • Be aware of GDOT work crews who clear snow and ice from interstates and state routes.
  • SLOW DOWN to at least half of the normal speed limit and drive in low gear.
  • Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop.
  • When wet roads freeze, the threat of black ice is possible. (Black ice is a thin, often invisible sheet of ice that forms on the roadway, especially on bridges and overpasses and low lying areas. It can form at any time when temperatures drop below freezing and there is any form of moisture, from sprinklers, run-off or precipitation on the roadway).
  • GDOT Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs) will monitor roadways in metro Atlanta for potential freezing. HEROs will notify the 511 dispatchers and routine maintenance crews will address these issues.
  • Will use the Roadway Weather Information System to help identify potential timeframes for black ice to enhance monitoring of these roadways.
  • Will monitor black ice areas that were problematic during prior winter weather events and address it as soon as it occurs.

Make Sure Your is Home Winter Ready

Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.


Keep Extra Supplies

Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.


Pay Attention to Weather Reports

Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. Also, know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.


Create a Vehicle Emergency Supply Kit

Keep jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks in the car. Keep the gas tank full. Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.



Georgia DOT Preparedness Efforts

Achieve & Maintain “Passable” Road Conditions

Goals and Priorities
  • Make keeping roads safe for emergency vehicles a priority.
  • Focus crews first on interstates; then state routes from the most heavily traveled, to the least traveled.
  • Goal is to maintain all lanes passable unless storm severity dictates otherwise.

Focus on Trouble Spots

  • Pretreat bridges and overpasses prior to snow and ice conditions and monitor consistently.

Key Stakeholder Coordination

  • Share pertinent information with local governments and other state agencies
  • Update the public on road conditions and road closures as needed
Preparation

Teams with different expertise respond to a variety of incidents. GDOT identifies these teams as brine distribution, interstate, special response and traffic strike teams:

Brine

Distribute brine units on impacted highways. (Brine is a mixture of salt and water is used as a preventative treatment and is intended to limit the bonding of the ice to the pavement).


Interstate

Treat and remove snow from interstate roadways using 3-5 tandem dump trucks (trucks with snow plows and material spreaders attached). Up to 18 crews.


Special Response

Respond to “hot spots” outside of treatment areas where interstate teams will focus.


Traffic Strike

Consist of Georgia State Patrol; Motor Carrier Compliance Division; Georgia DOT Highway Emergency Response Operator; Department of Natural Resources; Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Department of Defense personnel.


Equipment

Materials

  • Brine to pretreat Atlanta metro and north Georgia interstates to prevent ice build-up on roadways.
  • 10 tankers dispense brine along metro Atlanta interstates up to 24 hrs before winter weather hits.
  • 31 brine 5,000-gallon tankers available statewide to apply brine treatment to interstates and critical routes.
  • Forest Park facility houses an automated brine production unit and 199,500-gallon storage tank.
  • Districts 1, 2, 3 and 6 have additional brine plants and units.

Equipment

  • Six multi-lane tow plows clear two lanes in one pass, remove snow and ice from interstates and multi-lane state routes. Dispatched around the state as needed.
  • Single and/or double-axle dump trucks with front attached snowplows push snow and ice from roadways.
  • Single and/or double-axle dump trucks with rear attached hopper spreaders or tailgate spreaders distribute salt/gravel mixture and brine to de-ice the roads.
  • Plows and spreaders for approx. 40 F-250 pick-ups, allows multi-use of equipment year round.
  • Tractor-type motor graders for moving snow.

Road Weather Information System (RWIS): Roadway Sensors

  • Roadway sensors in 55 locations across the state improve the ability to predict weather conditions on roads such as ice, temperature, precipitation, and wind.
  • An expanded network of RWIS capabilities will include Georgia airports; and real-time capability to view all surrounding states’ weather conditions (AL, TN, NC, SC, North FL, and MS).

View Roadway Sensors  


511/Navigator

  • Added additional cameras to NaviGAtor Intelligent Transportation System to assist with monitoring and deploying resources.
  • Enhanced GIS equipment tracking to identify locations being treated.
  • A web-based program to monitor incidents.
  • Snow Removal Equipment Operators equipped with communication devices to share real-time conditions with their Area and District Storm Operations Center.

The following equipment, materials and staff are ready in these areas:

 Statewide (approximately)

  • 1,938 employees on-call covering 39,919 lane miles
  • 54,030 tons of salt
  • 65,460 tons of gravel
  • 426 snow removal equipment units (one plow + hopper + truck = one equipment unit)
  • Capacity to store 550,000 gallons of brine
  • 80 F-250 pick-ups with plows and spreaders
  • Capacity to store 30,000 gallons of calcium chloride.
  • GDOT may relocate district resources to the most needed
    areas during an event.

 District 1 Northeast Georgia

  • 247 employees on-call covering 5,667 lane miles
  • 12,450 tons of salt
  • 20,000 tons of gravel
  • One brine production unit
  • 130,000 gallons of brine
  • 15 brine storage units
  • 13 RWIS sensors
  • 130 snow removal dump truck units
  • District has two shifts; 123 employees per shift


 

 District 2 East Central Georgia

  • 274 employees on call covering 7,730 lane miles
  • 3,200 tons of salt
  • 6,400 tons of gravel
  • 57 snow removal dump truck units (Combo Units)
  • 3 plow units only
  • 8 salt spreader units
  • 1 brine production unit and one batch unit.
  • 3 brine storage units
  • 6 RWIS sensors
  • District has two shifts; 137 employees per shift

District 3 West Central Georgia

  • 342 employees on-call covering 3,600 lane miles
  • 4,893 tons of salt
  • 2,902 tons of gravel
  • 3 brine production units and 1 batch unit
  • 9 RWIS sensors
  • 73 snow removal dump truck units
  • District has two shifts; 169 employees per shift

District 4 Southwest Georgia

  • 295 employees on call covering 8,363 lane miles
  • 438 tons of salt
  • 723 tons of gravel
  • 13 snow removal dump truck units
  • 6 brine storage units
  • 3 calcium chloride tanks
  • 1 RWIS sensor
  • District 4 support D7 with 70 additional employees

District 5 Southeast Georgia

  • 264 employees on-call covering 6,882 lane miles
  • 655 tons of salt
  • 3,551 tons of gravel
  • 16 snow removal dump truck units
  • Three RWIS sensors
  • District 5 supports D7 crews with 62 additional employees

District 6 Northwest Georgia

  • 220 employees on call covering 5,117 lane miles
  • 11,436 tons of salt
  • 11,458 tons of gravel
  • 64 snow removal dump truck units
  • 14 F250 equipped with snow plows and spreaders
  • Two brine production units.
  • 26 brine storage units
  • 290,000 gallons of brine
  • 13 RWIS sensors
  • District has two shifts; 112 employees per shift

District 7 Metro Atlanta

  • 281 employees on-call covering approximately 3,000 lane miles
  • 20,000 tons of salt
  • 24,000 tons of gravel
  • 55 snow removal dump truck units
  • Two brine production units
  • 19 brine storage units
  • 11 RWIS sensors
  • District has two shifts; 140 employees per shift

 


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