January 6, 2014

Area closings, delays, road conditions (Updated 12:30 p.m.)

Dalton, Whitfield, Murray schools closed for students on Tuesday

— • Dalton Public Schools has rescheduled its professional learning day to Tuesday for all district staff. Students will not return to school from winter break until Wednesday. Scheduled after-school extracurricular activities for students will be held as planned.

“Professional learning for our staff is a high priority and we want to honor the limited time we had planned into our school calendar for our teachers and staff to participate in their scheduled staff development,” said Jim Hawkins, superintendent. “We believe moving the professional learning day to Tuesday, Jan. 7, gives our teachers and staff their much needed time for development and keeps our students, many of whom walk to school each day, out of these unprecedented extreme weather conditions. “

School will resume for students and staff on a regular schedule on Wednesday. Because a snow make-up day was scheduled into the 2013-2014 school calendar, students and staff will attend school on Friday, March 14.

Whitfield County Schools will be closed for students on Tuesday due to the weather. Staff members will report at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for a professional learning day.

Murray County schools are closed today and Tuesday because of the expected bad weather. There will be no evening activities. Students were scheduled to report back to school today following winter break.

• The main campus of Dalton State College opened at noon today. The Gilmer Center is closed today and will reopen on Tuesday. You can check Dalton State's website at www.daltonstate.edu, on Facebook or Roadrunner Alert (706-272-2493) for updates.

• The North Georgia Health District office and public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties delayed opening until 10 a.m. today due to icy road conditions. The Gilmer County Health Department will be closed all day. For updates, log on to www.nghd.org.

• The Dalton-Whitfield Senior Center is closed today.

• All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College are closed today due to weather conditions. All classes are canceled.

• There are currently no road closures in Whitfield and Murray counties. Officials say drivers should look out for icy patches on roads.

• (At 3:05 a.m.) Georgia Department of Transportation officials in northwest Georgia are urging motorists to be extremely cautious and watch for black ice this morning. Although more than 30 of the department'’s trucks have been out clearing the roads and treating the icy patches, most roadways are wet and the temperatures are dipping below freezing and creating dangerous icy road conditions.

Affected interstate and state highways in northwest Georgia include:

I-59 in Dade County

State Routes 2 and 225 in Murray County

State Routes 1, 2, 95, 136, 151, 157, and 193 in Walker County

State Routes 2 and 71 in Whitfield County

State Routes 5/515 and 60 in Fannin County

State Routes 2 and 282 in Gilmer County

State Routes 136 and 515 in Pickens County

State Routes 1 and 156 in Floyd County

Motorists are urged to slow down and leave, at least, a 10-car length distance between their vehicles and the DOT trucks clearing the roadways. They are also advised to treat any traffic signal that is not working as a four-way stop, and be aware of black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses in early morning hours.

Motorists can access real-time, statewide, route-specific information on accidents, road work, traffic and weather conditions through Georgia 511, a free phone service.  By dialing 511, callers also can transfer to operators 24 hours a day to report incidents or request assistance. The system can be used to access transit providers, major airports, rideshare organizations, tourism information and 511 systems in surrounding states. Additionally, 511 is available online. Georgia DOT partners with sponsors for assistance in funding 511, thereby preserving tax dollars and helping sustain critical services. For more information about 511, visit www.511ga.org. For more information on the Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov. You also may follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/GDOTNW)).

• The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority delayed opening until 10 a.m. today due to inclement weather at the Whitfield County Landfill and Convenience Centers. Locations include the Old Dixie Landfill & Convenience Center, McGaughey Chapel Convenience Center, Westside Convenience Center, and the M.L. King Convenience Center.  For more information, call the main office at (706) 277-2545 or visit www.dwswa.org.