County continues under the Winter Storm Watch
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Feb 11, 2014 | 1376 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CITY OF CLEVELAND Public Works Department employees Junior Martin, left, Stacy Massengill and Chris Myers attach a snowplow to the front of a dump truck Monday morning, in preparation for snow predicted for today and Wednesday.
CITY OF CLEVELAND Public Works Department employees Junior Martin, left, Stacy Massengill and Chris Myers attach a snowplow to the front of a dump truck Monday morning, in preparation for snow predicted for today and Wednesday.
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Areas in southern Bradley County were the first in the area to experience Winter Storm Pax today.

Incidentally, the name “Pax” is Latin, meaning, “calm or peaceful.”

National Weather Service officials began alerting residents in the South as early as Saturday about the system, which has been building for approximately a week.

Emergency managers and school officials have acted on information provided by the NWS, and schools in the city and county have been closed.

Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Spence said officials decided to close schools today due to the initial reporting of “possibilities.”

“We didn’t want to get students to school, then the ‘possibilities’ turn to fact,” Spence said.

During the event of dismissal when students are at school and a storm hits, Spence said bus drivers have to be contacted and respond to the schools to pick up students.

He noted school directors for both systems decided it would be best not to have students report due to the timing of any snowfall relative to the time classes begin.

Forecast models were confusing to meteorologists and began to show more possibilities of areas of accumulation of ice or snow.

Bradley County is under a Winter Storm Watch until Thursday morning, with the possibility of 1 inch of snow accumulation today, but the greater potential impact of Pax begins Wednesday and continues through the night. Forecasters have predicted up to 5 inches of snow is possible.

Dalton, Ga. was already reporting snow before 8 a.m. today, and some weather models have Northwest Georgia absorbing more impact from Pax.

According to NWS Morristown data, snowfall should begin late tonight or early Wednesday, with occasional snow showers until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Temperatures will reach into the mid 30s during the daytime hours and winds could be brisk at times during the event.

Area agencies have been preparing for the impact of the storm.

Snow plows and salt spreaders have been prepared, according to officials with the city of Cleveland.

Cleveland Public Works supervisor Jeff Tilley said his department has equipped five dump trucks with plows and spreaders and personnel “are ready to go as soon as they get the first call, or city streets start getting slick.

“We had trouble the first day a couple of weeks ago, but we worked all night and had most of the streets cleared the next day with the exception of some in residential areas, but we are ready this time,” Tilley said.

The weather system changed during the morning Jan. 28, and caused gridlock in the Deep South, especially Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta.

According to officials with Public Works, main thoroughfares within the city limits are plowed and salted first, then Public Works starts clearing residential streets. The main thoroughfares within the corporate limits are: Georgetown Road, Ocoee Street, Spring Place Road, Dalton Pike, Blue Springs Road, Harrison Pike, North and South Lee Highway, 25th Street, Keith Street, Inman Street, Paul Huff Parkway, Mouse Creek Road, Michigan Avenue Road and Frontage Road.

Tom Collins, Bradley County Road superintendent, said this morning his agency has 11 trucks ready to roll.

“We will hit the hilly areas first, then begin working on flat roadways,” Collins said.

National Weather Service meteorologists plan another weather briefing for Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency today at 2.