The Georgia Department of Transportation is set to roll out massive brine trucks across metro Atlanta roadways on Friday night, hoping to curb the worst of the potential travel disruptions as a wintry mix including snow, freezing rain and ice is expected to fall.
The winter storm looks like it will bring a lot of ice and snow to the northeast corner of the state, and the agency is trying to focus efforts there. They said the brine trucks need a lot of space to do the work and can’t get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic if they hope to get the job done before the storm hits.
"Please stay off the road while our crews are on the road," Natalie Dale of GDOT said. "Because our crews cannot be impaired or hindered by cars that have run off the road, traffic jams, we need to get them in to get the job done and get them back to their families for their health and safety."
They’ll be putting down 1.2 million gallons of brine ahead of the freezing rain as they treat more than 19,000 miles of Georgia's roads. GDOT said about 12 brine trucks will be rolling through metro Atlanta.
"We can make up to 50,000 gallons of brine here an hour. To put that into perspective, in 2014 we had 70,000 gallons of brine, statewide. We can make 50,000 an hour here. We're at full capacity of 1.2 million now," Dale added.
While they know some might get washed away, they said they don’t wait to repeat the 2014 "Snowmageddon" on Sunday.
"We have road weather information sensors around the state that are really reading those temperatures for us," Dale said. "What the temperature is in the air, what the surface temperature is, what the sub-surface temperature is. So if the road is holding heat, we won't get freezing roads."
Crews will be monitoring conditions throughout the weekend.