The Carroll School System, meanwhile, has canceled all extracurricular activities as well as all night classes at the Open Campus tonight, Jan. 7, due to the weather concerns. All after-school daycare programs will remain opened as scheduled and available for parent pickup, said Elena Schulenburg, spokeswoman for the county school system.
"We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about the weather conditions and how it may affect our school system," she said.
The National Weather Service is forecasting another wave of cold air to make its way through the county today and bring with it the possibility of precipitation in the form of snow and possibly sleet, beginning mid-afternoon.
While the cold front works its way through, moisture brought up from the Gulf of Mexico by a low pressure area will meet it. Carroll and Haralson counties will be among the first to see the snow as the fronts push through from the north and southwest.
Those in west Georgia north of LaGrange should see all snow, while south of that line a mixture of rain, snow and sleet is possible.
“Basically, what they’re saying for us, it will probably be here after 3 p.m. [today], but we’re probably looking at just a dusting, maybe a half-inch to an inch for the Carroll County, Haralson County area,” said Tim Padgett, director of Carroll County Emergency Management Agency.
The biggest problem Padgett’s crews are dealing with is a consequence of the bitter cold – burst water pipes. The EMA has already had calls about burst pipes and expects that to increase as the cold weather continues.
“We’ve had a lot of busted water pipes that we’ve responded to, to assist homeowners to, you know, get water out of their house or get water out of their businesses,” Padgett said.
The cold weather is taking its toll on pipes on outside walls, as well as pipes for outdoor sprinkler systems. The ground is already frozen down to about the 2-inch level where it was registering 32.6 degrees Wednesday morning, and the longer the cold weather hangs around, the further down those freezing temperatures will reach and put even more pressure on buried pipes.
Running a small stream of water out of hot and cold faucets and opening cabinet doors to allow heat to reach pipes can keep pipes from freezing and breaking. In addition, make sure all water is drained from pipes that are not being used.
Homes may also be suffering under the extreme cold. Many of the heating systems in this area were not designed to keep up with night after night of below freezing temperatures. Older systems or those that are weaker may buckle under the stress of running constantly and break down. So far, the EMA hasn’t had to respond to any calls, but Padgett suggests that people make sure they have adequate heating for their homes.
“Make sure that it’s not producing carbon monoxide and also if they’re on any type of home medical equipment that requires power then they need to have some type of a back-up plan for that,” he said.
Driving could also become an issue this afternoon and Friday. Once the snow starts falling, it could melt and refreeze on the roads, causing black ice. Bridges and overpasses will freeze first, so commuters need to be cautious on the roads. Slow down, Padgett advised.
“With our weather here, you never know what it’s going to do,” Padgett said. “People need to use caution. People need to use caution about black ice.”
If commuters can wait to leave for work Friday morning until after the sun comes up, they can more readily see any ice that may have formed on the roads.