Gov. Brian Kemp declares state of emergency in Georgia ahead of freezing winter weather

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he is declaring a state of emergency as the state prepares for freezing winter weather with temperatures expected to plummet into the teens this weekend. 

The declaration allows for supplies, particularly propane, to be delivered for residential and commercial needs. Kemp said the executive order will be signed at some point on Wednesday and covers the entire state through midnight on Monday.

"We want to urge all Georgians to be ready and certainly that goes for our teams," Kemp said.

Kemp spoke on Wednesday morning at the state capitol alongside GEMA Director Chris Stallings and DOT Commissioner Russell McMurray. He warned drivers to stay at least 100 feet behind brine trucks, which must travel 40 miles per hour to properly apply the treatment.


The Department of Transportation is pre-treating 21,000 miles of state roadways north of Columbus and Augusta. 

"We're asking for your cooperation, if you don't have to be out tomorrow stay home and stay warm," McMurray said. "Certainly on Friday morning, we're asking you not go out."

Stallings said Georgians should prepare kits in the event of power loss that lasts multiple days. He said GEMA spoke with utility providers about ensuring power and heat needs of medical facilities are met, so they can continue to function.


Icy conditions could affect roads in metro Atlanta on Friday. Showers will switch over to some light snow on Thursday night across part of north Georgia, but everyone around the state will feel the dramatic drop in temperature.

Friday morning will see some of the coldest air in five years move into Georgia just in time for Christmas. Expect a 30-degree fall in less than five hours. 

Accumulation should be minimal. The extreme north Georgia mountains will see less than an inch.

Highs this weekend could fall short of the 20s and lower 30s on Friday and Saturday. Lows are between five and 20 degrees Friday and Saturday nights.

Gusty winds contributed to dangerously low wind chill values between -5 to -15 degrees during the early morning for north Georgia.