Gov. Nathan Deal held a lunchtime press briefing on Thursday and said he had extended the state of emergency declaration for 91 counties through Sunday night. “This will give us time for debris removal and to deal with the after-effects,” he said.

Deal said south metro Atlanta and the  I-20 east corridor and Augusta were the most heavily impacted by power outages. Power companies were bringing in as many as 7,000 employees from out-of-state to help restore power in the Augusta area, as most of Richmond County and the city of Augusta is without power.

“We’re experiencing a little relief with sun trying to shine on us today, but please be patient because the roads are still dangerous,” Deal said, noting that tonight’s below freezing temperatures will create black ice.

Deal said the state is in the process of tabulating the storm’s economic impact to Georgia and would have a figure early next week.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.