Local cities are preparing for a storm that could bring 1 to 4 inches of snow late Friday into Saturday.

Sandy Springs officials were scheduled to hold two conferences calls with the National Weather Service on Jan. 5 for updates. According to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun, their latest prediction starts with a chance of rain, with a slight chance of sleet, tonight into Friday. Following that, starting late Friday, comes snow, with various models showing accumulations of 1 to 4 inches.

“The good thing is, they’re not predicting ice, but the bad thing is a lot of snow and it won’t melt anytime fast,” said Kraun.

Sandy Springs is activating its winter storm operations center with crews set to work 12-hour shifts. Public Works crews are ready to pre-treat bridges and overpasses with de-icing materials starting tonight. Public Works has trucks and graders with plows to handle snow.

Brookhaven and Dunwoody are also preparing for the storm.

“Public Works contractor Roadworx is mobilizing for pre-treatment of major roads and bridges on Friday afternoon and will continue to monitor conditions,” said Brookhaven city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill. “Treatment crews will remain in town Friday and possibly Saturday as conditions warrant. Citizens should report any issues to Brookhaven Connect, and for emergencies dial 911.”

“The city is closely monitoring the winter weather forecasts for the next several days and has equipment and supplies staged to be at the ready should inclement winter weather occur,” said Dunwoody city spokesperson Bob Mullen. “In addition, key departments have strategically assigned staffing resources for 24-hour coverage through this period to potentially address accumulations of freezing rain, snow or ice in the most effective way possible.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will begin treating the area’s state highways with brine–salt water–at 9 p.m. on Thursday to prevent ice. GDOT warns drivers to watch for black ice and to keep their distance from road crews and dump trucks that may be spraying gravel and rock salt.

Fulton County Schools announced that its schools will close at noon on Friday. Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools will close two hours early.

All Georgia State University campuses, including the Perimeter College branch in Dunwoody, will close at noon on Friday.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced that he will declare a state of emergency due to the storm in northern Georgia, including DeKalb and Fulton, effective noon on Friday. The emergency declaration provides more state resources locally, but it does not close state offices. Local school districts remain free to set their own schedules.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.