Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 83 counties spanning central and north of the state, where conditions were reported to turn dire due to the worsening weather. This was the second emergency declaration issued this month.

Heeding the advice of the National Weather Service and the recommendation of the state emergency’s operations command, the governor issued an executive order to close down the state government to non-essential personnel Wednesday. People were advised to stay off the roads and remain home.

He said, "The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will continue treating our roads and interstates. To ensure people’s safety and to allow GDOT to do its job, I urge people to remain home and off the roads. We will continue monitoring the weather and will provide updates as necessary."

On Jan. 16, the National Weather Service issued winter storm advisory in the state including the Metro Atlanta area. The weather service warned snowfall and freezing rain could potentially reach dangerous levels, which will make commute harder in the affected areas.

The state of emergency was declared in areas such as Baldwins, Crawford, Chattooga, Douglas, Elbert Floyd, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Stephens, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Towns, Troup, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, Warren, Washington, White, Whitfield and Wilkes Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glascock, Gordon, Greene and Gwinnett.

The statement issued Tuesday also said the winter storm can result in significant damage, cause power cuts and render the roads impassable due to the accumulation of ice sheets. The declaration said the government will make all resources available to assist its citizens to overcome the downward trajectory in temperatures in the region.

The dire warnings due to worsening weather conditions have become quite frequent in the area. Earlier in the month, a bomb cyclone hit the wide expanse of the east coast and added significant damage to parts of the region. On Jan. 3, an executive order issued by the governor’s office said the winter storm headed for the region had the potential to cause significant damages and power outages. The statement further stressed the roads would be impassable and asked citizens to stay vigilant.

Earlier this month, 15 people were injured in a 35-car pile-up at Interstate 75 of Catoosa County in Georgia as freezing rains fell across the state last week. The injured were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

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