Snow and ice caused 49 crashes in Bulloch County on Wednesday and early Thursday morning, and public safety officials warn drivers to continue with caution while frigid temperatures keep some areas frozen.
Schools in Bulloch, Candler, Evans and Screven counties will remain closed today due to the remaining weather and travel conditions.
“Areas around Stilson and Nevils still had some problems” Thursday, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn. “The closer you get to the coast, the more (snow and ice) they got.”
While iced-over roadways caused a lot of slipping and sliding, there were “a lot of minor accidents with some minor injuries, but most (crashes) had no injuries,” said Georgia State Patrol Post 45 spokesperson Ginger Robbins.
Wynn said several dirt roads, especially in the southern end of Bulloch County, were rutted and damaged from heavy snowfall and ice.
“Our sheriff (Noel Brown) and Paul Webb (Bulloch County Schools chief operations officer) were out riding together” Thursday to determine whether schools should remain closed today, he said.
Roads, especially “in shady areas, bridges and overpasses” may remain iced-over in spots today, he said.
Bulloch County Schools public relations specialist Hayley Greene said Bulloch schools will not be open today, but faculty and staff should report to work by 10 a.m.
Webb “inspected road conditions Thursday with representatives of the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency and the Bulloch County Sheriff's Department, and there are many areas, primarily in the south end of the county, that are not safe for our buses or student drivers to travel," said Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson. “There was a significant difference in snowfall levels in some parts of the county, and with temperatures remaining lower and below freezing at night, it has delayed roads returning to safe passable levels.”
Nearly 6,000 of the school district's students use bus transportation to school, and the district has nearly 2,000 student drivers at its high schools, he said.
"It's just not worth putting their safety at risk,” Wilson said.
Evans County schools will be closed today as well, but staff and faculty members are expected to report to work by 10 a.m., said Evans County Schools Superintendent Marty Waters.
Classes for these counties will resume as normal Monday.
Screven County and Candler County schools will resume operations as normal today, according to the each school system’s Facebook page.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.