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Ice storm prompts school closings
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Local school closings
  Bulloch County Schools
  Bulloch Academy
  Charter Conservatory (CCAT)
  Trinity Christian School
  East Georgia College
  Georgia Southern University
  Ogeechee Technical College

At first, Bulloch County Schools announced Tuesday afternoon that classes would be held as scheduled Wednesday.

But less than an hour after making that call, the district was forced to change its decision when the National Weather Service changed its forecast, placing Bulloch County under an ice storm warning effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. That was an upgrade in intensity from the winter storm watch that had been announced Monday and that had held until late Tuesday afternoon.

“As we continued to monitor weather conditions, at 4:30 p.m., the National Weather Service upgraded Bulloch County to a winter storm warning with ice accumulation,” the school system said in an alert issued shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“This now creates unsafe conditions for travel and the safety of our students.”

Soon after, Ogeechee Technical College followed the school system’s lead, announcing it would close for students, faculty and staff Wednesday. The college added that people can stay informed of changes by signing up for OTC alerts at www.ogeecheetech.edu/otcalert.

Georgia Southern University, which earlier had announced it would be open Wednesday, sent an advisory at 6:37 p.m. Tuesday saying it would close at 10 p.m. Tuesday and remain closed all day Wednesday. The university encouraged people to check www.georgiasouthern.edu/storm for updates.

Some school systems to the north of Bulloch County, which were already under more serious warnings, had earlier announced they would close.

On its website, Emanuel County announced it will close Wednesday and Thursday, and that all school activities for Wednesday have been canceled. Jenkins County announced on its website that it will be closed Wednesday and Thursday and resume normal operations Friday.

Screven County announced on its website that it will be closed Wednesday, and that a decision for Thursday will be made by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Also, East Georgia State College announced that its Swainsboro and Augusta campuses will be closed Wednesday, and all campus activities will be canceled, but that its Statesboro campus would operate on a normal schedule. Later, the college announced the Statesboro campus also would close Wednesday.

Bulloch, Candler, Jenkins and Screven counties are under an ice storm warning, effective from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Thursday, with the National Weather Service forecasting up to a half-inch of ice accumulation.
Effingham and Evans counties are under a freezing rain advisory for the same time period, with up to 0.2 inch of ice accumulation forecast.

Emanuel County is also under an ice storm warning, but it will be in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday, and forecasts call up for to an inch of ice accumulation.

The weather forecast for Statesboro calls for rain, possibly changing to freezing rain after 5 a.m. Wednesday, with around 33 degrees. Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after 2 p.m., will continue throughout Wednesday, with a high near 35, and then rain is likely  to freezing drizzle after 1 a.m. Thursday, with a low around 31, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast Thursday calls for a chance of freezing drizzle before 10 a.m., then a slight chance of rain until 1 p.m., then clearing skies with a high near 50.

Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.

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