A jolt of freezing rain and ice has left more than 100,000 customers without power Thursday morning in north Georgia and given students in several counties an unexpected holiday.
Meanwhile, icy weather along the East coast is causing arrival delays of up to an hour and 25 minutes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright says the icy weather has knocked out power to 57,000 customers in metro Atlanta. She says another 15,000 customers have lost power in areas of northeast Georgia including Athens, Gainesville and Cornelia.
The outages are being caused by ice forming on tree limbs, which then fall on power lines.
A spokeswoman for Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, Terri Brown, says 40,000 customers are now without power, up from 6,700 earlier Thursday. Falling limbs and ice on power lines have knocked out circuits, causing the number of customers without power to keep climbing.
A meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Eric Avila, says an ice storm warning has been declared for most of northeast Georgia and will remain in effect until 6 p.m. The area covered by the warning stretches from Gwinnett County north and east through Athens and into South Carolina. Ice up to a quarter of an inch thick is expected in some areas.
The Weather Service says the Atlanta area is under a freezing rain advisory.
The state Department of Transportation says Georgia 348, also known as Richard B. Russell Parkway, is closed in Union and White counties. In White County, the Georgia 180 Spur that runs up to the state's tallest mountain, Brasstown Ball, also is closed.
Schools are closed in counties including: Banks, Forsyth, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin, Pickens, Stephens and White Counties as well as Gainesville city schools.