- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Forecasters say northeast Georgia will continue to experience large amounts of snowfall.

Northeast Georgia has gotten 4 to 6 inches of snow Friday with an additional 3 inches expected by Saturday morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Sena said. He said heavy snowfall should turn into flurries around midday Saturday.

More than a dozen north Georgia counties were under a state of emergency.

Georgia Power reported more than 1,200 outages Friday in Rabun County, in the state’s far northeast corner. There were also scattered power outages in metro Atlanta, including the Stone Mountain area.

Rural electric systems reported more than 1,300 customers without power Friday morning in Gilmer County and another 1,000 without power in Cherokee County.

Snow flurries fell Friday afternoon in the downtown-midtown Atlanta. Sena says about an inch is expected to accumulate overnight.

State offices were closed at noon Friday to allow workers to get off the roads as the winter storm began bearing down on north Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal said.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pleaded with employers to let workers go home in hopes of avoiding a disaster like the one that left tractor-trailers, school buses and cars trapped on icy freeways throughout the metro area two years ago.

Valuable lessons were learned from the 2014 freeway mess, such as making more timely announcements about weather threats, Reed said.

Some of Georgia’s largest school systems, including Cobb and DeKalb counties, closed two hours early Friday.

Sena said the biggest issues Atlanta faces on Saturday are the patches of ice on roads and highway overpasses due to the temperature dropping into the mid-20s in the early morning.

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