- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal plans to declare a state of emergency for 79 counties starting at noon Friday as a winter storm heads toward the South.

Deal also is ordering state agencies to prepare for up to 4 inches of snowfall in north and central Georgia.

According to Deal’s office, the Department of Transportation will begin treating roads and interstates Thursday and continue Friday. State government offices will remain open Friday.

Deal announced the order Thursday, saying it will give people and businesses more time to prepare.

Deal says the state will continue monitoring weather forecast models and make adjustments as needed. He says people should stay calm, make preparations and stay aware of weather conditions.

The order is set to end Sunday night.

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