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Leon bears down; kids, young at heart ready

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m. Tuesday: Government offices and most businesses have closed and many won’t reopen Wednesday but, save for some sleet, Leon has been a non-event in downtown Barnesville thus far. Report your situation in the comments section. Winter storm Leon is bearing down on central Georgia and some sleet pellets had already been spotted in northern Lamar and Pike counties at 8 a.m. Temperatures have dropped below freezing and will stay there until noon Wednesday. The moisture feeding the storm trails all the way west to Austin, Texas. So, this could be a Kings of Leon sized winter storm, dropping three to five inches of accumulating snow here. Thousands of school children, liberated for two days to frolic, are glued to their windows and ready for the white stuff. Send your snow pictures to news@barnesville.com In Lamar County, local governments and utilities are preparing for any eventuality. County commission chairman Jay Matthews said county offices will likely close when schools do but that could change as the weather picture does. ’We’re gathering sand and salt and will do our best to keep the main thoroughfares open but we hope folks will use common sense and just stay at home if they can. Our public works folks will be out in force,’ Matthews said. Residents with problems should call the sheriff’s office at 770-358-5159 to report in. Dispatchers will contact public works by radio. Jason Shirey, director of public works and utilities for the City of Barnesville, has equipment prepped and personnel on standby. ’We are making sure we have plenty of sand and all our vehicles and equipment are gassed up. We will also have chainsaws sharpened and all other equipment ready,’ Shirey said. Southern Rivers Energy is also on storm watch as officials there are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. ’We have a full inventory of supplies and our crews are making sure all the trucks are fully stocked and ready to roll should we start having issues once the snow and/or ice moves in. All employees are on standby as well as contract crews and those from fellow coops should we need to call upon them through our mutual aid agreements,’ SRE communications specialist Erin Cook said. SRE members can follow the co-op online via social media and its website at southernriversenergy. com The website has tips on storm safety and preparedness. Power outages should be called into the new outage hotline at 1-866-244-4890.

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