Gilmer issues school delay for two hours in face of severe storms

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – With warning continuing to come in from the National Weather Service and public safety officials, Gilmer Schools has issued a statement to plan on a two-hour delay for school on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

According to the statement released, “The National Weather Service has warned that our county is expected to experience severe weather overnight and into the early morning hours just before and during our normal morning bus routes. The strongest storm bands show potential to generate damaging winds, hail, and tornados. In the interest of safety, please plan for a two-hour delayed start of school Thursday morning March 18, 2021.”

The school system clarified that bus routes and parent drop-off are also affected, so parents should not drop students off at normal times to wait for class to begin. However, they are planning to dismiss at the normal time in the afternoon.

While the National Weather Service has not issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area at this time, they did issue a statement just before noon saying, “Scattered to numerous strong to severe storms are expected late today through tonight with an approaching strong disturbance and frontal system. While there is some potential for severe storms as early as this afternoon, the primary risk will likely be with an area of storms pushing eastward late tonight into Thursday morning. The main threats will be tornadoes (some of which could be significant or longer tracked), damaging winds over 60 mph, large hail, and flash flooding.”

The decision to delay class is in place for now, but the school system did state that this response could increase if need be, saying, “We will plan to confer with Emergency Management officials in the early morning hours on Thursday and if conditions require a cancellation, this information will be updated.”

Pool project hits another delay with COVID

News
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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reports during a special called meeting of the Gilmer Board of Commissioners (BOC) indicate that the county’s pool project hit another delay this month.

Loy Jarret reported to the board that the engineering firm the county is using has been hit by the COVID virus. Due to this, at least a two week delay is coming to the pool construction project.

According to Jarrett, a large portion of the project is finished but the firm is now awaiting recovery and quarantine periods to end and for the firm to reconvene in order to finish the project. This means Gilmer will also see a delay in the promised 3 weeks originally promised. This could come closer to 6 weeks now.

The board is hoping to have the engineering finalized in February before returning to scheduling on the project which has been plagued with delays and issues including many from the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak and resurgence.

The pool project is attempting to continue under conditions after a major delay saw the Commissioners halt the project completely after demolition of the old pool last year. The commissioners, at that time, wanted to wait and see what the virus outbreak, quarantines, and self isolations  would do to the county’s economy.

In the same area of the county, at River Park, the commissioners also approved an easement for Georgia Power to begin excavation and subsequent repairs to areas of the park to install underground utilities. According to County Attorney David Clark, the county will be making some minor changes to the agreement before returning it to Georgia Power for final approval.

With that, citizens could be seeing more immediate construction work in the area of River Park stretching through different areas. This construction work is not a part of the pool project, but rather Georgia Power performing this installation.

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