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'It was awesome': Light snow brings fun, icy roads

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Nathan Saunders didn't want to go to school on Friday.

Thanks to a dusting of snow and icy roads, he got his wish.

"I just rolled over. It was awesome," the 13-year-old said of getting the news from his mom.

Nathan and his 8-year-old sister Jordan pulled out some sleds to race down their neighbor's driveway.

But a neighborhood spot that usually provides the best winter sports action was barely used Friday, as little of the predicted winter storm surfaced.

"I can't believe this, that there is anything to report," Nathan's dad Clint Saunders said, adding that his in-laws left his house to return to Wisconsin and chuckled that schools would close with such a light snow.

Much of Gwinnett got about a half-inch of snow late Thursday, a forecaster with the National Weather Service said, while some counties in north Georgia had as much as three inches.

But the temperatures never rose above freezing, causing some havoc on the roads.

In Duluth, pipes froze at the old city hall building, which was once a church. The water line busted and flooded the street. City officials closed Hill Street, after the water turned to ice.

Snellville officials closed Pinehurst Road, and Gwinnett Transportation officials said there were patches of problems throughout the county.

Between midnight and 11 a.m., Gwinnett County police responded to 131 reported accidents. Most were people whose cars had skidded off the road into a yard or ditch, Cpl. David Schiralli said.

Of the 131 reports, only 16 people reported a minor injury and none involved serious injuries, he said.

One police officer ended up in a minor fender-bender when a police cruiser lost traction on a patch of ice and slid into a ditch. The vehicle sustained some damage -- it hit a pole and overturned -- but Officer Brian Kelley said the officer was not injured.

Johnny Watkins said he was surprised there weren't accidents on his Collins Hill Heights road, where ice and snow covered a hill.

"People were having a hard time getting up the hill," he said.

He had his own excitement, as his pipes froze. But the water was back on by noon.

"It's certainly no great disaster," said Jon Richards, who runs the Web site lawrencevilleweather.com. "The problem is it got cold before it had a chance to dry out on the roads."

While the snow is gone, forecaster Sean Ryan with the National Weather Service said the cold temperatures will remain. Temperatures should begin to rise this weekend, he said, but the area will remain well below the normal 50-degree temperature for the next several days.

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