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Albany flights to Atlanta canceled; roads update (UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.)

Pedestrians make their way to the snow-covered Capitol for the opening of the 2011 legislative session in Atlanta on Monday. The area received between three to six inches of snow.

Pedestrians make their way to the snow-covered Capitol for the opening of the 2011 legislative session in Atlanta on Monday. The area received between three to six inches of snow.

ALBANY, Ga. -- A representative at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport has told The Herald that all flights have been canceled today.

Flights are down due to inclement weather that came through Georgia late Sunday and early Monday. The Atlanta area received roughly seven inches of snow as a result of the winter storm.

For more information, passengers are encouraged to call (229) 883-0548, or toll free at (800) 221-1212.

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Beginning at 10 am; Georgia DOT maintenance forces, with the assistance of and escorted by Georgia State Patrol, began working on I-285 beginning at I-75. Maintenance crews will lay salt, calcium chloride, gravel and liquid deicer on I-285 EB and WB from I-75 west toward Riverdale Road. While the crews are working in this area, all entrance ramps will be blocked by law enforcement; however motorists already on I-285 or those wishing to exit I-285 will be allowed to do so.

Maintenance crews and law enforcement will then begin working on I-285 EB and WB; moving in an eastern direction toward I-675 in Clayton county and I-20 in Dekalb County. Again, all entrance ramps will be closed in phases as the convoy moves eastward. This operation will continue until I-285 is clear in both directions.

EMA operators and hospitals in that vicinity are asked to beware of the possible closures.

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Georgia transportation officials also say this is no day to drive to Atlanta. If you do, expect hazardous travel conditions when you get there. For those who have to travel, here is the latest advisory from the Georgia Department of Transportation on travel conditions in metro Atlanta.

UPDATE 8:33 a.m.

Work crews have been moving across the Metro Area and have opened a number of areas. Additionally, crews are on location at several hot spots in an effort to get those interstates opened.

-- I-75 at Wade Green opened;

-- I-75 at Mt. Zion opened;

-- I-75 at Delk Road in Cobb County - DOT crews on site;

-- I-20 Conyers/Rockdale County - 5 DOT trucks on site;

-- I-75/I-285 in South Fulton County - 12 DOT trucks on site - already moved three tractor-trailer trucks out of the roadway;

-- I-75 at Frey Road overpass in Cobb County - DOT crews on site;

-- I-85 N at GA 400 - DOT crews are working a jack-knifed tractor trailer.

Through late tonight:

The Georgia DOT Maintenance Crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways across Georgia. Motorists are urged to use extreme caution as travel remains hazardous in many areas. If you must drive, be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, as ice often forms more quickly in these areas. Motorists should check with media outlets for updates.

Motorists are urged to slow down and leave, at least, a 10 car-length distance between their vehicles and the DOT trucks clearing the roadways. They are also advised to treat any traffic signal that is not working as a four-way stop, and be aware of black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses.

Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org .

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EARLIER REPORTS TODAY

DOT crews are currently facing very difficult and dangerous conditions around Metro Atlanta and specifically on the southern parts of I-285, which is closed below Interstate Highway 20. Included are:

-- I-285 at I-675 Interchange completely closed;

-- I-285 WB from Flat Shoals to ramp to I-75- extremely icy;

-- I-285/I-75 Interchange extremely icy;

-- I-285 EB from I-75 to I-85.

Travel is impossible in many spots, so I-285 south of I-20 is currently closed. Crews are battling at least one inch of Ice on interstate roads and sustained temperatures below freezing causing extremely hazardous driving conditions throughout the metro region. Dangerous icing conditions persist. H.E.R.O. trucks are rerouting traffic where possible in an attempt to clear the roads for the work crews to treat the interstates.

Tractor-trailer trucks continue to experience extreme difficulty moving through the icy conditions.

To address the hazardous conditions, we are currently adjusting crew assignments in the Metro Area and supplementing with additional crews from our Central Georgia district. The crews coming from Central Georgia will begin working the I-675 area from the South heading North towards the city center. We added calcium chloride to our mixtures last night to help break up ice on the roads; however, the ice is at least an inch thick and in sheet formations across the interstates hindering the process.

The work crews are dealing with many challenges as they are clearing roadways. Only one tractor trailer can be moved at a time and each area must be retreated after each is move, resulting in a long and tedious process for the crews. A shift change to ensure rested and alert operators of the DOT equipment is almost complete, and crews are on the scene and en route to the hardest hit areas.

Additionally, equipment breakdowns are occurring after the vehicles have been working non-stop for over 48 hours. Currently, there are 8 trucks non-operational in the Metro Area. We do have mechanics working on them, but locating parts for repairs overnight has added to the situation. Repairs are continuing to get all available work trucks back on the roadways.

The Georgia DOT Maintenance Crews continue to work around the clock to clear roadways across Georgia. Motorists are urged to use extreme caution as travel remains hazardous in many areas. If you must drive, be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, as ice often forms more quickly in these areas. Motorists should check with media outlets for updates.

Motorists are urged to slow down and leave, at least, a ten car length distance between their vehicles and the DOT trucks clearing the roadways. They are also advised to treat any traffic signal that is not working as a four-way stop, and be aware of black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses.??

Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org .