UTC Opens At 10 AM; Hamilton County Schools Closed; Baylor, GPS Closed; City Workers Report 2 Hours Late; State Courts Closed; Hospitals Go On Special Schedules; Hamilton County Grand Jury Selection Delayed 1 Week Due To Weather

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Hamilton County Schools will be closed Monday due to inclement weather.  This includes Central Office, school administrators, School Aged Child Care, and all faculty and staff.  All extra-curricular activities are cancelled.

Hamilton County Department of Education maintenance employees will report Monday on the regular schedule.

UTC will open at 10 a.m. Monday.

Baylor School, GPS and Brainerd Baptist School will be closed Monday. All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will be closed Monday. All classes are canceled.

The city of Chattanooga will delay employee report times for two hours, or until10 a.m. Monday. This excludes all road clearing and public safety personnel.

The Criminal Courts and the General Sessions Courts and the Criminal Court Clerk's offices are closed Monday.  Hamilton County Juvenile Court will be open Monday for emergencies only.  All previously scheduled hearings will be reset.    

The County Clerk's Office will be open. One employee from East Ridge reported, "I made it in to work just fine.  The roads were in good shape and bridges had been treated.  The outlying areas will probably have a little more ice.  Courthouse sidewalks and steps are clear and the Georgia Avenue side has been treated with sand and/or salt."  

The Chattanooga Engineers Club will not meet. Jeff Cannon of the mayor's office will be rescheduled.

Hamilton County Emergency Services opened the Emergency Operations Center (on Amnicola Highway) at midnight. There was a skeleton crew of employees of different agencies monitoring the weather all night. Agencies involved include Hamilton County Emergency Services, the Hamilton County Highway Department, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, the Chattanooga Fire Department and the Chattanooga Police Department.

All Walker County government offices will be closed Monday. 

The selection of the Hamilton County Grand Jury has been delayed for one week. Those summoned had been set to appear at the Courts Building on Monday at 9 a.m. That has been delayed until Monday, Jan. 13, at 9 a.m.

Closed Monday and Tuesday will be Grundy County Schools, Catoosa County Schools, Dade County Schools and Walker County Schools.

Closed Monday will be Whitfield County Schools, Polk County Schools and Rhea County Schools.

A professional day for Bradley County Schools for Monday has been canceled.

Erlanger Health System physician offices will open at 10 a.m. Monday. All five of Erlanger's Emergency Departments - at the main campus downtown, Children's Hospital, Erlanger North, Erlanger East and Erlanger Bledsoe remain open for emergency care. 

Memorial Health Care System will observe the following openings, closings and delays. 

The Inclement Weather Policy is in effect as of Sunday at 9 p.m. Associates are expected to report to work as scheduled.  Associates may call their leader for questions. 

·         Endoscopy and Surgery at Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital Hixson will be open as scheduled on Monday.

·         Memorial Wound Center is open as scheduled on Monday.

·         The Chattanooga Heart Institute will delay opening until 10 a.m. at all locations.

·         Cardiac rehabilitation will open at 10 a.m. at all locations.

·         Memorial New Associate Orientation is canceled for Monday. Updates will be provided.

Parkridge Health System's inclement weather policy is in effect as of 9 p.m. Sunday. All Parkridge Health System staff are expected to report to work as scheduled. Employees may call their supervisors with any questions.


Surgery and endoscopy at Parkridge Medical Center and Parkridge East Hospital will be open as scheduled on Monday. Cardiac rehabilitation at Parkridge Medical Center will delay opening until 10 a.m. Monday. All Parkridge Medical Group practices will open at 10 a.m. Monday.

The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority has announced a delayed opening of 10 a.m. for Monday at the Whitfield County  Landfill and Convenience Centers.  Locations include the Old Dixie Landfill & Convenience Center, McGaughey Chapel Convenience Center, Westside Convenience Center, and the M.L. King Convenience Center.  For more information call the main office at 706-277-2545 or visit the company website: www.dwswa.org.

Signal Mountain Nursery will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Stan Clark of the Bradley County EMS has this winter weather advice:

The upcoming historical cold weather can be life threatening. Bradley County Emergency Medical Service wants all of our residents in Cleveland and Bradley County to be safe during this potential deadly cold snap.

This type of weather brings all kinds of danger. The number one objective is to keep warm. Many people try to keep warm by using alternate heat sources. Please do not use open flame or sources that can produce carbon monoxide in your home. If you lose electricity and have to use a generator make sure the generator is outside. Many deaths occur when generators are used indoors or near the residence and fumes get in. Carbon monoxide alarms are very important this time of year.

A small snow event seems to cause more problems in that people do not take it as serious. A small amount of ice or snow on the steps and sidewalks usually causes a lot of slips and falls. If there is any doubt that you cannot go outside safely, stay inside.

The roads can be very treacherous. Stay at home if possible. Keep warm clothing in your vehicle in case you experience problems and may be outside for a period of time. Keep a cell phone with you at all times while traveling in case you have to call for help.

Do not hesitate to call for assistance if you or a family member needs help during this dangerously cold weather. We would much rather be proactive and keep people warm. 

Cold weather can be a killer. We take this type of weather very serious. Keep posted to weather advisories to stay up to date on the weather situation.

Here are safety tips from the Chattanooga Fire Department:

With the arrival of the coldest weather in years, many residents – especially those without central heat and air – will be struggling to keep their homes warm. The Chattanooga Fire Department would like to offer some pertinent safety tips related to the cold weather and keeping your home warm, as safely as possible:

·         When it comes to heaters, remember the three foot rule. Keep anything that can catch fire at least three feet away.

·         Make sure your alternative heaters have “tip switches.” These devices are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.

·         Never refill a kerosene heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel those heaters only outdoors.

·         Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow the suggested guidelines.

·         Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire.

·         Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture or other items that can catch fire.

·         If you have wall and/or floor heaters, make sure that anything that can burn is at least three feet away from them. If you have moved furniture around over the summer, or just moved into a house or apartment that has these types of heaters, make sure nothing that can burn is within three feet of them. Many of these heaters don’t have “on” and “off” switches, but rather a control knob for a thermostat that ranges from “low” to “high.” When the temperature in the house drops low enough, these heaters will turn on, whether or not you have furniture in front of it. (This very thing happened on November 23, 2005 at a house on Lee Highway and it claimed the lives of a mother and her two daughters.)

·         Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.

·         Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and are often the cause of home fires in extreme cold weather.

·         Portable electric generators must be used outside only, never indoors, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow carbon monoxide to collect. Follow usage directions closely.

·         Make sure you have working smoke alarms on all levels of your home, and outside your sleeping areas, and at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home.

·         Have a fire escape plan for your home. If fire does break out in your home, everyone in your home should know two ways out, and have a meeting place where everyone can be accounted for.

·         Candles present a serious fire hazard. If your power goes out, use flashlights for emergency lighting. Keep extra batteries in your home to power those flashlights.

·         Run water at a trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Facts about home heating fires

  • In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 14% of all reported home fires..
  • Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (28%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (53%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Half (50%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.

* Source: U.S. Fire Administration





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