The numerous downed trees and blocked roadways in North Georgia caused by all of the ice that had accumulated there since Monday brought nearly 150 forestry commission employees from Southwest Georgia to the area around Dahlonega to help with the clean up efforts.
"Early Monday morning, around four o' clock in the morning, we were actually paged out and by six o' clock we were in route to Macon," said Jason Rex, Chief Ranger with the Flint District, which covers 36 counties in Southwest Georgia. "We staged in Macon and from there the teams from the Southwest portion of the state moved on up."
Around 80 employees were helping out with various traffic related issues in the Atlanta area and around 50 employees were working as chainsaw teams to help cut up and remove trees blocking roads.
"They're clearin' those, chainsawin' 'em up. Initially our crews won't completely clear the right of way, they'll just get some roads cleared back to a point where, say, utility crews and emergency vehicles can use those roadways," said Chief Ranger Rex.
They were using chainsaws and various safety equipment and working around the clock to help wherever they could. Chief Ranger Rex said this was not the first time employees from Southwest Georgia had been called to help other parts of the state.
"It is a good feelin' to know that you're helpin' those people and protectin' those people often," Chief ranger Rex said.
He said that as of Wednesday afternoon some of the employees had already been released, but many would likely remain in North Georgia through the weekend.