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While Butts County is just southeast of the latest tropical storm warning area (in red) issued by the National Weather Service, the potential still exists for heavy rain and winds up to 40 mph in the area.

The Butts County School System has made the decision to delay the start of school on Thursday, Oct. 29 by two hours to allow a fast-moving storm system time to move out of the area.

Tropical Storm Zeta is forecasted to bring high winds and heavy rain to north Georgia overnight Wednesday and into the early morning hours on Thursday. The National Weather Service on Wednesday said tropical-storm force winds with gusts up to 55 mph are expected. A tropical storm warning has been issued for much of north Georgia.

The roughest weather is predicted to move through between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thursday morning, and north Georgia can expect between 2 and 3 inches of rain, with as much as 4 inches possible in some areas north of I-20.

While Butts County fell just outside of the tropical storm warning area as of Wednesday afternoon, the potential still exists for wind gusts of up to 40 mph in the early morning hours on Thursday, which would make it unsafe to operate large vehicles such as school buses. In addition, the potential for downed power lines and trees can cause hazardous travel conditions for students and staff.

Provided it is safe to do so, school will start at 9:50 a.m. for all elementary students and 10:10 a.m. for middle and high school students.

Bus routes will run two hours later than the normal schedule. For example, if your student is normally picked up at 7 a.m., they would be picked up at 9 a.m. Dismissal times and afternoon bus routes will proceed as normal.

As always, the safety of students and staff is of the utmost importance. The school system encourages everyone to be weather aware this evening and tomorrow morning. If circumstances change or conditions worsen, the system will provide updates through Infinite Campus Messenger, local media, social media, and the BCSS webpage.

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