Just as the icy gridlock of highways and school closings have passed in Atlanta, the state of Georgia just got news that there is yet another icy storm on its way – prompting the governor to prepare ahead this go around, and declare a state of emergency hours prior to the expected storm.
Rain and snow are forecast for Tuesday followed by sleet and freezing rain on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather watch until Tuesday evening for northern parts of Georgia and the same watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday for the metro Atlanta area.
Gov. Nathan Deal proved completely unprepared for the Jan. 28 storm that immobilized the state’s metro area after two inches of snow fell. Drivers spent the night in frigid cars, students slept in school gyms and busses and thousands of cars were abandoned along highways. Officials reported one accident-related death.
Governor Deal, in an effort to reassure the people of Georgia, commented: “I have directed the State Patrol, Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources to begin moving assets toward areas where the snow and ice are expected, and I have issued a ‘warning order’ for the National Guard — an advance notice to personnel of the possibility of a ‘call up’ for a state mission,” said Deal. “At the moment, local meteorologists are advising us to expect a ‘major storm’ that could bring significant levels of snow and ice. We have passed along this latest weather information to school superintendents and local emergency management agencies.”
Many Georgia residents were doubtful that the state would be more prepared this time.
“I’m not counting on it. I’ve been in Georgia on and off for 20 years. It’s usually the same scenario, not enough preparations and not enough equipment,” said Terri Herod, who was preparing for the storm with large sandbags, shovels and a bag of kitty litter, just in case her car gets stuck in ice.
Unfortunately for its residents, Atlanta has quite the reputation of being unprepared to deal with snowy weather and this time, people were not taking any chances.
Before the first snow fell, people around Atlanta planned to work from home and stay off the roads. Jay Ali, 33, a college student, said he had little confidence that government officials would handle this storm any better.
“New levels of incompetence,” Ali said, describing the state and regional response to the last storm. “Unforeseen levels of incompetence.”
This time though, it appears as if the governor has it under control.
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