Latest News & Current Events

Georgia Gov takes responsibility for snowstorm response

While cities in the North are much more accustomed to snowstorms, and in places like New York, powerful mayors have the single-handed authority to order salt-spreaders and plows onto the streets, the Atlanta area,  is a patchwork of regional governments that often don’t get along with each other.

Back in 201, after a snowstorm hobbled Atlanta in , Mayor Kasim Reed , wrote in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had learned an important lesson about collaboration and cooperation. “We will work faster and smarter to deliver the kind of response that our residents demand and deserve,” he wrote.

Clearly those lessons were not well learned.

Thousands of people were stuck, without food and water, on the interstates in and around Atlanta after the storm struck on Tuesday afternoon. Thousands of schoolchildren were also marooned overnight in their schools or on buses trapped on the road.

In Atlanta on Thursday, the National Guard helped people retrieve abandoned cars that littered the Atlanta interstates. Meanwhile, the mayor and governor struggled with the political fallout.

Mayor Kasim Reed assured people on Tuesday, in a message on Twitter before the snow began to fall: “Atlanta, we are ready for the snow.”

On Thursday, he acknowledged that authorities made a mistake by not staggering their orders for people to go home — schools first, then private businesses, then government employees. Instead, hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the interstates at the same time.

But Reed suggested, that he was being unfairly blamed for traffic that clogged highways outside the city limits. “I think we need to work much harder on coordination,” he told reporters. But he stressed: “The highways are not the responsibility of the city.”

It was the latest episode of finger-pointing after the storm. On Wednesday, the governor infuriated meteorologists by calling the storm “unexpected” and saying that nobody “could have predicted “the degree and magnitude of the problem.”

In fact, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm alert for Atlanta at 3:38 a.m. on Tuesday, 12 hours before the worst of the traffic set in.

The problem was compounded by the fact that Atlanta also has a deeply ingrained car culture and a mass transit system that serves only a fraction of the metro area’s 5.5 million people. In 2012 voters across the region defeated a one-penny sales tax that would have strengthened regional transit.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday took responsibility for the state’s slow response to the snowstorm that left people stranded for more than 24 hours on gridlocked interstates, and his top emergency management official said flatly: “I got this one wrong.”

“I’m not going to look for a scapegoat,”  Deal said. “I am the governor. The buck stops with me. I accept the responsibility for it, but I also accept the responsibility of being able to make corrective actions as they come into the future.”

He added: “We will take those weather warnings more seriously.”

Charley English, head of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said he had made a mistake by activating the state’s emergency response center six hours too late, long after the National Weather Service upgraded its winter storm alert for Atlanta on Tuesday morning. “I made a terrible mistake, and I put the governor in an awful position,” he said. 


See more in the 'Latest News & Current Events' section

Comments


Be the first to add your comments




Comment on this article



Login to submit a comment

 

  Discover Card Miles Application

 

What we offer

GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:

  • 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
  • 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
  • 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
  • 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.

Success stories

GajGal Testimonial

Shayne Duke
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”

GajGal Testimonial

Amy Rogers
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”