The snow storm of Tuesday P.M. January 28, 2014 paralyzed the city of Atlanta, forcing thousands of children to spend the night at schools, stranding thousands of drivers on the interstates and streets for few hours to 18 hours. On Tuesday, a rare weather phenomenon mixed with lack of planning and an overdependence on cars helped to create a Perfect Storm.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning at 3:38 A.M. Tuesday for the entire Atlanta Metro. The agency warned of 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation and said it would begin “as early as mid-morning and last into tonight.” The respective leaders for whatever reason chose to ignore it. The snow started falling around Noon. In reality, just over 2-3 inches of snow fell in Atlanta. While that’s nothing for most of the Northern cities, it can be a huge burden for the Southern cities not used to it.
Atlanta metro spans 28 counties sprawled over an area the size of Massachusetts. While the city has a population of 1 million, the metro area’s population is 6 million. Metro Atlanta comprises 140 cities and towns — most of which have their own leaders and executives making their own decisions.
One can say that Atlanta exclusively depends on cars. Atlanta does have a commuter train system, but it does not serve the whole metro area. A recent poll shows that many in the metro Atlanta area support expanded mass transit however; there is no money to pay for it.
It is obvious that after the 2011 snow storm which shutdown the entire Atlanta Metro for five days, the various city and state leaders had gotten together and developed an effective response for this very situation. Instead of blaming and ducking, it is better to move forward, developed a plan, communicate with pertinent parties and then execute it to perfection. HOPEFULLY, THIRD TIME’S A CHARM.