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article imageState of Emergency issued as snow hits Metro Atlanta Special

By Jacki Viles     Jan 29, 2014 in World
Atlanta - It’s Snowmageddon! Governor Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for Georgia as a winter storm rolled through the state at rush hour yesterday.
Today, Metro Atlanta is still at a frozen solid stand still.
I-75 North going into the city from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport has been shut down as of this moment. Traffic is being diverted off the highway to make way for emergency DOT crews to finally attempt to clear the highway.
It snows in the Atlanta Metro occasionally. Every few years we find ourselves here. But this time the failures from government agencies are too many to mention.
Thousands of children spent the night on school buses stranded on highways. Even more were stranded in their schools and spent the night. Many of the city’s law enforcement personnel live outside the city and had no way to travel through the gridlock. They made use of the facilities at the Civic Center and made it into an unofficial shelter for police officers to spend the night.
Commuters who generally have a 15-minute ride home from work reported commute times of over four hours. They were the lucky ones as there are still many commuters and truckers who have spent the night on our highways and are still there as we speak. At least one baby was born on the I-285 last night.
There are jackknifed tractor trailers up and down the three main interstates that connect the city. There are abandoned cars up and down the shoulders of every major highway and artery as commuters gave up and started walking. Today the Department of Transportation is announcing that cars will be towed to various parking lots in order to clear the roads. It is unknown how those motorists will find their cars when the time comes to retrieve them.
People rest at the aisle of a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlan...
People rest at the aisle of a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlanta, Georgia, January 29, 2014
With permission by Reuters / Tami Chappell
The National Weather Service announced a weather advisory at 3:39 a.m. Tuesday for the metro Atlanta area for about 2 inches of snow. But at the governor’s news conference today he said that the National Weather Service forecast indicated snow way south of Atlanta.
Local news forecasted a major snow event (2 inches or more with accumulation) for Atlanta and the surrounding counties as early as Monday evening.
Now the blame game begins.
Metro Atlanta Commuters abandon cars
Metro Atlanta Commuters abandon cars
Disagreement among state leadership made for a very awkward press conference this morning as local agencies were not activated in advance of a major weather event. One reporter from WSB-TV commented that her team went to the GEMA headquarters at about 3 p.m. yesterday and the offices were mainly empty. When she questioned where everyone was she was told that there wasn’t an emergency.
There’s still significant emergency conditions today as people are still stranded, businesses are still closed and the temperature has not made it above freezing in three days. SnowedOutAtlanta is a Facebook group where locals can find support.
For now we can all hope for Mother Nature to take pity on us. The forecast for Saturday shows temperatures in the 60’s. Saturday cannot come fast enough.
More about Atlanta, Weather, Snow storm, Georgia
 
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