ATLANTA – Snow and ice storms that struck Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, Tuesday, left motorists stranded, kids sleeping over at schools and hundreds of abandoned cars on expressways. The city was still recovering from the initial impact of the storm, which left 3 inches of snow over Atlanta’s metro area and suburbs, in a region largely unfamiliar with snow. Gov. Nathan Deal declared the Georgia in a state of emergency.
Mayor Kasim Reed also faced criticism for not warning people from going about their day Tuesday and letting kids attend school when meteorologist reports as early as 3 p.m. the day before the storm warned of snow and ice that would likely paralyze the city.
Several motorists left their vehicles abandoned on highways and neighborhood roads after getting stuck in patches of ice or losing control completely and not being able to navigate back onto the road. The Georgia Dept. of Transportation originally stated vehicles abandoned in the middle and sides of the freeway would be towed, but later changed its stance to vehicles would be towed out of traffic lanes for later pickup. Stranded vehicles will not face tickets and the numerous vehicles involved in accidents are being asked to remember notes about the incident and take a number from their corresponding agency to be resolved later. Georgia Fire, Emergency and 911 services were inundated with never before seen amounts of distress calls causing cell towers and communications lines to buckle under heavy traffic Tuesday evening.
Roads were still icy, but somewhat more manageable Wednesday but expressways and through-roads still had dangerous spots of black ice. Many businesses, stores and agencies closed or operated short hours of business.
GDOT is asking people in the state to stay home and only use the roads in emergencies. As of Wednesday night, most of the expressway roads and neighborhood surface streets had been treated with salt, gravel or a mixture of the two allowing at least somewhat stable lanes of travel, often down to just one or two.
EDITOR’s NOTE: Everyone in the Atlanta area please be cautions during the winter storm. Be safe and smart when driving on the roads or in the event of picking up your vehicles from stranded locations.