Georgia Voies: The Snowstorm disaster largely was man-made
by The Savannah Morning News
February 07, 2014 12:00 AM | 1486 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elected and appointed leaders in this area of Georgia earned passing grades for their preparations in advance of this week’s arctic blast, which fortunately struck here with more bark than bite.

If anything, people in Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties were over-prepared for snow and ice, treacherous roads and possible electrical outages, in addition to sub-freezing temperatures.

But that’s not a bad thing.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry and prepare for the worst when it comes to weather calamities, even if it triggers modest inconveniences like panic buying at the stores, dealing with kids who don’t have school, not being able to catch a (city) bus or closing businesses temporarily.

Had area officials been caught with their snow pants down, they would have caught heat and deserved it.

To find a classic case of how not to respond to a predictable threat, look no farther than Atlanta and the epic traffic jam that brought a great American city to its knees.

What happened in and around our state’s capital was an embarrassment. But the repercussions aren’t confined to the big city. This calamity raises serious questions about the ability of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the statewide agency responsible for disaster preparation and response, to do its job along the state’s coast and elsewhere.

Gov. Nathan Deal did the right thing and accepted responsibility for Tuesday’s Snowjam ’14 — or Gridlockalypse — which left thousands of motorists stranded on the metro area’s clogged roadways and forced children to spend the night in their schools.

Likewise, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was disappointing. He pointed fingers at school officials, businesses and other leaders for not staggering their closings Tuesday, which caused the metro area’s inadequate road system to go from green light to gridlock in less than an hour. If Mr. Reed has political ambitions beyond his city’s beltway, he must ditch the buck-passing act. Georgians have enough whiny, inert politicians in public office. They don’t need more.

Deal is right to call for a top-to-bottom review of the disaster, which appears largely man-made.
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