Mayor Reed Says Everyone Leaving At The Same Time Caused Atlanta Ice Storm Standstill

January 29, 2014  |  

The story coming out of Atlanta is amazing: children stranded at school and motorists sleeping in their cars after succumbing to commutes that stretched for hours and hours after an ice storm that dropped three inches of precipitation brought a major American metropolis to a virtual standstill. We have reports of people sleeping in CVS and Home Depot stores and cars sitting on highways like they’re parked at the local mall.

The Wall Street Journal reports that temperatures won’t rise above freezing today, further complicating an already strange and complicated situation.

“What I’m thinking of every moment is how to get people out of their cars,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said this morning on television. “If we had not had everyone exiting at the same time and going en route to pick up their children, I don’t believe we would have had the kind of gridlock that has resulted in what people are seeing around the nation.” Both he and the state’s Gov. Nathan Deal are advising people to stay off the road. The state government is shut down today.

via @KasimReed

To many, this is a repeat of a 2011 ice storm that also paralyzed the city. However, Gov. Deal said while there were lessons from years ago, this weather was unexpected. Reed said there have been no fatalities and equipment is on the job. Moreover, on CNN this morning, he touted the one million people that he says have made it out of the city and maintained there are decisions, like when businesses let their workers out, that he has no control over.

Of course, Twitter is going in.

“What a fool!! 2 inches of snow and Atlanta Mayor brags”There were no fatalities,” wrote one tweeter.

“[K]asim reed needs to be fired,” wrote another, simply.

Even Al Roker got in on the criticism, calling the Mayor and the Governor’s claims that the weather was unexpected ” not true.”

“We were talking about this Monday that this was going to happen. They took a gamble. They didn’t want to pre-treat the roads. I don’t think they wanted to spend the money to do what they needed to do…,” Roker said this morning. “This was poor planning on the Mayor and the Governor’s part. Pure and simple.”

Mayor Reed notes that this is a regional problem, with Gawker noting that there have been 300 car accidents in Texas and the WSJ reporting that Alabama has had five fatalities.

“Forecasters had warned that Atlanta was expecting 1 to 2 inches,” CNN reports separately. “But in the morning, when the snow had not arrived, people went to work and school, like nothing was coming.

“Then it did.”

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