By Keith Laing
Officials in Georgia are scrambling to avoid another round of snow gridlock as weather forecasts are predicting another snow storm for the metro Atlanta area, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
City and state officials came under heavy fire from national media outlets after reports emerged of hours-long traffic jams shutting down Atlanta highways when the city received just 2 inches of snow last month.
Both Atlanta and Georgia leaders raced to prove they were more prepared for the potential storm this time by closing schools on Tuesday and Wednesday and pre-treating major roads with salt, the paper reported.
“If ice accumulation is significant, we will not be treating every lane of the interstate,” Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said at a news conference Monday afternoon, according to the paper.
“The goal will be to keep two lanes open and operational, and then we will go the heaviest used off-interstate roadways to deal with them as well,” Deal continued.
Deal, who is up for reelection this year, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) faced heavy criticism for their response to the January storm. Deal was criticized for being too slow to respond to conditions in metro Atlanta and Reed was accused of attempting to pass the buck to suburban jurisdictions.
Each official defended their actions during the January storm and vowed to learn lessons to avoid a repeat.