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Ga. Officials Criticized For Winter Storm Response

Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed were on the defensive about their severe weather response after a devastating winter storm.
Posted at 11:44 PM, Jan 29, 2014

Top Georgia officials were on the defensive Wednesday for mistakes that turned metro Atlanta into a parking lot and schools into hotels following a blast of icy weather. 

Georgia State Patrol confirmed two storm-related deaths, more than 100 injuries and more than 1,200 accidents after two inches of ice and snow fell in some parts of the state Tuesday. (Via ABC)

While Governor Nathan Deal blamed inaccurate weather predictions and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed blamed businesses and the school system, at least one high-profile weatherman reversed the blame. (Via CNN)

Al Roker: "This was poor planning on the mayor's part and the governor's part, pure and simple. They were warned about it, they should've been prepared for it, and people are still suffering." (Via WXIA)

Deal and Reed had previously said they were prepared for the weather but later apologized for mistakes made in the severe weather response. (Via Twitter / @KasimReed)

One of the main criticisms directed at Georgia officials was that schools and business dismissed around the same time, flooding the highways with traffic so bad that salt and sand trucks could not get through. 

"We made a mistake by not staggering when people should leave, so I'll take responsibility for that. ... If we had it to do again, we would've said 'Schools, you go first.'" (Via CBS)

WXIA meteorologist Chris Holcomb said the sun melted away some of the ice Wednesday, but whatever's left will freeze over again going into Thursday morning.