Who's to Blame? Lessons from Atlanta Snow Storm


Mild weather returned to the South Friday, helping with recovery efforts from one of the worst winter storms to hit parts of the region in many years.

The storm was a disaster, not only for governments, but for small and large businesses since customers and workers were forced to stay home.

In the Atlanta area, hundreds of drivers have finally been reunited with their abandoned cars. Schools remain closed but state employees have been told to go back to work.

Georgia's governor and other state officials apologized for not shutting the city down before the snow.

"I'm the governor. The buck stops with me," Gov. Nathan Deal said. "I accept the responsibility for it."

This type of situation has happened before. In 2005, Houston residents flooded the highways in an attempt to escape Hurricane Rita, leading to deadly gridlock.

One expert said the lesson is that cities have to have a plan.

"Atlanta didn't understand that snow is the enemy unless you're on a ski slope," said Dr. Mitchell Moss, professor of urban planning at New York University. "Whatever was done was done in response to the crisis and not because there was a plan"

CBN's Operation Blessing and the city of Norfolk, Va., had a plan, called Operation Snow Buddy, in which teams of workers helped dig out those most in need.

"I was watching TV, you know, reporting the weather," one Norfolk resident said. "And they mentioned your name, so I called, and here you are -- thank you!"

Operation Blessing also provided a semi-truck load of 20 tons of rock salt to help clear sidewalks and driveways.

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