ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Friday ordered a review of the city’s response to the winter weather that paralyzed the city for three days this week and also promised an improved approach to combat similar storms in the future.
Metro Atlanta on Tuesday saw just more than three inches of snow, but roads were choked with too many cars and quickly turned to parking lots as motorists abandoned their vehicles rather than battle the icy conditions.
During an appearance before the Atlanta Press Club, Reed outlined a new approach that includes a request for the city council to invest in new snow-fighting equipment, the hiring an emergency management head and working with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to assess weather conditions. The city is also planning to partner with the Atlanta-based Weather Channel to help make Atlanta a “weather ready city.”
The mayor, who was elected to a second term last year, also apologized for hardships many people felt, but disagreed with the assertion that they city was at a standstill, saying major arteries within the city were passable by Tuesday evening.
“I am deeply sorry and regret terribly the pain and anguish that many people felt beginning Tuesday afternoon and well into Wednesday,” Reed said, recounting his comments made earlier this week to WSB-TV. “I said my heart goes out to anyone who was stuck in a car for 12 to 13 hours, my heart goes out to the woman who gave birth on I-285. I said I feel the pain of a mother or a father who hasn’t been able to feel the warm embrace of their son or daughter because their children were struck at school on Tuesday night.”
Added Reed: “I want to make it clear to every single person who was impacted by this storm that I care deeply about you, and I care deeply about what happened to you.”
The mayor also promised to look at other cities, such as Milwaukee, to understand their approach and how Atlanta might incorporate some of their best practices.