From Thursday’s Washington Post: Two weeks ago, the state of Georgia massively bungled its response to a snowstorm — with everyone, from the governor down to average commuters, doing something dumb to contribute. The result was a massive citywide traffic jam in Atlanta, with school buses unable to deliver children to their parents, and some commuters needing 22 hours to get home.
On Tuesday, as another storm swept over the state, people in Georgia seemed to have learned their lesson.
But, in other parts of the South, other cities and other commuters seemed determined to repeat Atlanta’s mistakes.
From Thursday’s Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer: It was pretty. You had to give Mother Nature that. But otherwise, Wednesday’s snowstorm was a mess in terms of traffic and inconvenience and, yes, some danger for folks trying to get home from work. Thursday brought early melting, then more snow and ice.
The good news was that power outages were minimal in this area. The statewide news was worse, with an estimated 100,000 people without electricity. At least three deaths were attributed to the storm statewide.
The most widespread storm condition was man-made: traffic gridlock. The situation raises questions about whether there should be a better way for the region to react to snow in the middle of a workday. In the Internet era, shouldn’t more businesses tell employees it’s OK to stay home when a big storm is expected? And, thinking further out, isn’t it time Triangle residents had some alternative to their cars in slippery weather? Many a driver stuck in traffic Wednesday must have dreamed of having the option of taking a train.
But did we handle this episode as well as we might have? Some of our neighbors who have joined us from the Northeast wonder why snow always seems to cause such chaos here.
Let’s hope some lessons were learned. State and local officials charged with dealing with “weather events” always need to study preparation and response once a storm has passed. Something generally can be improved every time.