Deal: ‘Severe Weather Awareness’ week is next week

Gov. Nathan Deal (left) issues a proclamation to GEMA Director Charley English saying next week is "Severe Weather Awareness" week. (GEMA Twitter photo)

Gov. Nathan Deal (left) issues a proclamation to GEMA Director Charley English saying next week is "Severe Weather Awareness" week. Fox 5 weather guru Ken Cook (behind Deal) must not have warned them of Tuesday's snowstorm. (GEMA Twitter photo)

As snow fell Tuesday and roads iced, schools closed and motorists became trapped in cars across north Georgia, a nigh-forgotten press release in the AJC newsroom became a punchline.

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal encouraged the media to attend a ceremony where he would declare Feb. 3-7  as “Severe Weather Awareness Week.”

Thursday, Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Charley English was “presented” a proclamation, which, if framed, might be the closest thing GEMA has to a functioning snow shovel.

The words “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job,” were allegedly not uttered.

Tuesday night, Gov. Deal, in consultation with English, declared a state of emergency due to an “unexpected” storm that weather forecasters had been talking about for days.

Was the snowstorm really unexpected? The National Weather Service issued a snow warning for metro Atlanta early Monday morning.

At about 7 a.m. Tuesday, hours before the snow fell, schools started and most people drove to work, GEMA tweeted a “weather outlook” predicting “Snow is expected to begin as early as mid-morning and last into tonight. … snow covered roads will make for hazardous driving conditions through Wednesday morning.”

Before the snow started to fall, Nero fiddled and GEMA tweeted a pic of a Weather Channel appearance.

Before snow began to fall, GEMA officials made an appearance on The Weather Channel. (GEMA Twitter photo)

Before snow began to fall, GEMA officials made an appearance on The Weather Channel. (GEMA Twitter photo)

As the snow began to fall, GEMA retweeted a DOT warning to stay off the roads.

By then, it was too late. Kids were at school and adults were at work. When schools decided to send students home early, parents jammed onto roads already packed with fleeing office workers.

People are still trying to get home.

Atlanta police are so slammed they suggest using Twitter and Facebook to contact them instead of an overwhelmed 911 system.

Fortunately for taxpayers, Fulton County does have a really cool tank. But I doubt they would use it to rescue people.


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22 comments Add your comment


January 29th, 2014
8:13 am

That picture says a thousand words. Politicians are always ready for a photo-op when they want to look like they’re doing something. And we keep electing these clowns!


January 29th, 2014
8:33 am

What is EMA for? Their ideas only work in simulations where they control the environment. They can’t handle real events. What a waste of time and money. Yes, only a photo-op.


January 29th, 2014
8:39 am

When I look at that picture, I see exactly what is wrong with GA, the Dirty South & Corporate America – the good old boy’s network. No wonder common sense was not partaken because everyone is too busy doing nothing but pumping up each other & not caring about others.

deborah moore

January 29th, 2014
9:17 am

One solution to severe weather when roads are ‘hazardous’: expand public transportation ASAP! Georgia is a great place to live and grow. I <3 GA!

Mother Nature

January 29th, 2014
9:31 am

The dumbmasses have blamed everyone but me. Who knows what will happen next time! :)


January 29th, 2014
10:59 am

Last night my daughter was stranded on a icy hill downtown. A random gentleman driving a van in the opposite direction stopped and helped her. He gave her instructions which guided her out of the icy jam she was in. He made sure she was safe and on her way. Because of his actions my daughter made it to her destination safely. I will probably never know who you are, but please allow me to say…”Thank you, Sir, you are an angel”.


January 29th, 2014
11:55 am

As my Pa use to say, let this be a lesson to you son. We have had well below normal temperatures for a month ranging form single digits and low teen at night to upper twenties to mid thirties in the daylight hours. Pavement can freeze water even if the air temp is slightly above freezing because roads have been exposed to subfreezing temps for such a long period of time. So twenty-five and lower equals what? Tuesday. So remember what PA said.


January 29th, 2014
12:27 pm

Keep voting for representatives who put the people last and this is what you get. The State of GA is getting a raw Deal.

Hidden agenda

January 29th, 2014
1:07 pm

Government central planning fails at everything it does simply because government is disconnected from the risk/reward, cost, value and pricing structure that drives the market. Why do we continue to believe that they are better capable of handling anything when thousands of years of history stand is glaring conflict of that mistaken assumption?


January 29th, 2014
1:22 pm

Would it be too much for Georgia Republicans to appropriate funds for at least one snow plow attachment and one mound of sand each year? They scoff about “Global Warming” and “Climate Change,” but this will not be the last Winter Storm, but they could prevent another SnowMess.


January 29th, 2014
3:00 pm

Gotta love WXIA Channel 11 weatherman Chris Holcomb who came on just after midnight, right after the guv’s press conference, and politely but unmistakably called Deal a liar on the “unexpected” storm BS.

Then for the next hour I watched live feed of thousands of cars and trucks stranded on the interstates with no emergency relief effort anywhere in sight. Just unbelievable.

Mother Nature

January 29th, 2014
3:46 pm

It was UNEXPECTED on how bad I WOULD MAKE IT. Just wait …. I will get you even worse next time … Or maybe not! :)

Hidden agenda

January 29th, 2014
3:52 pm

The warning area was extended to include the entire city at 4:30am on Tuesday. At that point schools should have closed and salt trucks should have been deployed. They weren’t. Instead everyone waited until well into the morning. Sure, everyone got out onto the highways and blocked access for the salt trucks, but this would not have been an issue if the DOT, etc. had responded to the accurate forecast as of 4am. This also wouldn’t be a problem if the government’s priorities weren’t to spend tons of money on stadiums for billionaires instead of winter weather preparations to help out the serfs who slave away to pay their salaries.


January 29th, 2014
4:35 pm

Yes this is all the fault of Deal and Reed. You Southerners spend as much time as you like focusing your attention on this act of nature. I have friends in the media that are at my disposal to attack them for as long as you need them. There is absolutely nothing to worry about at the federal level, focus your hatred on Deal and Reed. Oh, and we did inherit this mess from Bush too!

@ CuriousPrime

January 29th, 2014
4:41 pm

Thank you so very much for donating one snow plow attachment and one mound of sand each year. That will help tremendously in our effort to fight global warming.


January 29th, 2014
4:42 pm

I have yet to hear anyone say i wish i had listened to the weather forecast instead of sticking a phone in my ear all the way to work Tuesday. And i wish i knew the deference between a watch and a warning.

Mother Nature

January 29th, 2014
4:51 pm

In honor of Severe Weather Awareness Week – I am preparing to brew up an even bigger snowfall, a massive tornado outbreak, or maybe even torrential rains and flooding. On Sunday, my groundhog friend General Beauregard Lee will speak for the first time to tell you my exact plan! :)


January 29th, 2014
4:54 pm

Who watches the weather in Atlanta or takes it seriously since I left?

David Crisp

January 29th, 2014
7:09 pm

I really don’t think Deal is as much to blame as is the school superintendents. The school boards alone have the power to cancel school and made a stupid decision by stubbornly sticking to their policies instead of using common sense. If any heads should roll it should be top school officials. If they would have canceled school then the majority of this would have never happened.

Sad but True

January 29th, 2014
8:43 pm

The federal government requires that school children that attend at least a half day of school be fed lunch, and only then will gets their funds also for the free lunch kids. This is one of the reasons why large systems with many free and reduced lunch kids cannot afford to cancel school.

Hidden agenda

January 29th, 2014
9:54 pm

Government policies incentivize so many horrible things in our society. Tax policy pushes people to buy versus rent, hire versus fire, donate to one group versus another, purchase certain medical products versus others, etc. This garbage with schools and operating decisions is all part of the problem with the many strings that come with federal dollars. Drinking age and the speed limit came from federal highway dollar strings. Its time to cut the federal strings and start taking care of policies as responsible LOCAL folks rather than letting the failed federal government further screw up our state.


January 30th, 2014
8:34 am

Yes too many layers of government and too much control over people, all using money to trap and imprison citzens to do what the want. The transformation of our country into a federally controlled dictatorship has happened quickly over the past 5 years, and a lot more damage will happen in the next 3.

So, stop blaming Reed (local), Deal (state), and go to the top Obama (federal) to place the ultimate blame on where it belongs. B Hussein Obama our leader. Hail Obama.