Nathan Deal: ‘Take care of yourselves’ — icy roads aren’t going away

Gov. Nathan Deal warned Georgians on Tuesday that the icy conditions that have paralyzed much of the state and its roadways aren’t going away anytime soon.

“The weather has to cooperate in order for us to do what we really need to do. So I would just urge everyone to make sure they take care of themselves, and that they do not put themselves in a position of danger,” a sweatshirted Deal told reporters invited into his meeting with disaster advisers.

Vance Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation (left), Gov. Nathan Deal, and Charley English of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency during a session with reporters. Jim Galloway, jgalloway@ajc.com

Vance Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation (left), Gov. Nathan Deal, and Charley English of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency during a session with reporters. Jim Galloway, jgalloway@ajc.com

“As we all know, ice in the South is the biggest danger we have. One of the good things about it is that the ice has not broken any power lines. Of course, that is always good news. So we have something to be thankful for,” he said.

Deal said he and his advisors were concentrating on the situation faced by those in hard-to-reach pockets.

“We do have some remote parts of our state that are still relatively impassable because there are not major thoroughfares in their area. So we are talking about that,” Deal said.

But the governor, in his second day on the job, refused to respond to any questions.

Attending the meeting with the governor were Col. Bill Hitchens, head of the Georgia State Patrol; Gen. Terry Nesbitt, commander of the National Guard; Vance Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation; and Charley English, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

One of the questions asked of the new governor was whether it was proper on Monday to devote so much of the state’s force of four-wheel drive vehicles to bringing state lawmakers to the state Capitol to convene the winter session of the General Assembly.

After the news conference, Hitchens told reporters that the state Constitution mandates that a quorum of legislators assemble on the second Monday of January.

Most of the lawmakers, Hitchens said, had only needed a quick ride to and from their downtown Atlanta hotel rooms.

But state officials are sensitive to the topic. Deal said his State of the State address to the Legislature, scheduled for Wednesday morning, had been postponed until 2 p.m. to allow lawmakers more time to get to the state Capitol.

In the following note sent this afternoon, House Speaker David Ralston informed lawmakers that they would be on their own when it came to transportation:

It is not necessary for members to report until 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday to allow time for travel and improvement of road conditions.

The Speaker will convene the House of Representatives at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 12, per the joint adjournment resolution. The House will then stand at recess until 1:00 p.m. The Joint Session of the General Assembly for the Governor’s State of State Address will convene at 2:00 p.m.

Due to weather conditions, please exercise extreme caution and put your personal safety first. No state resources will be available to assist with transportation.

Again, please do not report to House of Representatives until 1:00 p.m.

Staff are advised to exercise caution and stay off the roads if it is unsafe. Stay tuned to local news reports for announcements regarding official closure by the Governor.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

148 comments Add your comment

shirley

January 11th, 2011
3:32 pm

Thanks for keeping us posted on what folks aren’t doing. It helps us decvide to stay put.

gfgfgf

January 11th, 2011
3:47 pm

I need this snow to away, I’m losing my mind stuck in this house

Sonya Rolle

January 11th, 2011
3:48 pm

What about the McDonough area? I haven’t seen any salt trucks on the highway or surface roads.

Chris

January 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

Really good suggestions – not! Was he taken away from watching football? Nice professional look for him.

RDM0999

January 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

We prepared well in advance for this by stocking up on groceries. We also have remote access to work, direct deposit, and online bill pay. Who needs to leave home? LMAO

Thisissomebullsh**

January 11th, 2011
3:53 pm

It makes no sense to me why any city would allow its local economy and school systems to be crippled possibly for days on end rather than investing in equipment to clear the roads. While snowstorms like this one don’t occur every winter, icy roads do. Who is looking out for those electricians, hospital workers, police and fire departments, etc. who have to arrive at work safely because we depend on them in times like this? Where is happening to the tax dollars that are supposed to be used to maintian these roads? Get your head out of the ’50s, Atlanta. Seriously.

Esther

January 11th, 2011
3:54 pm

Really?? That was enlightening. Thanks for sharing.

Matt

January 11th, 2011
3:55 pm

Um, why is the new gov in a sweatshirt and jeans? If you’re going in front of TV cameras and news photographers, can’t we expect a little more effort to look presentable and professional? It’s not like he’s been snowed in the gov’s mansion and unable to dress himself. He has state troopers carting him around.

Janie

January 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

So much sarcasm in the above comments. Thisissomebullsh, you have all the answers, huh, and you are an Atlanta native so you know what you are taking about, right? NOT …

Kevin

January 11th, 2011
3:58 pm

Sorry, but I’m not buying it. I live in Midtown. I haven’t seen one primary or secondary road that has been salted– let alone plowed.

And watching the pile ups all over the Metro, I’m curious just what exactly the DOT has been doing.

They Katrina’d us . . .

sonny

January 11th, 2011
3:59 pm

To the previous 8 post…here’s your chesse to go with your WHINE!!!!

lovebugs720

January 11th, 2011
4:00 pm

What does “the weather” have to do in cooperation? if the weather “cooperates,” the governor and DOT need to do nothing since everything will MELT!

KJ

January 11th, 2011
4:03 pm

Schools allow for missed days, but city and county tax revenues are down, be thankful they’re doing what they can in what is, for all intents and purposes, a 50 year event. Give people a forum to do so, and most will pop in to complain about what isn’t being done or about what the Gov. was wearing. Really? Fashion police need to give it a rest.

Norman

January 11th, 2011
4:03 pm

Why are we concentrating on remote parts of the state? How about clear the streets where most people actually live? If you chose to live with grizzly bears in the mountains, you should invest in your own transportation to get out.

Common John

January 11th, 2011
4:04 pm

I’ve actually seen several City of Atlanta salt trucks around my neighborhood. We could use more help on the highways…the State could step up a bit.

catlady

January 11th, 2011
4:08 pm

Brilliant! And we are not expecting the state to take care of us–we know we will have to take care of ourselves. The “big boys” will be taken care of by the taxpayers.

You know all the talk about how “God has been with us from the beginning” that Deal was quoted (and I am paraphrasing) saying this weekend about the possibility of snow messing up the inauguration? Well, I wonder what kind of an omen it is that the state has been shut down since he became governor? More to come?

“But the governor, in his second day on the job, refused to respond to any questions.” Might as well get used to it. We saw this already, didn’t we?

Massai

January 11th, 2011
4:09 pm

This guy is senseless and completely selfish. I quote “Roads are Icy…Take care of yourself” This is ludacris and absurb! How dare you say take care of yourself when plenty of roads are iced and no government support to help alleviate some of the ice on roads affected by the storm. You would think for as much warning we get from the news about incoming storm threats to the state, that the goverment would step up and have salt/sand trucks or plowers on the road before the snow and ice fell instead of trying to apply (some-very little) salt or sand on the snow and ice. Fools. Well I guess, stupid people vote for stupid officials that make dumb decisions for the state on taxpayers monies. Georgia when are yall going to get it together. Two words…The hell with Gov. Deal!!!

V. Highlands

January 11th, 2011
4:09 pm

The City of Atlanta is the only government entity open and running in the Atlanta Metro area. Gov. Deal may need to take notes.

SpaceyG on Twitter

January 11th, 2011
4:10 pm

We’ve been told where we stand with this governor for the next four years. Consider yourself warned!

Brian

January 11th, 2011
4:11 pm

Get over it people, Barnes lost.

North Georgia Mountains

January 11th, 2011
4:13 pm

You, sir, are an idiot.

I agree with KJ – most of you all have a better way. Run for public office if you are so smart and have such great ideas.

Southern Boy

January 11th, 2011
4:14 pm

Interesting how much of the available state resources (4 wheel vehicles) are being reserved for local government for tomorrow’s session. Hey, I need to get around and I pay taxes for those resources! More and more, I am realizing that the government folks care for themselves, and for the public after.

Auburn!

January 11th, 2011
4:15 pm

We can’t blame this on Deal quite yet…he just stepped in office. I am impressed with how engaged Mayor Reed has been during the storm. Let’s be realistic…This is a southern City so it’d be foolish to go out and buy a bunch of snow trucks for something that occurs two days a year at most. All sane Atlantans understand that.

Happy With Deal

January 11th, 2011
4:16 pm

I have no problem with him wearing something comfortable when we are in a state of emergency. Good for him! As for those of you suggesting spending millions on salt trucks for the very few time they are needed…is there some state surplus that you know about that none of us do? Did all the teachers get their jobs back??? Hmmm…yeah…heck with our kids futures, lets buy salt trucks so the one to three days a year we can’t get to WalMart, we can! Great priorities…no wonder why this place is going down the pooper! The people are driving it!

Brian

January 11th, 2011
4:17 pm

If the state spent a bunch of money on plows for a once-in-10-year storm, then people would be screaming thier heads off on how that money was wasted.

NIKKI

January 11th, 2011
4:17 pm

The problem with society: “we want the government to take care of us!” sniff sniff sniff. You are the ones who voted in a socialist president,so don’t whine when the government is literally involved in every aspect of your life.

older conservative

January 11th, 2011
4:18 pm

Catlady, you are still licking your wounds from the governor’s election. Why don’t you move to another state???? we are tired of your whining!!!!!!!

rw

January 11th, 2011
4:18 pm

I have a question. Since the roads started icing we have seen one semi on top of another crashing and sliding down an interstate somewhere. Even heard a semi driver talking about “I’ve been sliding on ice since I crossed the state line.” Heard a news interview where someone I thought was with DOT say something about “we need these trucks to stay put.” Why didn’t anyone have the sense and guts to TELL the trucks to stay off the roads? Wouldn’t that have made lives safer/easier?

Honest Abe

January 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

Wait! City of Atlanta is open today? I’m impressed.

cat fight

January 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

I hope Kassim Reed runs in 4 years. He seems to be the only politician in the state with an ear to the public needs. Kudos to Mr. Reed for stepping up and making sure people saw some action in Atlanta. Four more years of good old boy garbage piled on top of the 8 just past for the State.

Vince

January 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

@Thisissomebullsh…

I do not want our state or county to invest my tax dollars in something that would only get used once a decade.

Salt trucks? No thanks, you can keep ‘em. I don’t want salt either ruining my lawn or my car.

Relax folks.

Mid Ga Retiree

January 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

Trouble is, most sane people are doing something constructive rather than whining on blogs.

Brian

January 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

Didn’t see any Prius’ out and about today….

twistedmuser.com

January 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

I really don’t expect Georgia to go extreme when buying snow equipment, but having to close the entire southern half of 285 seems to show a lack of preparedness. Not really complaining though, I didn’t have to get on it.

General Robert E. Lee

January 11th, 2011
4:21 pm

If you “dum”-ocrats hadn’t been so obsessed with changing the state flag 10 years ago, you “dum”-ocrats might still be in charge. LMMFAO!

You can’t block a PROXY Jim, good try though.

Diet_coke_Girl

January 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

I have no problem with not investing in heavy equipment because these events are rare. Although, these winter events seem to be getting more common. Obviously this storm was crazy but last year there were a few days with snow and ice, and this past Christmas, I think that maybe a few extra trucks to at least get 75, 85 and 285 cleared as soon as they can? I think that Georgia will probably start to get more and more snow in the coming years (ice as well). Now My HOA on the other hand needs to stop throwing $$ away to the management company to do thier work and buy some salt or ice melt…our streets are skating rinks and they say they can’t prepare in time… I think we had what? A weeks notice???

Beamer Jim

January 11th, 2011
4:23 pm

Can Kasim Reed and Nathan Deal switch places for a week or two…maybe even a year or four?

Steve

January 11th, 2011
4:26 pm

Massai, you sir (?), are an idiot.

ABFAN

January 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

I am sick and tired of hearing the people complain about what the Government is or is not doing. I am sure that the limited resources they have for an event like this are being utilized as best as they know how. But the Government is not meant to solve your every problem. And I certainly don’t want to pay whatever tax rate would be required to solve every problem on your unrealistic time schedule.

Cletus Dooley Earnhardt SR.

January 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

Jenral RubertE lie,

yu sir are a lejendary saynt and secund in myy boy books to Geesus Cris himeslef. i fiyte that sivil war in myy brain all the tyme. NEVVER FURGET!!!!!!! Theese liberrals caree tooo muchh about heeltha care, snow, jobbs andd pinko homosekual stuff! Thee reel issshoe is the REBUL FLAGG!

-GO UGA!

JackATL

January 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

@ Older Conservative…….I’m sure you’re still whining about Obama being the president….so why don’t YOU move to another country!!!

JackATL

January 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

All these truckers I see complaining on the highway………I guess the Ice Road Truckers are the only big boy truckers!!! LOL

Cekker

January 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

What exactly has Kasim Reed been doing that everyone is so impressed with?

Last Man Standing

January 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

Thisissomebullsh** :

It makes very little sense to invest untold millions in equipment that will be used so rarely. If you don’t care for the way this situation is being handled, feel free to return to whatever planet you originated from with my blessings.

catlady:

You are as bitter and scathing as ever. If there is only one blessing received during this event, it is that one doesn’t have to be caged with you for the duration.

Truth

January 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

this crippled city should be ashamed. Nathan Deal you and those fools sitting around a desk need to go grab shovels and get something done. This weather was predicted since LAST WEEK. UGH.

Mayorofponce

January 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

Yeah, 2nd day in office and dude is in a sweat shirt? Really?? What do you expect from a redneck who owns a bankrupt junkyard.

Native Atlantan

January 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

Even this hardened progressive doesn’t expect the state or local government to “fix” the snow/ice problems. These events are rare and we are fortunate we didn’t lose power as we normally do during typical ice storms. We were warned in advance, we were told to stay off the roads and everyone is doing what they can to clean up the mess. And I agree with others in not wanting state funds diverted to equipment that will sit idle most of the time. Some of you folks need to keep up with the local news and not just the 4-feet of your personal space.

[...] in his first meeting with the press, Governor Deal said this: The weather has to cooperate in order for us to do what we really need to do. So I would just urge [...]

HereandThere

January 11th, 2011
4:54 pm

Remote areas of GA should have snow capable ambulances and chains for their Firetrucks because they are remote. Doesn’t make much sense to not put the resources where the most people need them. I mean they can’t even run MARTA bus service. This is bad for working people who need to get to work to get paid. GDOT and the State have fallen down on this one – Get the busy state routes cleared! How many days has it been?

Rubin Hood

January 11th, 2011
4:55 pm

Deal must have worked for Costco once upon a time. Costco was the first employer to allow casual work attire for their employee’s back in the 80’s. I remember making a sales call in business attire and was stunned to see their buyers in casual wear.