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Governor, Mayor outline solutions to snow crisis | News

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Governor, Mayor outline solutions to snow crisis

ATLANTA -- The number one priority for both the state and the city of Atlanta is to fix what went wrong during this week's debacle.

To that end both the Governor and the Mayor are proposing big changes to the way they will respond to weather emergencies.

On the governors side:

Two groups will attack the problem. The first will involve agency heads from GEMA, GDOT, the National Guard and others. They will be getting together Monday to make immediate changes for the next emergency.

The second will include the Governor and those same agency heads, plus local jurisdictions with the police, schools, lawmakers and even TV meteorologists, including 11Alive's own Chesley Mcneil.

"We have had offers of external review from other outside agencies who we will accept their input," Governor Nathan Deal told reporters Thursday. "And the result of all of that is we will be compiling a new plan of action for similar events in the future."

The task force will find a better way to coordinate communications between the state and local groups.

It will also come up with a trigger, some kind of a standard metric, so that everybody knows when to begin to go into emergency mode.

The task force will outline what kind of preps should be put into action, as well as a direct response when the weather hits.
There will also be a clear trigger for when to stand down.

On the City side:

An immediate comprehensive review.

"I have ordered a comprehensive review of our response to learn from we did and what we did not do; what worked and what did not work," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Friday before the Atlanta Press Club.

Reed says a working group will help define best practices that include a way to stagger dismissals from schools, businesses and government in that order.

The city will also be working with the Weather Channel, which offered their assistance in the wake of the traffic/snow debacle.

The mayor will also hire an Emergency Management Executive, a sort of disaster czar, to coordinate a regional response with other governments including the state.

And he will ask for more money from the city council to increase the fleet of snow plows and spreaders.

The city already has 30 salt spreaders and 40 snow plows. But what they discovered is that the balance of equipment is wrong. They actually need more spreaders to treat the roads.

The plows are snow movers, but the problem was ice. So, according to the mayor, any new equipment will reflect that need.