People wonder how and why a 2 inch snowfall can paralyze a city and shut it down for days. Those of us who have lived our lives in the South don’t have to wonder. It all boils down to a few reasons, and these incidents will continue to happen regardless to what kind of planning is done beforehand.
This latest one is one of the worst that I can recall as long as I have lived. I’ve seen ice storms that shut down highways and roads for days. I’ve seen cars and trucks stranded because of wrecks and being stuck. This is the first time, however, that I can recall kids having to spend the night at school because they couldn’t get home.
I’m not that old, but I remember that anytime weather was a threat, the school board got us the hell out of school and made sure we got home before the weather hit. What in the hell were the decision makers thinking where you end up with thousands of kids having to spend the night at school? It wasn’t just an Atlanta thing either, there were kids in Alabama who were stuck in school as well.
“We have had students, unfortunately, stuck on buses all night,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa. “The National Guard and other state and local officials have been helping us escort buses out of those situations.”
Many of the students stuck on buses were taken back to school, where they spent the night. Atlanta Public Schools confirmed to ABC News that several hundred students are “sheltered in place” at nine schools this morning.
Another 1,400 students slept in schools in Jefferson County, Ala., overnight, according to Bob Ammons with Alabama Emergency Management, while nearly 2,000 students camped out in Shelby County schools.
One argument is that, if preparations are made ahead of time and nothing happens, then the authorities have to answer questions about crying wolf or something. I’d much rather have the school system shut down with nothing happening as opposed to having kids stuck on buses in the middle of traffic jams.
There are those here who want to blame Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed for what happened in Atlanta, but they are not the ones to blame. Why in the hell did everyone decide to go home all at one time? Business owners, employers, and such should have taken the weather warnings seriously. After all, the warnings were sounded on Sunday, long before the storm hit. The forecast kept changing and including more and more of the metro Atlanta area. When the weather people tell you it’s going to be bad, then it’s usually going to be bad. Their equipment and computers are much, much more advanced and better than they used to be.
I would say that I hope lessons are learned from this, but I know better. After living in the South for 40 years, I know the same thing will happen when the next major ice storm hits. Like always, I’ll make sure to have myself at home and off the road in plenty of time so I can get my popcorn ready to watch the slow motion train wreck unfold right before my eyes. The only difference is that now I get to watch it in High Def thanks to DirecTV.