It’s the gift that keeps on giving. A week after the world witnessed what 2″ of snow can do to a metro area that’s unprepared to deal with it, Atlanta has become the example of what not to do. I don’t know whether to give myself a facepalm or just laugh.
Portland meteorologists and transportation officials warned drivers “Don’t be Atlanta” as winter weather moved into the region midday Thursday.
The warning comes a little more than a week after Atlanta made headlines during Winter Storm Leon. Heavy snow started falling midday in the metro area on Tuesday, Jan. 28, and road conditions went downhill quickly. Businesses and schools dismissed at the same time, which turned into massive gridlock. Hundreds of kids were stranded at schools while some drivers reported commutes more than 15 or 20 hours long.
Thursday’s heaviest snow in Portland could also begin to fall while people are at work, according to weather.com meteorologist Alan Raymond. “Based on model data, the most impactful snowfall will be coming in between 3 p.m and 6 p.m. local time. That said, disruptive snow has already fallen in the higher elevations.”
Last week’s fiasco was a complete embarassment in how officials responded, or didn’t respond, to weather alerts that were given days ahead. To add insult to injury, the National Weather Service put out a message today, and the Georgia DOT responded by posting Winter Storm Watch messages on traffic boards all across the metro area when no such watch had been issued. There’s also a conference dealing with weather and climate that made it’s way to Atlanta right after the snowstorm hit. Maybe we would have fared better had that conference been a week or two earlier.