Ga. governor, Atlanta mayor defend snow emergency response - New York News

Ga. governor, Atlanta mayor defend snow emergency response

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ATLANTA -

In the face of stinging criticism from stranded motorists, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed defended their responses to Tuesday's snowfall.

Thousands of drivers were stranded and hundreds of students spent the night at school after a couple of inches of snow fell in Atlanta.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Reed said that the problem happened because businesses , government agencies and schools had early dismissal at the same time, forcing hundreds of thousands of people onto the roadways simultaneously. That made it difficult for crews to clear the roads of ice.

In the future, Reed said that dismissals should be staggered, with schools being let out first, followed by private businesses and then government employees.

The mayor refused to answer a question about how he would grade the city's response to the emergency.

Reed said that the city had learned lessons since the snowstorm of 2011.

Gov. Deal said that the National Guard would help escort students home from schools.

Deal said it would probably be better for drivers to attempt to get their abandoned vehicles from roadways on Thursday.

FOX 5's Morse Diggs reports that some highway and street employees of the city of Atlanta were sent home on Tuesday. An aide told Diggs that they had enough trained on the spreaders that those employees could be sent home around 6 p.m.

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