SnowJam and SOTU Open Thread

We’ve heard reports of people in metro Atlanta taking hours to get home in what is normally a short commute, due to the snow today. Governor Deal declared an emergency for the Peach State this afternoon. Over at the AJC, Greg Bluestein is reporting Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Governor Deal’s response to the storm, especially after the 2011 snowfall that left state troopers escorting elected officials to the Capitol on the first day of the session, will be looked at closely.

In other news, President Obama will offer his State of the Union Address beginning at 9 PM. We expect to see lots of references to the middle class, the minimum wage and inequality.

Everybody has an opinion, and if you’ve made it home, you’re not going anywhere tonight, so you might as well vent. Feel free to contribute your thoughts on the storm or the SOTU in this open thread.

18 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    Waiting on address, checking with family and friends getting home,
    Weather reports off, no DOT trucks seen, every person for themselves.
    Left my suv in parking lot and walked to friends house for the night.

    Some took 7+ hours to go 10 miles – several made it to family and friends homes…getting kids from schools a mess, bus drivers did the best they could….electric cars not the thing to be in tonight….

    Going to be some finger pointing on this one!

  2. Michael Silver says:

    My daughter and wife are staying overnight at their school as there is no way to get home. Thank you God for keeping them safe!

    The Johnson Ferry hill up from the river is a mess. See this screen shot: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/547/t67m.jpg

    I told them to stay at school but they thought they could make it home. They swirled around Sandy Springs for 4 hours only to return to school. Hopefully, tomorrow brings better roads.

  3. DeKalb Wonkette says:

    My husband has been driving home from the northside since 3 pm. Thoughts are with all of you stuck in schools etc. this evening.

  4. Bill Dawers says:

    Given the overreaction and extreme preparation here in Savannah to the possibility of bad winter weather, I’m sort of stunned by the under-reaction and poor preparation in Atlanta. On Monday night, Chatham County schools planned early dismissal on Tuesday hours before the earliest possible ice and also canceled for Wednesday. Armstrong Atlantic called off classes at noon today, when the temp was still in the 40s, to give people time to get home before bad weather arrived.

    • Charlie says:

      And therein lies the problem Bill. Had a bit of a twitter battle late this evening with two Dem activists/comms specialists. They can’t understand “why we weren’t prepared”.

      You actually make the point. We were. But we were prepared for Macon to take the bullseye, Savannah to get Snow, and nothing much north of the Airport or West of I-85 to get snow. But then…

      In the morning we heard that we might get .5-1″ of snow north. As the day went on, the forecast crept north. By the time we all started to expect it to snow (me included as I was downtown – there are pics), it was, but much heavier than we expected.

      Eric and I got the hell out of Dodge by 12:30. And we were late. I got to S. Marietta by 4:30. And we were among the lucky ones.

      I talked to a reporter who followed our press event at 4:00. She was still in her office downtown. She lives in East Cobb. I urged her to seek alternate plans.

      We tweeted at roughly midnight. She still wasn’t home.

      Is that the government’s fault, or have we just learned to ignore the forecasts for the possibility that they can actually err to the severe side, instead of going away?

      I think we all knew enough if we paid attention. Schools stayed in. We stayed at work. It snowed. GDOT can’t cover the entire state at once.

      Who is at fault?…..there’s a mirror around here somewhere.

      • saltycracker says:

        We are used to overreaction in the news but this time, in the north metro, the reports were the bad weather would be above and below us. So we went out on an errand, it hit very fast, and are still out.
        Takeaway: why are local weather folks paid more than the Starbucks server ?
        Where is the explorer game “find your DOT truck”

      • John Vestal says:

        Kirk Melluish kept telling us on Monday that the nature of this system made it very difficult to track/predict, and that the various models were changing every hour. When Kirk ain’t sure, ain’t nobody sure.

        I was one of the very lucky ones. Left the office around 2:00 and my ~7 mile commute *only* took about 2 hours. Co-worker who left about 15 mins earlier, going in same direction but having to go another 5 miles or so took over 6 hours. Have one friend who lives in Woodstock…she left Emory U just after noon and ended up spending the night in a parking lot…with many others…. off 75/West Paces. Still there as of a few minutes ago.

        Yet another birthday to remember. At least no astronauts died. :>(

      • Bill Dawers says:

        I think you’re being far too generous to the public sector, honestly (and probably the private sector too). If you look at the archived discussion of the forecast at the NWS, you can see that as of 4 a.m. Tuesday, the winter storm warning, effective as of 9 a.m., had been extended to include Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, etc. (http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=FFC&product=AFD&format=CI&version=14&glossary=1, for example).

        I’m in charge of a school district, I’m monitoring a volatile storm like this, and I find out that we will be under a winter storm warning as of 9 a.m.? Cancel classes. Easy call.

        So did the schools not get this information? Where was the break in communication?

  5. Rich says:

    I’m getting a kick out of watching the Atlanta news anchors grow increasingly punchy (and disheveled) as the night goes on. Perhaps I’m the only one who watches them all. As much as the local stations invest in reporting I suppose no one wants to be the first (or only) to call it night.

      • Blake says:

        I was watching NBC Jan. 28 at 11:35 pm. I was pretty shocked when the station automatically slammed over to Leno in the middle of broadcasting Deal’s press conference. Checked back with them about half an hour later, and they had gotten back on track with local coverage. I bet the anchors were pissed.

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