On Jan. 28, Atlanta coped with a perfect storm when snow and ice caused a traffic jam of gigantic and historic proportions. Students were trapped in schools and on school buses as parents wildly attempted to navigate blocked roads and highways. As a result, commutes that normally took 30 minutes, interminably stretched into hours. Schools dismissed students early on Tuesday and are closed on Wednesday. Due to the nightmare situation, many school systems announced earlier today that their doors will remain closed on Thursday also.
As posted by NBC News on Jan. 29, thousands of Atlanta residents are still stranded on highways and back roads, nearly 24 hours after the surprise snow blindsided the entire city. Portions of highways remain virtually paralyzed and closed. One stranded trucker said that he could potentially be stuck for a second night. “USA Today” added on Wednesday:
The top priority is getting food, water and gasoline to a lot of people still stranded on ice-locked highways in the nation’s ninth biggest metropolitan area.
The national spotlight continues to shine on Atlanta. Because the crisis is ongoing, schools want students at home and buses off the still frozen roads. The following public school systems in and around Atlanta already announced closures for Thursday, Jan. 30.
- Butts County schools
- Cherokee County schools
- Cobb County schools
- Dawson County schools
- Fulton County schools
- Forsyth County schools
- Lamar County schools
- Lumpkin County schools
- Paulding County schools
- White County schools
In addition many private schools and colleges like Emory University and Kennesaw State have also announced closures for Thursday, Jan. 30. Businesses and government offices also plan on keeping their doors closed tomorrow. Below are just a few.
- Arbor Place Mall
- Bank of North Georgia
- City of Morrow
- Cobb County Government offices
- DeKalb state, magistrate, probate and superior courts
- Georgia Dept. of Driver Services
- Georgia Dept. of Education
- Griffin City Government
- Riverdale City government
- Suwanee City Hall/Municipal Court
After “Snowpocalypse 2011" closed schools for an entire week and brought Atlanta to its knees for an extended period of time, the city purchased additional snow plows and developed an extensive plan to ensure the situation never repeated itself.
Well, it did. Thousands of motorists are still stranded and students sheltered in their schools for the night. Is anyone to blame? Why did schools open at all on Tuesday? Is the city of Atlanta a major player in the blame game? How could this happen again to such a large metropolitan city?
The weather prediction on Tuesday was for a slight dusting of snow in Atlanta. However, the meteorology gods converged and decided to play an evil trick on the Southern city that has far too few snow plows, inexperienced winter drivers, and an already stressed out interstate system. It was the perfect storm and a recipe for disaster.
Atlanta is a city that may get knocked down, but quickly regains its footing. Residents opened their homes to stranded strangers. Businesses stayed open all night to shelter commuters that were unable to get home. Selfless teachers slept in schools to make sure scared students were comfortable and safe. There were many, many unsung heroes that stepped up to the plate to help others in need.
For the most up-to-the-minute list of school, business and government closings in Atlanta, head to WSB-TV.com.
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