Will winter weather debacle affect Atlanta, state of Georgia? - CBS46 News

Will winter weather debacle affect Atlanta, state of Georgia, down the road?

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No one can deny Atlanta and the state of Georgia continues to receive bad press as a result of the winter weather. The slow response paralyzed the state. What kind of a lasting impact could this have on the community? Only time will tell.

There's no escaping it. Winter weather crippled Atlanta and beyond. Drivers were stranded on roadways for hours, students were stuck on buses overnight, and babies were born on the interstate.

All of it, along with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Gov. Nathan Deal's response, splashed across the national media on the CBS Evening News, CNN and was slammed by Al Roker on The Today Show

"By 1:30 p.m., I-285, I-75, I-85 was a parking lot, and this was poor planning on the mayor's part and the governor's part, pure and simple," Roker said.

The "snow-still" was also covered locally in communities across the country. 

"The question right now - is this a short-term crisis or a long-term crisis," said Terri Thornton, a PR consultant who deals with crisis management.

And this could cost the city and the state bids down the road. 

"The story is still developing. It's a question of what happens now. People are angry and with good reason, but I think it's a question of looking forward, looking at what happened and making it better," Thornton said.

Thornton thinks Deal accepting responsibility will go a long way.

"I'm not going to look for a scapegoat. I'm the governor, the buck stops with me. I accept the responsibility for it, but I also accept the responsibility of being able to make corrective actions," Deal said.

But there is still the buzz on social media and blogs that this latest meltdown could cost the city a future Super Bowl bid. 

Fourteen years ago to the day Atlanta last hosted a Super Bowl. That January week in 2000, there was also winter weather. The Falcons are looking for another bid, spending $1.2 billion to build a new dome, Atlanta's hotel-motel tax chipping in $200 million of that.

"It definitely is going to hurt because you're going to look at this and say wait a minute, what a nightmare this was for the city. If there was a Super Bowl here, the state would have assigned more resources here from the very beginning to make sure they were ahead of the game regardless of what was going to happen," CBS Atlanta Sports Director Larry Smith said.

Despite the weather debacle, Smith thinks Atlanta will still get one bid, if not two, in the first 10 years of the new dome. CBS Atlanta News contacted the NFL and requested a statement from Commissioner Roger Goodell. So far, no word back.

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