Atlanta drivers praise state and city for storm response - CBS46 News

Atlanta drivers praise state and city for storm response

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed vowed to do better after many criticized them for their slow response to the severe weather crisis two weeks ago and in the winter of 2011.

During the 2011 storm, drivers abandoned their cars as ice and snow enveloped underprepared metro Atlanta for days.

The region suffered an even worse fate two weeks ago when cars and school buses were stuck on the roads for hours and people, stranded with nowhere to go in the frigid temperatures, sought refuge in supermarkets and department stores as snow and ice enveloped the area.

Several drivers told CBS Atlanta News that they give high marks to the governor and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for a quick response after this week's storm.

Ryan Clark, who spent two days pent up in his office during the icy crisis last month, said he was pleased that the interstates and city streets he used Thursday were clear.

"They definitely handled it better. It looks like they were a lot more prepared for this one," Clark said. "So far, so good."

Deal said the state reacted more effectively during the most recent storm.

"I feel very good about what we have done during this crisis," Deal said.

During the January crisis, Deal waited until hours after the storm began to declare a state of emergency.

This time the governor issued the emergency order two days before the storm barreled in.

Also, the governor said drivers helped avoid a potential fiasco by heeding the warnings and staying off the roads, allowing work crews to plow and salt the interstates.

"Had the roadways been packed as we had before, we could not have treated it as we were able to do this time," Deal said.

Cassandra Castillo, a teacher who lives in Grant Park, said both the governor and the mayor deserve kudos.

"Two thumbs up. I would give them an 'A'. I think it's a big improvement," Castillo said.

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