Atlanta mayor: Stay home today

ATLANTA — The mayor of Atlanta is urging Atlantans to stay at home if at all possible as the city was brought to its keens following two inches of snowfall.

Atlanta was pounded by two inches of snow on Tuesday, and the economic engine of the Southeast is expected to remain closed today and possibly tomorrow as officials grapple with how to clear highways return the city to normalcy.

Highway crews apparently did not treat roads as the snow fell. By nightfall, highways throughout the city turned to ice, and motorists by the hundreds abandoning their vehicles causing further problems.

“We urge the public to stay home as much as possible today to allow our crews to make our roads safe, passable and fully open for business as soon as possible,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. ”Without a doubt, our first priority is ensuring the safety of all residents.”

Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday evening declared a state of emergency, a symbolic declaration that did nothing to help the thousands of motorists stranded on the region’s roads for hours unable to move any distance in any reasonable amount of time.

Roads on Wednesday morning appeared to improve, but weather forecasters worried freezing temperatures forecast for tonight might cause roads to freeze again. State officials defended their response despite a barrage of complaints from motorists and residents who were unable to navigate the city.

 

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