Atlanta's 2014 winter weather storm leaves thousands stranded

4:09 PM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- It's been nearly 48 hours since much of Georgia was slammed by a winter storm. Now, people are wondering how the state was so unprepared for the weather.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed appeard on "TODAY" Thursday to discuss the storm and its effect on the city.

He claimed Wednesday that he does not plan to play the "blame game" when it comes to accountability for the seeming lack of preparations.

WATCH | Grilling Reed and Nathan Deal on the winter storm
Reed: 'Not playing blame game' with storm problems

Wednesday afternoon, the Winter Storm Warning was dropped, and replaced by a by a Civil Emergency Message at the request of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

A state of emergency remains in effect for all of Georgia Thursday due to impacts from the winter storm. The Civil Emergency Message will remain in effect until noon Thursday and is in effect for GEMA Area 7, which covers Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Rockdale, Fayette and Henry counties.

WATCH | Abandoned cars scattered on Atlanta's freeways 

PHOTOS | Atlanta area weather: Snow in Georgia Jan. 28

TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE | Gallery of traffic issues caused by the winter storm

TRAFFIC | View the latest traffic conditions around the city 

A combination of sleet followed by 1-to-3 inches of snow caused most roadways to become extremely hazardous and in many cases, completely impassable. The ice and snow has been compacted into solid sheets of ice, which continues to cause treacherous road conditions. Hundreds of vehicles remain stranded or abandoned on portions of the interstates and primary highways across the metro area.

Any melting that occurs on Wednesday will refreeze Wednesday night as temperatures fall back into the teens.

GEMA requests that motorists only travel if absolutely necessary or in emergency situations.

MARTA says due to the weather there is currently no bus service and rail is running with lengthy delays. They are running on a Sunday schedule.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal says this winter storm was "unexpected."

In a late night news conference Tuesday, Gov. Deal, along with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other state officials, discussed the level of preparedness for the storm and its aftermath. 

Deal said Tuesday's storm "came unexpectedly," which caught the area off guard when it came to the amount of traffic stranded on the roads.  Deal said he was calling on the Georgia National Guard to help with the storm's aftermath.

Reed said he and his administration would "take responsibility" for what happened, saying that part of the problem was due to everyone leaving work and school at once.

The entire state of Georgia along with five other Southeastern states are under states of emergency after snow and ice hammered the region Tuesday.

Gov. Deal declared the state of emergency late Tuesday afternoon, and was quickly joined by governors in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina making similar declarations.

As of 9 p.m., the Georgia State Patrol says they have been called out to investigate some 940 crashes since 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The crashes have resulted in 104 injuries and one fatality. 

That wreck happened just after 1 p.m. on Ga. Highway 85 at Seavy Streett in Senoia. A 1997 Ford Explorer being driven by 60 year-old Yvonne Nash of Griffin was traveling southbound on Georgia 85 when the vehicle lost control and overturned  into a ditch. Nash was pulled from the vehicle and transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

CLOSINGS & DELAYS | See the latest metro Atlanta school closings and delays list here 

SHELTERS | Locations providing shelter for stranded motorists

STUDENTS STRANDED | Hundreds of students stuck at school 

Take a look at some of the video collected from around the state: 

-NBC Nightly News on Atlanta's ice storm
-Ross McLaughlin talks to National Guardsman
-Stranded drivers take shelter at Home Depot
-Stranded drivers search for hotels
-Drivers angry over lack of getting roads ready before winter storm
-Ross McLaughlin live from Villa Rica after winter storm
-Jennifer Leslie with stranded motorists on I-85
-Good Samaritan on the Connector
-Jeremy Campbell from a frozen, crunchy Peachtree City
-Gov. Nathan Deal, Mayor Kasim Reed hold news conference
-11Alive's Devin Fehely with GDOT's Natalie Dale
-Kids in North Paulding High School
-Stephen Cooper in gridlocked traffic on Langford Parkway
-Phone interview with Atlanta's Deputy COO Hans Utz
-Rebecca Lindstrom on sliding into crashes
-Rebecca Lindstrom talks with woman & son walking home
-Woman and her son walking home
-Julie Wolfe with your pictures from Tuesday's snow event
-Rebecca Lindstrom on students stranded at school
-Ross McLaughlin on closed restaurants, full hotels
-Rebecca Lindstrom stranded cars at Lindbergh & Peachtree
-Having fun in the snow in Piedmont Park
-Rebecca Lindstrom in downtown Atlanta traffic jam
-John Gerard interviews slip sliding driver
-Catie Beck with school bus stranded on icy road
-Fred Kalil with people having fun in Piedmont Park
-Fred Kalil stuck in traffic on Piedmont Avenue in Midtown
-Catie Beck reporting from Cobb County 1
-Catie Beck reporting from Cobb County 2
-Ross Mclaughlin reporting from Carroll County 1
-Ross Mclaughlin reporting from Carroll County 2
-Blaine Alexander accident and rescue in Troupe County
-Fred Kalil stuck in snow traffic
-Fred Kalil on Monroe Dr.
-Matt Pearl on the 17th Street Bridge
-Kevin Rowson shows troubles in Kennesaw - Part 1

-Kevin Rowson shows troubles in Kennesaw - Part 2
-Kevin Rowson shows troubles in Kennesaw - Part 3
-Snow in Fairburn
-Flurries in Newnan 
-Snow in Peachtree City
Driving Down I-20 Westbound
-Accident on GA 400 by Abernathy
-Cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson
-Driving in the Snow

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