Winter storm's turbulent chain of events

1:15 PM, Feb 4, 2014   |    comments
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King & Queen as seen through the snow on 400 North Submitted By:Jen from: Atlanta GA

ATLANTA -- It's been a wild week since thousands of metro drivers were stranded on icy roads and interstates.

What ended with chaos and confusion started with confidence. Here's a timeline of exactly what happened during the storm.

At 3:08 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service tweeted, "not a bad idea to stay off the roads if you're able."

At 3:13 p.m. the Governor's Chief of Staff was almost flip with the Georgia Emergency Management Coordinator, emailing him, "everyone keeps trying to tell me the weather is going to be bad. But if the weather is going to be bad, Charley would have called me."

PHOTOS | Atlanta Weather Traffic Nightmare

At 6 p.m. Monday night, 11alive broadcast that Metro Atlanta should expect snow, but every major school district decided to stay open.

At 8:11 p.m., the Atlanta Public Schools responded to a concerned parent on Twitter telling them they try not to send kids home midday, but to stay tuned.

By 3:38 a.m. Tuesday morning the National Weather Service upgraded the advisory to a winter storm warning.

At 4 a.m. 11alive was on air with the newest information.
But it wasn't until 9 a.m. , more than 5 hours later, that Georgia Emergency Management Coordinator Charley English briefed Governor Nathan Deal.

That wasn't enough to keep him away from a scheduled press conference at the Capitol announcing a tourism initiative.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday the Governor posted pictures of himself with a Scarlet O'Hara look alike from Gone With the Wind.

At 10:20 a.m. Mayor Kasim tweeted: "Atlanta, we are ready for the snow."

By 11:23 a.m. Cobb County announced they were sending kids home 2 hours later, and Atlanta Public Schools announced a staggered dismissal at 11:48.

At noon, 11Alive went on the air and began 36-straight hours of coverage on the storm.

Gwinnett decided to stay open and Fulton County decided to dismiss at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

At 3:05 p.m. Tuesday Governor Nathan Deal announced Kasim Reed as Atlantan of the Year and both posted pictures of the luncheon.

At 3:29 p.m. Mayor Reed tweeted people to stay off the roads, and at 5:28 p.m. Governor Deal announced a State of Emergency.

By that time traffic was backed up across every major roadway in Atlanta.

Parents began to panic about how to get to their kids.

And at 7:23 Tuesday night, Cobb County told parents students would shelter in place overnight. APS made the same announcement at 10:08 p.m.

At 11 p.m. Tuesday night it was a much different tone from Mayor Kasim Reed and Governor Nathan Deal at a joint press conference, where they announced they weren't ready for the storm.

Thousands of drivers were stuck on the roads overnight and hundreds of kids slept at the schools because their parents couldn't get to them.

Businesses and homeowners took in people stranded by the storm, as cars were left abandoned across Metro Atlanta.

At 10 a.m. Mayor Reed faced tough questions about how the city could have been so poorly prepared for the winter storm.

And at 11:30 a.m. Governor Deal gave his winter weather response.

By Thursday morning, most cars were off the roads, but Reed and Deal were on the move, both going on a national apology tour.

At 7:04 a.m. Thursday Reed appeared on the NBC Today show.

More Winter Storm Coverage:
Mayor Kasim Reed announces plans to improve in storms
EXCLUSIVE Survey: Many blame Deal for worst of storm's problems
Governor takes the blame and calls for internal review of what went wrong during snow storm gridlock
Will you have to pay if your abandoned car was towed?
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed faces national criticism for winter storm plan
Fix it! Atlanta writer says we are all to blame for gridlock.

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