Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mayor Kasim Reed Denies Atlanta Was "Not Prepared"

The Atlanta area deep freeze continues and with it comes a bit of controversy. New Mayor Kasim Reed appeared on Fox 5 News last night to answer questions regarding the city's readiness to respond to the snow and ice on roads. At first I watched without much opinion one way or the other, but as I listened to the course of events leading up to the cryogenic suspension of business as we know it what I heard truly pissed me off!

It was revealed last night that the city only had 10 snow ploughs of its own, then Tuesday, on the fly, contracted with private companies responsible for de-icing the roads. That is why they took as long as they did to come in and start shoveling and ploughing; too little too late.

Reed's answer to why he didn't deploy the needed resources as soon as the forecast came in warning of just how serious this storm was predicted to be was that "I don't believe it's a responsible investment to ramp up for a snow event that happens only every 15 years".  That's his story and he seems to be sticking to it... Yeah, and my father's the Easter Bunny, LOL. Fantasies are fun sometimes, but ignorance isn't always bliss. Time to get real now.

Days after they were needed, 81 pieces of equipment are now being deployed. As of Tuesday 10 ploughs were increased to 21 pieces of equipment.

The Mayor's current plan is to contract for 40-60 pieces of equipment. One snow plough costs 1/2 Million dollars and Reed admits that to handle this storm 81 were needed "just to get our arms around" this storm. That does not inspire alot of confidence.

MARTA, Atlanta's public transportation system is still shut down except for the rail and a few regular bus routes, and its handicap service is "only transporting people who have medical emergencies" a representative in their dispatch department said this morning. When asked whether things would be back in operation tomorrow, the representative stated that it may not be, but that they can only speak for today, but just in case I rescheduled my trip to the Post Office yet again for the 3rd time this week!

Resources are being focused on the big roads and highways. Despite the relative clearing of those by the DOT, Highway 285 had 3 accidents today. The smaller streets are left to fend for themselves. Stone Mountain, where I live is made up of mostly smaller roads. I'm just hoping that transportation is back again before I start running out of necessities, and last night the news reported that many of the grocery stores were out of important items, as the delivery trucks were unable to get through. Gas stations are even running out of gas for those lucky enough to have a car. Lidded receptacles in the ground around the pumps where gas is normally put in by delivery trucks in many areas are iced shut and requires a jackhammer to open.

Things are expected to get a little better today but worse again tonight when the temperature goes down. Until the water evaporates the melting during daylight hours won't do much good.

I grew up in Baltimore where there was much more snow for most of the winter and I don't remember this happening there. Life went on, snow and ice notwithstanding.

In recent years Atlanta and its surrounding areas have had at least one bad snowstorm a year, so the Mayor's assessment that this only happens every 15 years doesn't really hold water. Granted this one is the worst we've had in awhile, but environmental changes have evolved to land us where we are today, and I think city and state officials should revise their idea that this happens only every 15 years and assume it will happen at some point every winter.

Fox 5 Interview with Kasim Reed:

Costs to businesses:

The cost to the city for this week alone is estimated to be as much as 2 million dollars.
The sun is out and I have some supplies to photograph while the light is good, unlike the above picture showing a dark and deserted street. a day or so ago My street is still deserted but alot brighter today.

Next on the agenda is some work on my beadwoven jewelry. I can't imagine this shutdown will last past the weekend, so by all means please keep ordering jewelry; it shouldn't be too much longer before I can ship;

and for jewelry supplies:

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