ATLANTA - With the threat of snow and ice, Georgia Department of Transportation officials will be busy over the next few days.
Once again, Metro Atlanta is in the unenviable position of being right on the edge of the storm system, so this will be a good test of the capabilities of GDOT, the school systems around the area as well as businesses, to see if they are paying attention, not only day by day, but hour by hour to see what this forecast holds.
Since the last major storm, there have been promises made by government regarding what will be done to prevent another traffic jam like the last one that forced thousands of motorists to abandon their vehicles and students to sleep at their schools. The governor wants to set up an alert system, similar to the Amber Alert system to advise when there is road trouble. He says he wants school superintendents to receive up to the minute emails on weather conditions, so they can better determine when to cancel classes.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has already made a request to purchase more trucks and spreaders, and he says he is looking to hire an emergency management executive to help develop a regional plan, which would work toward the idea he mentioned after the last storm of staggering release times of people leaving the downtown Atlanta area.
Keep in mind that none of these proposals will be in place before this week's storms. According to 11Alive Meteorologist Chris Holcomb, precipitation from these storm systems will alternate between rain, sleet and snow, depending on the time of day and the exact temperature outside. This poses a particular challenge for GDOT, given that the brine that they use to prevent ice from forming and sticking to the roads, but it can wash away easily when there is rain.