The Catastrophic Snow Flurries of 2014: Lessons Learned


By: Kamy Molavi
On January 28, 2014, Atlanta came to a screeching halt after receiving about 2.5 inches of snow.  What lessons can be gleaned from this excellent adventure?  Aside from the obvious takeaways, such as the need for politicians and public employees who are not asleep at the switch, here are some thoughts.
1. It is shocking, but Hotlanta gets cold in the winter.  Usually temperatures don’t dip to lows experienced by the hardy Minnesotans, but on one day this month it was colder here than it was in Alaska.  We need to accept this fact and prepare accordingly.
2. The entire metropolitan Atlanta area needs a mature public transportation system.  Yes, Cobb County, I am especially speaking to you.  The only thing dumber than a major metro county that resists integrated and penetrating public transport is one that resists it after learning it will get an MLB stadium.   And the only thing dumber than a metro county that resists integrated and penetrating public transport after it gets an MLB stadium is one who resists it after this week’s events.
3. Another shocker:  A politician cannot get away with acting blithely when the public is struggling.  Not even in Georgia.  This is the second Snowmageddon in three years under Governor Deal and Mayor Reed.  It is facile to blame weather forecasters, but when did lame forecasting become unexpected news?  In any case, the correct forecast was available hours before the first flake fell on Tuesday.  Passing the buck neither is good form nor evinces substantive leadership.  Someone in each of your respective administrations should have been responsible for receiving and then acting upon updated forecasts long before the roads became impassable.  Deal’s apology was a day late and a re-election short.
4. If your goal is to look smart to reasonably smart people, stop citing the recent cold weather as proof that there is no global climate change.  You are just embarrassing yourself.  The causes of climate change (or, in some instances, regional warming) may be scientifically debatable, but the fact that it already has happened, is not.  Such “opinions” are advanced only by aspirants for membership in the resurgent Flat Earth Society.
5. Atlanta is full of nice people who poured out of their warm homes into the chilly outdoors in order to push cars and otherwise help, not only their neighbors, but total strangers.  I am proud of you gals and guys!
6. Atlanta is full of idiots who turn or change lanes without using turn signals, do not let others change lanes even if the latter need to make turns, block roads because they think they are better drivers/smarter/more important/drive BMW’s, or do not believe you when you tell them the road onto which they have turned is impassable due to ice and a wall of stranded BMW’s.
7. Your next vehicle should be a four-wheel-drive.  If your current vehicle is so equipped, learn to use the feature.  Trudging through the snow, I saw more than one driver flipping through the car manual while sitting in a vehicle oriented at 90 degrees to the curb.  The urban cowboy driving an older pick-up truck (that gets 8.2 Miles per Gallon on a good day) did not know he had to lock his front wheels.
8. It is a good idea to keep good walking shoes or even boots and a blanket in the car during the winter months, even in Georgia.