ATLANTA — All schoolchildren have been returned safely to their families, according to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
The National Guard and State Patrol assisted local districts in completing these safe transfers.
“Metro Atlanta’s children are home safe and sound, and I would like to thank all of the dedicated school officials, Guardsmen and law enforcement who worked through the night to reunite worried families,” Deal said in a statement. “Yesterday, I ordered the Guard to prioritize stranded school buses full of students. With Humvees, they were able to get the buses moving and deliver food and water to the students. Last night, we had at least 95 immobile buses. We had cleared them all by this morning, and that was a big task. Our next task was getting students home from school, and now we have achieved that.”
Metro Atlanta and North Georgia on Tuesday were paralyzed by an estimated two inches of snow, an embarrassing turn of events for city that touts itself as an economic player on the world stage.
The city’s roads turned to gridlock by about 1 p.m. as panicked masses tried to navigate to any number of destinations. It was quickly apparent government officials at all levels were unprepared to respond to the weather.
By 10 p.m., highways and other thoroughfares remained parking lots as the moisture on the road turned to ice. Social media wasted no time comparing the situation to The Walking Dead television show, which is coincidentally filmed in the vicinity.
“As I said this morning, my goal for the day was to get all stranded motorists moving or to a secure location by the end of the day,” Deal said. “This afternoon, I joined law enforcement officials on an aerial inspection of our roadways, and we’ve seen tremendous progress with traffic moving steadily throughout the region.
“Even with this progress, work still remains. I encourage people in areas where snow and ice remain to stay off the roads, which state officials are continuing to treat,” Deal added. “I have told state employees to not report to their offices tomorrow in an effort to limit traffic. I encourage others to do the same. With rising temperatures, we hope to return to normalcy tomorrow.”