Skip to comments.Atlanta Snow Jam Proves Citizens can Accomplish What Big Government Can't
Posted on 01/30/2014 12:07:36 PM PST by Kaslin
It was a winter storm response described as an "epic failure" of government by one national news network.
A midday winter storm struck Atlanta's metro population of nearly 6 million on Tuesday. By early afternoon, hundreds of thousands of commuters had taken to the streets, all at once, in a desperate effort to get home. At the same time school systems dismissed an army of students, many on buses. Government got into the act too, telling workers to hit the road.
But by the time everyone started out, what began as flurries became several inches of snow on the highways and streets of a metropolitan area known for its myriad of highways and byways, as well as a general inability of its residents to drive in snow.
The result was pure panic and chaos. Large trucks started to slide and block most major roads. Many cars were disabled, or worse, involved in accidents that clogged emergency lanes. Tens of thousands of motorists were stuck in traffic, many for more than 10 hours.
Throughout the night, parents searched for children, many of whom who were forced to spend the evening at school. Desperate motorists found cell towers overloaded and cell phones dying.
While state, county and municipal governments all seemed helpless, public citizens took matters into their own hands. As government stumbled, one person on Facebook formed a site known as "SnowedOutAtlanta" where stranded citizens could post their desperate needs and others near them could offer to provide shelter, food or even come to their rescue. Within hours, tens of thousands had joined in the effort. It was an amazing testament to what big government can't do and what "we the people" can get done.
Ironically, this was all taking place as President Obama was threatening Congress, in his State of the Union Address, to use executive powers to get around them to expand government even more. While many Atlantans remained stuck in cars as the sun rose on Wednesday, Obama was off on a tour of other states touting his newest big government gimmicks.
Meanwhile, Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta's Democrat Mayor Kasim Reed were holding disastrous press conferences in which Reed was openly combative with reporters and Deal seemed mixed up on his meteorology and what the warnings actually were for the storm.
Perhaps the worst of this political theater came when Georgia's director in charge of emergency response, in front of his boss, told the press that an emergency had yet to emerge Tuesday afternoon as vehicles were stalling and colliding all over the place. That sent Georgia's governor racing to the microphones to disagree with his own director, who clearly let his leader down.
No doubt the political finger pointing will continue for weeks, if not months to come. And for Deal, who faces a reelection challenge from the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, state Sen. Jason Carter, the timing could not be worse.
To their credit, both Reed and Deal ultimately apologized for various aspects of the response to the storm. And to be fair, because of the area's unusual location and weather patterns, Atlantans are often given dire predictions of winter weather, only to learn at the last moment that not a single flake of snow will fall.
The lesson learned from this episode, which will likely cost a fortune in insurance claims, out-of-pocket expenses and costs for government efforts at responding, is that we should never fully rely on government to solve all of our problems.
In the case of Atlanta, the official storm warning was issued long before daybreak on Tuesday. Corporations, schools and government entities could have simply said "stay home." They did not.
So once a crisis arose, private citizens did what government could not. They rolled up their sleeves quickly, used modern technology and with caring hearts took on Mother Nature's mess.
No speeches were made. No staff or palace guards stood between those in need and those who wanted to help. And no taxes were required.
Once again, it was individual citizens who saved the day.
Yes. In Birmingham, AL, people from local churches were walking up and down the roads giving out water, food, blankets, etc. Churches opened up their doors and let people in to sleep and get warm. Thousands came in. So, those old bad Christians that Obama hates were doing more than any stinking government agencies. State, local or fed. The Churches out did them all.
And as far as I can determine, NO local Bham moskies let a soul in.
Looking at that picture, I wish government would order the big trucks off the roads in bad weather.
Then I remember that this would end badly, probably with a toilet paper shortage east of the Mississippi.
Families, neighborhoods, churches and cities. Where most of the solutions reside.
Like 9/11. The NY/NJ ferry boat operators improvised, and moved lots of people off Manhattan.
Yup! I have seen a lot of examples or people helping others get through this.
Folks in cold weather states are bemused by the scene in ATL.
There is nowhere to park a tractor trailer in Atlanta. The truck stops that do exist in Atlanta are pretty much the last places on earth you would ever want to park a vehicle, and there aren't that many of them.
Also, Commercial through traffic isn't even allowed on the Atlanta interstates and must stay on the bypass (485?). Kinda unfair to blame this one on the big trucks.
No it’s totally fair. Those big rigs caused 100% of the jams I saw. Especially on the secondary roads. And tried to hog every little crevice to get through causing more and more jams....but people were generally great!!! Too bad southerners can’t drive...at all!!! Cops were useless!!
How many people did the Freedom From Religion folks help? How many people did Mickey Weinstein and his military atheists help? Help me count: Not one!
Put the big rigs on the shoulder or anywhere except in the lanes of traffic. As soon as a winter weather WARNING is issued, off the road they go. We got every plane out of the sky on 9/11, we ought to be able to get big rigs on the side of the road too.
Here in Alaska, I use a 2,000 watt Honda. It will not run the whole house, but my furnace can be unplugged and it will run it. You can also put a couple lights on it. JUST DO NOT HOOK ANYTHING UP TO YOUR HOUSE WIRING,it can fry the linemen working on the power supply!!!
Here in Wyoming I have a 12,000W propane powered back-up generator that automatically starts up and switches over when the power drops out. The transition takes a couple seconds and is virtually transparent, and I can run my normal household load off of it. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know the power has been disrupted until I look down the hill and notice the town has gone dark!
My daughter and son-in-law live in Atlanta and went on Facebook and found a stranded motorist within a mile of their house. They went out and met her and let her spend the night with them. They did not know her, but felt the need to help out. I am so proud of them.