Societal Impacts and Response to the 28 January 2014 Atlanta Winter Storm

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 4:30 PM
229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Keith Stellman, NOAA/NWS, Peachtree City, GA; and J. L. Fieux, S. E. Nelson, T. D. Palmer, A. Baker, J. T. Deese, and A. R. Gibbs

A significant winter storm impacted north Georgia on 28 January 2014. This winter storm was complicated since it occurred on a weekday with abnormally cold daytime temperatures well below freezing (< -3C). The NWS Atlanta Forecast Office issued a Winter Storm Warning for southern portions of the Metro Atlanta area on Monday evening, 27 January, and upgraded the rest of Metro Atlanta early Tuesday morning, 28 January. However, since snow was not falling that morning, many schools, businesses, and government agencies in the Metro area opted to begin a normal work day. Snow began falling into subfreezing surfaces by midday Tuesday and quickly froze on the roads, ultimately stranding thousands of motorists for as up to 20 hours. Some children had to spend the night in schools. Many motorists abandoned their vehicles, opting to walk to nearby businesses for shelter.

This presentation will briefly review the case but will focus on the societal impacts and the local, state and federal government response to the storm. The timeline and recommended actions by the Georgia Governor's Taskforce on Severe and Winter Weather will also be presented. 21 on 8-5-2014-->