Governor says task force to benefit not just Atlanta
Governor Nathan Deal assembled a severe weather task force this week to improve the state's response to severe weather events like the snow storm that hit metro Atlanta last week. The task force includes few members from outside of Atlanta to serve the entire state.
Serving on that task force is Chairman of the House Transportation Committee Jay Roberts who represents District 155, including Ocilla, Ga.
"There's no doubt that with the population of Georgia mostly in the metro Atlanta area, that's where we'll focus on," Roberts said. "In South Georgia, we don't have these types of situations very often but in Atlanta, it's happened twice now in the past few years."
The Governor's office responded saying despite mostly having members of the task force in Atlanta, it will still benefit citizens state-wide.
"Different parts of the state face different climates, different terrains, and different weather challenges. Coordinating traffic during an emergency is more of a challenge in the metro Atlanta area, as we saw last week," the Governor's office said.
The winter storm crippled much of the Atlanta area and ice became a problem on roadways in Southwest Georgia. Ice on the roads turned a 10-minute commute into a 10-hour commute in Atlanta for many drivers.
Roberts says he is honored to be a part of the task force which is made up of superintendents, mayors, meteorologists, legislators, and the heads of state agencies.
"We will come together and develop a plan so that if and when the next weather event occurs, we will have more of a protocol by which to go through and be able to better alert the citizens and to be able to coordinate between all of the different agencies," Roberts said.
Roberts says there is not a single person to blame for the situation that occurred. He says, overall, there were a lot of mistakes made that day.
The task force is expected to report 60 days after the start date which Roberts says in currently unknown. The meetings will last a little over two hours and will be open to the public.