How well Did Your Public Servants Handle the Snow Event?

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: David Moore
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Updated: 1/29 6:55 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) --Chattanooga is starting to recover from Tuesday's surprise snow event.
But, the finger-pointing and soul-searching is just beginning.
With thousands of school kids turned-out of class at mid-day, and streets that quickly became impassable, the question is left hanging-how well did local leaders handle it?
Did somebody drop the ball?
When the snow began sticking to the ground Tuesday morning... Chattanooga and other local government agencies tried to adjust.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "When we got the word at 8:30 that there was going to be a heavier snow we pulled everybody that we could find in."

The mayor claims de-icing started much earlier, but their full effort didn't launch until mid-morning.
That was about the same time that the city was approaching gridlock because of one significant change.

MAYOR BERKE "Unfortunately, when the schools let out at around 11, that really changed the scenario..and we had a real flooding of the roads."

The Chattanooga Public works department had the necessary salt and brine trucks ready, and the director said they were dispatched. But
school traffic and wrecks made them late arriving at trouble spots.

LEE NORRIS, DIR. CHATTANOOGA PUBLIC WORKS "..started loading out new trucks, and refilling trucks we originally sent out..and they got caught in the gridlock..and there was nothing we could do."

One of the biggest traffic snarls was on Amnicola… but the city was counting on state crews to treat it… along with interstates and highways 27 and 153.
T-DOT claims the city is supposed to de-ice Amnicola.

LEE NORRIS "The ramps to Dupont Parkway had some frozen spots..had some accidents there backed up traffic."

Both Norris and the mayor stress their belief that the city's change-over to handle a more serious weather event, was done as quickly as possible.
Norris says it was a case of schools, offices and businesses all closing down.

LEE NORRIS "Even on a good day, if you had put all that traffic on Chattanooga streets at the same time, it would have still been a gridlock."

What did we learn?

MAYOR ANDY BERKE "Certainly, for us, from yesterday..is to try to seek some better coordination between the entities."

The Emergency Operations Center was opened about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon to deal with continuing problems around the area.
The city, the county, Hamilton county schools and other governmental agencies co-ordinated their activities for the rest of the day.



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Cal Dave - 1/30/2014 12:07 AM
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Jim Cantore, of The Weather Channel said Wednesday. But this time, "the National Weather Service was absolutely spot-on with this." "It's just an absolute cop-out," he said, telling Georgia officials: "Admit you're wrong. Admit you took a chance to save some money and you blew it. You blew it. And now, people are suffering, unfortunately, in the city of Atlanta." AND CHATTANOOGA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those who chose to not close area schools for Tuesday should be fired, prosecuted for child abuse, and sued in civil court
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