Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) took blame for an epic traffic jam that ensnarled the city of Atlanta earlier this week, and he called for a review and new plan to ensure that the situation doesn’t happen again.
“I am not satisfied with the response,” Deal said at a press conference on Thursday. “But I am not going to look for a scapegoat. I am the governor, and the buck stops with me.”
Deal said Thursday that the state did prepare adequately to avoid the eventual traffic nightmare. He said that agencies will undergo top-to-bottom reviews to determine a new plan of action for “similar events in the future.” The traffic led drivers to abandon their cars, sleep in them overnight, or seek shelter in nearby stores.
“We did not respond fast enough. And we did not respond in the magnitude at an early-enough time to be able to avoid some of these consequences,” Deal said.
“We will be much more cautious and much more aggressive in terms of taking action in advance of future situations.”
The comments were something of a shift for Deal. Both he and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have said this week that the snow was somewhat unexpected and said forecasts called for the snow to be further south. Reed defended the city’s handling of the storm on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” criticising the media for focusing too much on displaying photos and videos of the highway and not of the city.
Reed took the blame for not staggering the release of Atlanta residents to go home, saying that schools, businesses, and government employees should have been allowed to go home at different times.
Here’s the video of Deal on Thursday:
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