ATLANTA, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- Gov. Nathan Deal has announced plans for a severe weather task force, a group of meteorologists and other experts charged with making sure there's not another repeat performance of last week's winter storm that paralyzed metro Atlanta.
Deal made the announcement Monday afternoon at the State Capitol. He said the group, comprised of government heads, including the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, along with school district and national law enforcement officials, will make recommendations to improve the state's response to severe weather events. Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns has also been tapped to offer his expertise on the task force.
The governor also said the state would launch an alert system modeled off of “Amber alerts” for missing children to notify residents and drivers of severe weather. And he said programmers are at work updating the state’s emergency weather app.
Deal has faced considerable criticism for the state's response to that snowfall, which left tens of thousands of people stranded on icy, gridlocked roads. Tuesday's storm took a lot of state, county and local leaders off guard. The storm, which dropped about two inches of snow, took a lot of school districts and regular commuters off guard, too.
Channel 2's Richard Elliot got drivers' reaction about Deal's initiative.
"I think if we can learn from last Tuesday, it needs to get better and hopefully, if that situation with the weather ever happens again, that we'll be prepared and if a winter storm comes, stay at home," said driver Doran Ray.
Meanwhile, Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have promised they will review what happened and make changes so they are better prepared for future storms.