Winter Storm Mess in Georgia, Birmingham - Who's to Blame?


By Ashley Thompson

With the worst of the 2014 winter storm behind us, people in both Georgia and the Birmingham area are now trying to clear roadways, retrieve abandoned cars and get their lives back to normal.
So, who's at fault for students sleeping in schools and the gridlocked interstates, putting thousands in dangerous situations?

Superintendants, politicians, and residents are all pointing fingers at each other for the mess the winter storm brought. But is anyone really to blame?

Winter weather in both Georgia and Birmingham caused thousands of people to abandoned their cars or spend the night in them and forced 11 thousand children in Birmingham to sleep in schools.

At first, top elected officials in Georgia blamed meteorologists saying the storm was unexpected. And many people share the same feelings.

"I think the meteorologists are the ones at fault," says Pennsylvania resident Michael Stavisky. "They're the ones who are supposed to be educated in that."

Meteorologist Marcy Novak, who was correct with her forecast, says meteorologists are bearing the brunt of frustration.

"It is just very difficult to predict something like winter weather around this part of the country because a meteorologist is only as good as the tools we have and the tools that we have are our models, they were all over the place."

Although the winter weather came in earlier than expected, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the city was prepared.

"We took the bold decision to close streets, when we opened them we said 25 miles per hour."

Strange says weather forecastors shouldn't bear the brunt of the public's anger.

"At the end of the day, if you're the one who makes decisions, you make it based on the best thing you know," he says. "And sometimes you just have to rely on what your internal fortitude tells you."

With thousands of people stranded over the past few days, many have also put the blame on elected officials. Though some say that too, is unfair.

"You can't fault anybody for weather," says Montgomery resident Carlton Rogers. "Weather is weather. We know it's January. We know sleet, snow, rain, freezing rain is coming, so you make your own determination whether or not you want to get on the roads."

Almost 80 percent of students in Montgomery Public Schools ride busses. Mayor Todd Strange says he believes superintendent Margaret Allen made the right decision to close schools on Monday.


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