Tony Rice: Did we learn from snow debacle?

January 31, 2014 

Images of Atlanta gridlocked by 2 inches of snow brought back memories of January 2005 in and around Raleigh. The ingredients were the same: an unmanaged exodus of people from offices and schools, a transportation system incapable of handling sudden traffic volumes and worsening weather conditions.

While the Triangle and Atlanta metro area may differ in size, they share a similarly complex web of state and local governments led by multiple mayors. What has changed here since 2005? Are officials from the Triangle towns up through the state government working together? Are officials making effective use of information provided by the National Weather Service, Highway Patrol and other sources? Do science and good judgment rule public safety discussions or does politics make the final decision?

If 2014 Atlanta didn’t learn from Raleigh 2005, it’s hard not to wonder what Raleigh learned from Raleigh 2005. When faced with the next weather event requiring tough decisions, will our leaders react the way Atlanta’s did?

Tony Rice, Cary

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