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Monday August 31st, 2015 6:53AM

Gov. Deal, other leaders acknowledge outrage over impact of winter storm

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Atlanta, hub to major corporations and the world's busiest airport, once again was brought to its knees amid the chaos brought on by Tuesday's snow storm, despite assurances that city and state officials had learned their lessons from a 2011 snow storm that brought the city to its knees.

Some residents were outraged that more precautions weren't taken this time around and schools and other facilities weren't closed ahead of time.

"They are claiming that they didn't know the weather was going to be bad," Jeremy Grecco, of Buford, said in an email. "They failed to dispatch these trucks prior to the road conditions becoming unfavorable."

Officials from schools and the state said weather forecasts indicated the area would not see more than a dusting of snow and that it didn't become clear until late Tuesday morning that those were wrong.

Still, Georgia leaders were aware of public angst and tried to mitigate it.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed took some of the blame for schools, businesses and government all letting out at the same time, and he said they should have staggered their closings.

"I'm not thinking about a grade right now," Reed said when asked about the city's response. "I'm thinking about getting people out of their cars."

Deal, who is running for re-election this year, fended off criticism about the government's response. He said emergency officials rescued stranded children on buses first and aimed to make contact with all stranded drivers by Wednesday.

"Our goal today is that there will not be anybody stranded in a vehicle on our interstates that has not been offered the opportunity to go to a place of safety and security," Deal told reporters at a Statehouse news conference.

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