ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
75°
Broken Clouds
H 75° L 62°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 75° L 62°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    62°
    Morning
    Thunderstorms. H 75° L 62°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    67°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 74° L 49°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed apologize for mistakes leading to traffic jam but resist ‘blame game’
Close

Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed apologize for mistakes leading to traffic jam but resist ‘blame game’

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed news conference on snow storm

Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed apologize for mistakes leading to traffic jam but resist ‘blame game’

The state’s top leaders on Wednesday apologized for mistakes that brought metro Atlanta to a standstill in the aftermath of an icy storm, but defended their reactions as a necessary response to unpredictable weather.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are the target of considerable fury from residents stranded on roadways as minutes-long commutes turned into nasty all-evening affairs. In the face of that backlash, both politicians lamented the near-simultaneous release of school children, office workers and government employees.

Deal, who deemed his administration’s response to the snowstorm as “reasonable,” apologized for the gridlock gripping Atlanta streets. But he said if he would have been accused of “crying wolf” if he had ordered a shutdown and a storm didn’t materialize.

“We can never promise that we will always be correct when it comes to deciding what Mother Nature will do,” the governor said at a statehouse press conference. “She truly does have a mind of her own.”

Reed also said mistakes were made, but carefully suggested that the city wasn’t to shoulder them alone. He said emergency responders will in the future stagger the release of workers and students that led to the city’s worst traffic jam in decades.

“What I’m thinking of every moment is how to get people out of their cars,” Reed said.

A paramount concern were the students trapped in schools and buses across the region. At least 2,000 students were still stranded at schools early Tuesday and 95 buses were immobilized, but by 5:30 p.m. they had been returned to their families. Authorities said there has been one weather-related fatality, 1,254 car accidents and 130 injuries.

Both men defended the city’s response as improved since an ice storm in 2011 shut down the city for nearly a week and reiterated the biggest collective mistake was closing schools, businesses and government agencies at once. Those words, though, rang hollow to drivers stuck on clogged streets as commutes and stories of motorists forced to sleep in convenience stores or bunk in strangers’ homes echoed.

The epic traffic jam earned Atlanta considerable embarassing national attention. But Reed rebuffed a reporter’s suggestion that eyes were on Atlanta alone.

“I’m not going to get into the blame game, but the crisis that we are going through is across the region,” he said. “If you look at anybody’s street in any community across the entire region, there’s no one doing a better job than we are in the City of Atlanta.”

Speaking at a late-night press conference, Deal ordered state government shut down Wednesday and urged drivers to stay off the roads paralyzed by snow, portraying the weather as an “unexpected storm” that developed so quickly amid changing forecasts that officials struggled to respond.

Deal walked back those much-maligned comments on Wednesday saying, “I did not mean to imply we didn’t know something was coming.” He said changing forecasts caught state officials unaware, and that he should have listened to local metereologists rather than national forecasters.

Both Reed and Deal urged motorists to stay home again Thursday and let emergency crews respond to stranded drivers. Deal shut down state offices again on Thursday and pleaded for patience as crews work to unclog roads and stranded commuters make their ways home.

“I have told state employees to not report to their offices tomorrow in an effort to limit traffic,” he said. “I encourage others to do the same. With rising temperatures, we hope to return to normalcy tomorrow.”

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • At the request of four Democrats in the Congress, the Government Accountability Office has agreed to formally review how much money the feds spend, and what security precautions are taken, when President Donald Trump takes a weekend away at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. The request for a GAO review came from three Democratic Senators and one House member – the GAO says it will “review security and site-related travel expenses related to the President’s stays outside the White House at Mar-a-Lago. The lawmakers who made the request were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). On 2/16, @RepCummings @SenWarren @SenWhitehouse & I wrote @USGAO & asked they review Mar-a-Lago security procedures & taxpayer funded travel — Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) March 28, 2017 This is not new territory for the GAO, which from time to time is asked by one party or the other to review the costs of travel. When the White House was under the control of Democrats, Republicans a few years ago were the ones asking about costs – as they had the GAO look at a February 15-18, 2013 trip made by President Barack Obama. In that review, the GAO estimated that an official speech in Illinois, followed by a golf weekend in Florida, cost about $3.6 million. This GAO report will look at more than just the cost of the weekend trips to Trump’s resort in Mar-a-Lago, as it will also review security matters there. (CBSMiami/AP) — A government watchdog will investigate the taxpayer-funded travel costs of President Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-a-lago. — Liz Quirantes (@lizquirantes) March 28, 2017 Democrats raised those concerns during a trip that Mr. Trump took with the Japanese Prime Minister, when the two men were seen with aides in a public dining area, speaking about a developing national security issue with regards to North Korea. One question from the four Democrats centers on whether those who are at the Trump club have gone through normal security and clearance procedures, including any foreign nationals who might be there. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has downplayed the costs of the Mar-a-Lago visits, saying that’s ‘part of being President.’ “That is a vast reach,” Spicer told one reporter, who cast the question of the cost of the Mar-a-Lago visits, versus proposed cuts in the federal budget. Before he became President, Mr. Trump often criticized his predecessor for taking weekend golf trips to Florida and other parts of the country. While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2016 The GAO will now be in charge of determining how much Mr. Trump’s own weekend getaways are costing taxpayers.
  • J is not OK, as a name according to a Swiss court. The Zurich administrative court said in a ruling released Tuesday it had upheld a local registry's office decision to reject the letter as a given name in the best interests of the child, Switzerland's 20 Minuten news website reported. The court rejected the parents' argument they wanted to honor their daughter's great-grandparents Johanna and Josef with the initial as one of her middle names, saying they could have chosen the already-accepted Jo instead.  Though the parents wanted to pronounce the name 'Jay,' the court noted the letter is pronounced 'Yott' in German, creating confusion. The court also said people would be inclined to put a period after the J, though it wasn't an abbreviation.
  • A new study by the Mayo Clinic found that certain workouts can reverse the aging process. The study found that a high-intensity interval training workout, combined with resistance training, can turn back time. >> Read more trending news 'You're essentially slowing down that aging process, (which) I think is amazing, because we didn't have those things before,' said Dr. Vandana Bhide, of the Mayo Clinic. The study was conducted by researchers in Rochester, Minnesota, and targeted two age groups -- 18 to 30-year-olds and 65 to 85-year-olds. As we age, we lose muscle mass. Researchers found that a combined workout increases muscle mass, and on the cellular level, reverses some of the adverse effects of aging. 'For older people, it allows them to be more functional, to be able to do as much as they can at whatever age,” Bhide said. Researchers tracked data over 12 weeks. 'It's not overnight, but we think of it taking years,' Bhide said. Florida-based fitness franchise Orange Theory Fitness focuses on these types of workouts. 'It kind of just reaffirms what we already believe here,' head coach Justin Hoffman said. 'We've seen tremendous strength gain, even (at) 70 years plus, with just 3 to 4 days of interval training.” Bhide said older people who are interested in these workouts should check with their doctor before starting. And as with any exercise program, everybody is different and may not get the same results.
  • The American Geosciences Institute will host a free webinar, “State Responses to Induced Earthquakes,” on Friday 14 April at 1:00 PM CT. The surge in recent years of earthquakes associated with some oil and gas operations, especially the deep underground injection of wastewater, has spurred a range of actions and responses from geoscientists, regulators, and operators. This webinar will explore state-level activities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio to monitor and reduce induced earthquakes. SEG is a co-sponsor of the webinar. The webinar will feature Jeremy Boak (Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey), Michael Young (Associate Director for Environment at the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology), and Steven Dade (Geologist 2 at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources), focusing on several key topics: Improved monitoring networks for detecting small earthquakes Regulations and their effects Collaborations between government, industry, and other groups to reduce induced earthquakes Outreach and education to improve public awareness Attendees will have the chance to ask questions of the speakers in a live question and answer session during the webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/induced-eq-webinar. This webinar is co-sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Energy Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists, the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • UPDATE: Wagoner County investigators have released the name of the man who shot and killed three suspected burglars Monday in a home just outside Broken Arrow. They say Zach Peters fired the fatal shots after confronting the three suspects, who were dressed in black and wore masks. An affidavit obtained by KRMG indicates Peters knew Elizabeth Rodriguez, the woman arrested in connection with the incident. KRMG has learned Rodriguez, 21, turned herself in at the Broken Arrow Police Department after hearing about the shootings. Deputy Nick Mahoney with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office tells KRMG Rodriguez drove the three teens to the home in the 9100 block of South Clearview Drive. She allegedly knew they intended to burglarize the home. Because her actions constitute a possible felony, and the three were killed during the commission of that felony, Rodriguez faces those first-degree murder charges, as well as burglary charges. A man and his son were home when the suspects forced their way into the house through a back door, Mahoney tells KRMG. The son, Zach Peters, armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and opened fire on the suspects. Two of them died inside the home, the third made it outside before collapsing and dying in the driveway. All three were between the ages of 16 and 19, according to Mahoney, and lived in the Tulsa area. Booking records indicate Rodriguez has an Oologah address. She’s being held without bond.