Winter weather well handled

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2014

Surely, our neighbors to the north were laughing earlier this week as most of the South hunkered down for Winter Storm Leon.

Even before a single ice crystal formed, announcements were made that all area schools and governmental offices as well as many local businesses would be closed on both Tuesday and Wednesday, if not longer. Starting Tuesday morning, roads and bridges began to close in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.

While some may have balked at this proactive action, especially when storm conditions did not arrive until later in the day Tuesday, the closings proved pertinent, especially when viewed in the light of what happened in Atlanta, where gridlock snarled traffic for several hours and some students

were forced to spend the night at their schools. In the local area, there were no notable incidents, our local officials having learned their own difficult lesson the previous Friday when icing caught many local officials off guard.

Furthermore, the local citizenry was extremely cooperative with requests to stay off the roads and to close businesses. This ensured local law enforcement would be able to respond quickly and easily to any emergencies. Perhaps it was the unfamiliarity with the weather conditions, but the streets were generally much more deserted than when similar requests are made during the approach of a tropical system.

So while New Orleans and the surrounding area generally stands in Atlanta’s shadow among southern cities, officials and citizens alike can commend themselves for handling a potentially disastrous event with foresight and efficiency.