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Winter Storm Round 2: Metro Atlanta much better prepared

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While most people slept as Atlanta’s winter storm moved in during the wee hours of the morning, Kenley Waller was up preparing to go out into the cold.

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Pictured above: Meteorologists had predicted that 6 to 10 inches of snow would cover North Georgia by Feb. 13. Metro Atlanta, however, got just enough snow flurries to make things pretty. A quarter-inch to half-inch of snow covered rooftops, lawns, pastures and roads, creating picturesque scenes throughout the area. In Rockdale County, for example, horses stood in the snow munching their breakfast of hay. In DeKalb County, ducks took a swim on a lake in The Southland subdivision. By noon, the sun shone and the white stuff began melting away, making slush of the salted roadways. Some people, struck with cabin fever after being stuck in the house for three days, walked to get a little exercise. 

Waller, who took a nap at his downtown Atlanta restaurant, got up at 3:30 a.m. to start his catering orders. He scrambled hundreds of eggs and made several pans of bacon, turkey sausage, grits, home potatoes and biscuits and gravy. After cooking all the food, he loaded his van and set out on the icy roads that everyone in the metro Atlanta area had been warned to avoid. kenley 

 

Waller delivered meals to hungry Georgia Power crews and others who had to work during the storm, as well as a private academy for students. While many other businesses were closed, business was brisk for Waller.

 

“I learned from the last time to be prepared,” said Waller, owner of Kenley’s Catering & Sandwich Shop. “It was so much better this time because we didn’t have all of the gridlock on the roads like last time. I was able to drive everywhere that I needed to go without any problems.”

 

Waller wasn’t the only one prepared for the storm. Atlanta, as a whole, was prepared for Winter Storm Round 2. The traffic jams that paralyzed the city three weeks ago didn’t happen this second time around since Gov. Nathan Deal set up an emergency task force to respond more quickly and efficiently to the inclement weather. Schools closed before the storm hit and remained closed, avoiding situations where some students had to sit for hours on school buses and others had to be sheltered at schools during the storm. This time, employers also closed down businesses well ahead of the storm, keeping the masses off the roads.

 

Although many of the worst problems were avoided this go round, about 190,000 homes and businesses statewide were without electricity Feb. 12. Georgia Power and the Georgia Electric Membership Corp. said they were able to quickly restore power to thousands.

 

Delores Pasker, a senior citizen who lives in Stone Mountain, was among those who lost power during the storm. Pasker said she had to leave her home and spend the night with relatives to keep warm.

 

“I didn’t want to freeze in the house,” said Pasker.

 

Darren Atchison, who lives in Riverdale, said for him, the power outages made this storm worse than the first one a few weeks ago. His power went out on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. and wasn’t restored until 7 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.

 

“We couldn’t cook, watch television or do anything really. Fortunately, we had eaten before the power went out,” Atchison said.

 

Justin Sparx, 27, of College Park, also had no power.

 

“You’re talking about straight caveman status. It was kind of funny because the day before I bought all these cups of Ramen noodles just to have some quick snacks but nobody wanted them then. We discovered we had a gas stove so we made Ramen Noodles and rice in the boiling water, used a lot of blankets and made it through. We kept waking up hoping the power would be on but it never came back on until about 12 hours later,” Sparx said.

 

The Georgia State Patrol reported 129 crashes on Wednesday with 19 people injured on the roads and none killed. 

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