It’s been 10 years since a winter storm dubbed “Snowmageddon” hit metro Atlanta.
For those Georgians stuck in the mess, it may feel like yesterday. But Channel 2 Chief Meteorologist Emeritus Glenn Burns learned that when it comes to winter storms, Georgia is now in a much better place because of that storm.
But we are in a much better place because of it.
The storm brought just three inches of snow to the metro. But the mess that ensued after that snow fell will be something most people across the metro will never forget.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was out reporting live as the temperature got colder and colder.
“As the sun has gone down as the temperature drops, it is getting more and more icy out here,” Elliot said.
“It’s impossible to drive right now. The roads are full of ice,” a driver told Channel 2 Action News at the time.
There were crashes all over the place. Some drivers slept in their cars, others ran out of gas and many abandoned their cars and walked.
There was also a major impact on schools and children as some bus trips were delayed for hours.
“I was super scared. I was like, ‘If I don’t get home to my parents, like, I’m going to freak out,’” a student told us.
Other buses were flat-out stranded.
Metro Atlanta was paralyzed for days.
In the aftermath, this headline appeared on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “How did this happen?”
“Within a very short window of time, many more motorists got on the roadways and during that same timeframe is when the amount of snow continued to come,” former Gov. Nathan Deal said during a news conference after the storm.
In the last 10 years, state and local leaders have made major changes. That includes the creation of a state meteorologist position.
State meteorologist Will Lanxton said not only does he monitor the forecast, but he also works with the agencies in charge of leading us all through future snowstorms.
“We’ve had events where we have had more snowfall than in 2014 and because GDOT and some of the other agencies supporting them have gone out and pre-treated the roads and done the leg work beforehand, it has kept lanes opened when it’s below freezing,” Lanxton said.
Another big change that came after that particular snowstorm, was Georgia added a network of road sensors.
They provide information like road temperature that can be used to monitor when treatment may be needed.