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Fulton County to review snow response
by Noreen Cochran
February 03, 2014 04:03 PM | 1127 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wednesday’s meeting of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners will include a discussion about last week’s snowstorm, which paralyzed the metro Atlanta area, and attempts to improve response in the future.

The county’s 911 center handled more than 7,000 calls within the first 72 hours of the event, routing 1,380 calls to police, 263 calls to the fire department, and others to the sheriff’s office and Fairburn and Palmetto first responders.

All county fire stations served as warming sites and temporary shelters for stranded motorists, housing and feeding about 175 civilians.

Transportation crews pre-treated roads and de-iced bridges but melted snow refreezing into black ice undid much of their work.

“Cold temperatures overnight in the teens were an impediment to county efforts to clear the roads,” county Chairman John Eaves said in a statement Thursday.

Eaves has called for an update from the Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency and a review of policies on natural disaster and emergency preparedness protocols.

Commissioner Robb Pitts said in a statement he will welcome the chance to work on emergency evacuation strategies within the county and with other agencies.

“Some believe our governments failed in a crucial hour of need for our mutual constituents during the winter storm of 2014. I was one of the many who spent hours trying to drive a route that normally should take mere minutes,” he said. Pitts said he wanted to help ensure “the mistakes of 2011 and 2014 are not repeated again,” referring to the January 2011 blizzard that snowbound the metro Atlanta area for days.

The agenda today also includes zoning cases, like that of World Changers Church International in College Park, which seeks a curb cut for its 35,000-square-foot youth activity center on about eight acres at 2495 Burdett Road.

County planners recommend denial but the applicant said having another entrance is a matter of public safety, not convenience.

“The applicant cites the recent delayed arrival time for emergency vehicles and Fulton County police in accessing the property for a life-threatening situation where an employee was held up and shot on site,” Planning Director Randy Beck said in a statement. “Delay was also experienced by vehicles leaving the property to transport the victim to Grady Hospital. The applicant has expressed his concern regarding this life-threatening experience coupled with the increase in the number and level of crimes in the area. It is critical to reduce response time in an attempt to save lives.”

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