"We are certainly ahead of the game this time, and that's important," Deal said. "We are trying to be ready, prepared and react as quickly as possible."
Some residents thought officials moved too quickly. "I think they probably overreacted," Wilkes said. "It's to be expected."
But for others, memories of the last storm are still painfully fresh. Students were trapped on buses or at schools and thousands of cars were abandoned along highways as short commutes turned into odysseys. One woman gave birth on a jammed interstate. Officials reported one accident-related death.
Tony Hardy said he was trying to get out of the incoming weather. He lives at a homeless shelter and said he fell three times on ice during the last storm. This time, he said planned to shelter in his sister's house.
"It's going to last for a couple of days," he said.
The current storm was expected to hit other parts of the South as well. Alabama, which saw stranded vehicles and 10,000 students spend the night in schools during the January storm, was likely to get a wintry mix, with as much as 3 inches of snow and ice forecast before lunchtime Tuesday. Parts of Mississippi also could see 3 inches of snow, and a blast of snow over a wide section of Kentucky slickened roads and closed several school districts. South Carolina, which hasn't seen a major ice storm in nearly a decade, could get a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice and as much as 8 inches of snow in some areas. Nearly 900 flights were canceled Tuesday at airports in Atlanta, Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., according to tracking service FlightAware.
On Monday, Deal was doing many things differently than he had last month. He opened an emergency operations center and held two news conferences before the storm. In January, Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed did not hold their first news conference until hours after highways were jammed.