The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

February 11, 2014

Round 2: Many stay home as Ga. braces for storm

(Continued)

When the Jan. 28 storm hit, Deal was at an awards luncheon with Reed, who was named a magazine's 2014 "Georgian of the Year."

Reed had just tweeted: "Atlanta, we are ready for the snow."

This time, the mayor made no such predictions. Instead, he said he was in contact with school leaders and the city had 120 pieces of equipment to spread salt and sand and plow snow. The National Guard had 1,400 four-wheeled drive vehicles to help anyone stranded.

"We are just going to get out here and, flat out, let our work speak for itself," Reed said.

Much is at stake for the governor, a Republican who is up for re-election, and Reed, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Both took heat from residents, forecasters and even comedians during the last storm.

Saturday Night Live spoofed a storm "survivor" with a thick Southern accent. "The sun will rise again," the character said at one point. Jon Stewart quipped: "The ice age zombie doomsday apocalypse has come to Atlanta."

The governor apologized and announced the formation of a task force to study the problems.

Some residents are already taking note of officials' change in attitude for this storm. Kevin Paul, a barber, sat in an empty shop watching TV coverage of the storm Tuesday. Paul was critical of the response from Deal last month.

"I think that they should have done better," Paul said. "I think they were preoccupied with other things." But Paul noted Deal seems to be paying far more attention this time.

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Associated Press writers Kate Brumback, Ray Henry and Jeff Martin contributed to this report.

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