Deal with it: Governor creates task force

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 3, 2014
Screen grab of CBS live feed via Atlanta INtown.

Screen grab of CBS live feed via Atlanta INtown.

Gov. Nathan Deal is pledging to learn from his mistakes in response to the Jan. 28 snow storms. On Feb. 3, his press office announced that the governor has created a Severe Winter Weather Warning and Preparedness Task Force that will issue recommendations about how to be better prepared the next time Atlanta gets hit with 2 inches of snow.

The storms last week virtually shut down the city for three days. Commuters spent hours in traffic, leaving on Tuesday and not making it home until Wednesday. Some drivers abandoned their cars on the road and walked home. Deal has taken responsibility for those mistakes, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has also taken heat for the city’s response.

“Effective immediately, a storm warning will trigger a message to cell phones in targeted areas, as in the Amber Alert system, and advise against road travel,” Deal said in the press release. “We will go one step further with school superintendents by emailing them weather condition updates, so that they have the most up-to-date information when determining whether to close schools.

“We will overhaul the state emergency app with shelter information, alternative transportation routes and other emergency-related information. Lastly, as storms approach, I have ordered Georgia Emergency Management Agency to consult with local meteorologists on current weather modeling and predictions.”

Here are the members of the governor’s new task force:

Name Office Position

Bart Gobeil (Chair)

Governor’s Office Chief Operating Officer
Charley English GA Emergency Management Agency Executive Director
Keith Golden Dept. of Transportation Commissioner
Mark Williams Dept. of Natural Resources Commissioner
Mark McDonough Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner
Jim Butterworth Dept. of Defense Major General
Jannine Miller GA Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director
Chris Tomlinson State Road and Tollway Authority Executive Director
Glenn Burns WSB Chief Meteorologist
Markina Brown CBS Chief Meteorologist
Ken Cook Fox 5 Chief Meteorologist
Chesley McNeil 11 Alive Meteorologist
Robert Avossa Fulton County Schools Superintendent
Emily Lembeck Marietta City Schools Superintendent
Michael Thurmond DeKalb County Schools Superintendent
Keith Parker MARTA General Manager/CEO
Ed Crowell Georgia Motor Trucking President and CEO
Jeffrey Parker HNTB Corp.; former Connecticut DOT commissioner Vice President
Anthony Wilson Georgia Power Executive VP, Customer Service and Operations
Jerry Donovan Georgia Transmission Corporation President and CEO
Hala Moddelmog Metro Atlanta Chamber President
Gil West Delta Senior VP, Airport Customer Service and TechOps
Steve Thompson GA State Senate District 33
Steve Gooch GA State Senate District 51
Jay Roberts GA House of Representatives District 155
Mike Glanton GA House of Representatives District 75
Kelvin Cochran City of Atlanta Fire Chief
George Turner Atlanta Police Department Chief of Police
Awaiting Confirmation National Weather Service
Awaiting Confirmation AT&T  
Awaiting Confirmation Verizon Wireless  
Awaiting Confirmation Metro Atlanta Municipality


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • David Brandt… who?

    This is a great way for Deal to try to recover any ground he’s likely to lose in the long-term polling. It’s an election year after all. Maybe we should all keep that in mind as he drums up new urgency about weather logistics and disaster prep.

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