Haley versus Deal on handling the snowstorm

The S.C. Democratic Party rather joyfully brings attention to this item that describes the back-and-forth between Nikki Haley and the office of her counterpart in Georgia, Nathan Deal.

The piece quotes this from the Charleston Regional Business Journal about Nikki’s complaints in a speech to a civic club about the mess in Atlanta:

Haley, who was in Charleston on Tuesday for a speech to members of the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston, said her brother was stuck on an interstate in Atlanta for 27 hours because of the snow and ice.

“While I was trying to fix South Carolina, I was furious at Georgia for not taking care of that,” she said.

She complimented South Carolina’s Department of TransportationDepartment of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the state’s National Guard, for their work during the storm.

“When you go through a storm, whether it’s a hurricane or winter storm, our team stands ready,” Haley said. “I am very proud of team South Carolina and the way they handled the storm.”…

And then it provides this response from the Georgia governor’s office:

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson offered this when confronted with Haley’s jab:

“To say South Carolina did a better job responding to the storm than Georgia is like saying Tennessee did a better job than Louisiana responding to Hurricane Katrina. We experienced completely different weather events.”

15 thoughts on “Haley versus Deal on handling the snowstorm

  1. Juan Caruso

    My, how cherry picked news is “innocently” twisted. Gov. Haley actually went easy on Atlanta’s inexperienced new mayor and correctly attacked neighboring state leadership. Sorry it may come as a surprise to folks of a certain political persuasion, but citizens expect historical competence from and are entitled to business-like management acumen from leaders, even RINOs like Georgia’s Gov. Deal (just another elected lawyer), who until 2010 had been a Democrat, of course.

    One might fairly assume a life-long Georgia resident would be familiar withw recent history. Did Deal ever call Atlanta’s mayor to check his preparedness plan? What is wrong with elected lawyers? Are they only capable of deflecting their obvious responsibilities?

    Courtesy of “The State” newspaper:

    “ATLANTA — The winter storm that left Atlanta-area commuters stranded in cars overnight and thousands of children sleeping on cots at schools is far from the first to paralyze the Southern city. Here’s a glance at four decades of wicked winter weather events that stunned Hotlanta:

    —Jan. 9, 2011: A winter storm dumps ice and snow across Georgia, virtually shutting down metro Atlanta for three days. The state Department of Transportation spends more than $5 million spreading at least 10,000 tons of salt and gravel on ice-covered roads and interstates.

    —March 1, 2009: A rare March snowstorm hits the South, shutting down schools across 170 miles of central and north Georgia from Columbus to Athens.

    —Jan. 29, 2005: A wicked mix of ice, sleet and freezing rain knocks out electricity to 250,000 homes in metro Atlanta and north Georgia and grounds hundreds of flights at the Atlanta airport.

    —Jan. 23, 2000: An ice storm shatters trees, topples utility poles and snaps power lines across north Georgia, leaving more than 500,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Some Georgians shiver for days without electricity after the governor declares a state of emergency in 20 counties. Damage estimates from the storm top $35 million.”

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Atlanta is a poorly run city that barely sees any snow. The last time the city was hit with a winter storm, (2011) there were four (4) salt/sand spreading trucks at the ready.


    As an aside, I don’t know why cities (like Atlanta and Columbia) don’t just buy a few trucks each year until they have an adequate amount. It’s not like trucks would cost much in comparison to the city budget. Heck, most of the time, they would be in storage. We could probably get a good deal from Detroit. I hear Detroit’s looking to sell off some assets.

    Add to this, Atlanta — on a logistical level — doesn’t really do anything well. It’s bad at doing the day-to-day stuff that it has to do every day, so the things that it has to very rarely do are done exceptionally poorly.

    Also, have you seen Atlanta’s traffic on a good day? It’s slower than molasses running uphill. And that’s on a good day.

    If you throw a little inclement weather into the mix, the whole area becomes paralyzed. So you’re starting with a clogged and overburdened traffic system that crumbles at the slightest hiccup in operations…and then you ice it up at rush hour.

    Now, the real problem is that Atlanta didn’t do anything to prepare. Columbia did the opposite. We cancelled everything, and kind of looked silly for a little while. Remember how everyone was making fun of Columbia (and stupid southerners) for cancelling schools, courts, etc. when the first flake of snow was yet to fall? Yeah, Atlanta did the exact opposite.

    No cancellations were made. The schools stayed open. The businesses stayed open. The city basically played “Chicken” with nature. Not smart.

    As for the excuse that it was a “different weather event” than hit Columbia, that’s pretty lame. Everyone knew the storm was coming. It hit them, then it hit us. They got snow, we got snow. What exactly was the difference, other than the time of day that the snow landed?

    1. Mark Stewart

      The salt/sand spreaders are inserts that fit in pickups and (larger ones) in dump trucks. It isn’t hard to imagine SCDOT having a hundred of them. Or Columbia having 10 or so to pretreat the obvious bad spots when winter weather roles in.

      But then, it might just be a whole lot cheaper to ticket people for driving on worn-out treadless tires like they like to do in the South. Or is that considered regressive taxation?

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    Well played, Governor Deal!
    Columbia got hit well after the close of business, and downtown, the roads were quite passable at the start of the next day.
    Atlanta got hit during the business day, a lot harder than expected. Bryan is right that their roads are a mess during normal commutes. Have everyone leave at once, and add slippery snow, and what do you expect?

  4. Mab

    You are all missing the point. Her “…furious at Georgia” should send a message to the sane. Do rational people get mad at a whole state?!?

    WWMRS? What would Mitt Romney say?

    Are corporations [states] persons?!?

  5. Juan Caruso

    Well played? Can you be serious? Deal’s spokesman is the one who tried to deflect his governor’s responsibility with that dumb Katrina analogy. A more “politically” correct statement might have been:
    “Due to impending climate change, Georgia has deverted preparedness spending toward education.

    Obviously, Georgia’s leaders could use some education.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      So if Nikki now apologizes, do all y’all who thought she was right on the money the first time have steam coming out of your ears?

  6. Mark Stewart

    I hope that if this outrageously misguided “educational forgiveness plan” working its way through the Statehouse ends up on her desk that the Governor will take the same same stand that she did vs. Georgia and veto the thing on the spot – or better yet – stand up for the kid’s of this state and call the Senate out for even considering such a counter-productive feel-good move. From The State:

    “School districts across South Carolina would not have to make up missed days because of last week’s snowstorm under a plan that passed the state House of Representatives this week.

    The bill now heads to the state Senate.

    “I cannot imagine anyone in the South Carolina Senate being opposed to (the bill),” said state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, the Senate’s president pro tempore and chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

    State law requires public school students to have 180 days in the classroom each school year. It also requires districts to build three weather makeup days into their calendar. If the schools don’t need them, they become student holidays.”

    What is Sen. Courson thinking? Who does he see this benefiting? Certainly it cannot be the kids. If the legislature wants to do something to actually help the children of South Carolina, then they should instead push for a 190 day school year. Legislatively “excusing” snow days is the worst sort of pandering. I am not in the SC Senate, but I personally strongly object to this proposed bill and I would hope that people make it clear to all the statewide elected officials that this is not in any South Carolina child’s best interests. Where is the Superindendant of Education in all of this, by the way?

    Last, some of my ire is also directed at the House of Representatives, but they do as a rule like to conjur up this sort of nonsense. When we are lucky, more thoughtful minds decline to support the lower chamber’s ill-considered knee-jerk reactions.

    It looks like the state’s children need some luck with this proposed legislation.

    1. Doug Ross

      The job of state legislator should be part time. One day a week and two weeks a year. They spend far too much time screwing around doing meaningless stuff like this.

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