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Atlanta mayor defends city's response to storm

Thursday - 1/30/2014, 11:20am  ET

ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta's mayor is battling back against accusations that the city failed to prepare for snow and ice that jammed freeways and left drivers and schoolchildren stranded for hours in sub-freezing temperatures.

In a morning interview on NBC's "Today" show, Mayor Kasim Reed said many of the news photos and videos showing freeways littered with abandoned cars were taken not in the city but in the surrounding region.

Reed noted that the city doesn't have jurisdiction of those freeways and said most streets in Atlanta itself are passable.

Reed said the lesson he learned from Tuesday's storm is that schools, businesses and government agencies should stagger the release of their students and workers before storms so they are not entering the freeway system at the same time, leading to traffic gridlock.

%@AP Links

143-a-10-(Mayor Kasim (kah-SEEM') Reed, D-Atlanta, in interview)-"played a role"-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says a lack of experience dealing with ice and snow played a role in this week's storm gridlock. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" Show. ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Jan 2014)

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APPHOTO GAATJ114: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed listens to a question about the city's response to the snow storm during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 in the Governor's office at the State Capitol in Atlanta. A rare snowstorm left thousands across the U.S. South frozen in their tracks, with workers sleeping in their offices, students camping in their schools, and commuters abandoning cars along the highway to seek shelter in churches or even grocery stores. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT (29 Jan 2014)

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