Hope for best, plan for worst

It’s been hysterical the past two days watching Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed try to explain their way out of an embarrassing lack of preparation for a storm they knew could be coming.

Georgia and much of the Deep South have been clobbered by a rare snow and ice storm. The traffic crisis in Atlanta appeared to especially acute, with cars jamming freeways, trucks jackknifing everywhere, vehicles crashing — and with virtually zero public works crews responding with assistance.

The city and the state were caught flat-footed.

Gov. Deal said local weather forecasters told him the National Weather Service was wrong in its prediction of seriously inclement weather. He went with the locals. Mayor Reed said much the same thing, that the locals knew best about what to expect.

Well, now they’ve been quite chastened by their constituents for failing to heed the warnings from the NWS, which didn’t exactly predict such a storm would occur, but said that it could happen.

Those of us in the Texas Panhandle know how difficult it is to predict the weather, given its volatile nature and its sudden changes in fortune.

Deal today did apologize to Georgia residents for the state’s failure to respond. For that he deserves a pat on the back.

Still, it seems odd that the state’s elected officials — namely the governor and the mayor of Georgia’s largest city and the home of its state government — wouldn’t react to what they were told might occur.

You hope for the best but plan for the worst.

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