Atlanta, GA, United States (4E) – Georgia State Patrol officers, National Guards and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) workers are helping drivers recover hundreds of cars and trucks abandoned on Atlanta’s freeways starting 10 a.m. Thursday.
The city’s Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs) are also towing abandoned cars to two designated impounding areas. Owners can pick up their cars at either the Westlake MARTA station or at Mount Paran Church on Mount Paran Road before nightfall. The towing is free of charge, according to the GDOT.
HEROs are also providing fuel for cars that ran out of gas and jumpstart for those with dead batteries.
The I-20, I-285 and I-75 were filled with abandoned cars and looked like virtual parking lots in the aftermath of Tuesday’s snow storm. Icy conditions triggered traffic jams that stranded commuters for hours until the cold forced them to walk home or go to the nearest warm places.
The Georgia State Patrol counted 2,029 abandoned vehicles on metro Atlanta highways, including on area interstates and Georgia 400.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal took responsibility for the traffic jams admitting Thursday that storm preparations were not early enough to prevent the gridlock. The governor also extended the state of emergency until Sunday.
Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday most streets in Atlanta are now passable.
Meanwhile, many metro Atlanta schools are remaining closed on Friday. Students, families and employees who were stranded and forced to stay overnight in many schools need time to recover while school facilities needed to be replenished before resuming normal operations, explained Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis.