Three days after Winter Storm Leon paralyzed Atlanta, resulting in commutes that exceeded 20 hours for some, the city's mayor has announced a new strategy for future storms.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Friday that the city will collaborate with The Weather Channel to form best practices for emergency response during severe weather. The city also has plans to double its snow removal capabilities and service.
"We're going full-steam to take on our infrastructure challenges in the city," Reed announced at an Atlanta Press Club luncheon.
Both Reed and Gov. Nathan Deal came under fire for a delayed response to the winter storm, which weather experts said should have been faster given the warnings.
Both leaders defended the city's response as improved since an ice storm in 2011 shut down the city for a week, and reiterated the biggest mistake was closing businesses, schools and government around the same time Tuesday. The move forced several million people into a frenzied commute around the region, before salt-and-sand crews had treated the roads.
Reed said that additional strategies for future storms will include hiring an Atlanta emergency management executive and requesting the city council appropriate funds to expand pre-treating capabilities for roads.
"I want to make it clear to every person impacted by this storm that I care deeply about you, and I still care deeply about what happened to you," Reed said.
MORE: The Wrath of Winter Storm Leon
Snow covers the grounds at Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/David Tulis)