Officials: This time, Ga. overreacted to forecast

Traffic inches along the connector of Interstate's 75 and 85 as snow blankets Metro Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014 as seen from the Pryor Street overpass. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is preparing to declare a state of emergency as a winter storm coats the region with snow and ice. State transportation officials said a mass of commuters leaving downtown Atlanta at once created traffic jams on interstates and surface streets. (AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray)

ATLANTA (AP) — Less than nine days after a storm trapped commuters in cars and children on school buses in metro Atlanta, state officials say they “overreacted” to information from federal forecasters and posted incorrect information on giant message boards over freeways.

The signs flashed late Wednesday and into early Thursday, warning drivers of a new winter storm watch for the area. But the National Weather Service had issued no such watch.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says in a statement that in an effort to inform motorists of potentially hazardous road conditions, it overreacted to a statement from the weather service and posted incorrect information on message signs from 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

National Weather Service forecasters called state officials early Thursday to alert them to the error.


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