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Stranded in a snowstorm, Atlanta turns to Facebook for help

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Buried among snarky tweets about the State of the Union address last night were stories of people stranded in the snow in Atlanta. Cars had been stuck on the highway for hours. Police helped deliver a baby in the traffic jam. People were sleeping in a CVS rather than attempt to drive in perilous conditions. As of this morning, thousands are still stranded.

Out of the mayhem, a Facebook page called SnowedOutAtlanta was created. It’s become its own crowdsourced emergency response team, asking those stranded, or offering help, to post to the page with clear directives:

PLEASE START POSTS LIKE THIS:

Need shelter in _____

Need ride/pickup in ____

Shelter available in _____

The Facebook page has grown to 35,000 members since being created yesterday, but its mission seems to be working. An interactive map allows those stranded or seeking shelter to pin their location, and the camaraderie coming out of the storm is inspiring.


 

Since the page went up, several people have made contact with loved ones or been rescued. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was scheduled to make a statement at 10am EST today. 

Here’s a bit of insight on how two inches of snow caused 18 hours of gridlock. It touches on, among other things, the issue of infrastructure, something else mentioned in the State of the Union address last night.

Photo via B Rosen/Flickr