Posted: 5:16 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Emails show casual response by GEMA director over winter storm

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GEMA response photo
Channel 2 Action News went through 73 pages of emails between GEMA Director Charley English and other state officials about the impending storm.
GEMA Emails photo
At 3 p.m. Monday, a state employee sent English an email saying, "everyone keeps telling me how bad the weather is going to be and I keep saying if the weather was going to be bad, Charley would have called and he hasn't called me."
GEMA Emails photo
Tuesday, as the snow was falling and causing traffic trouble, English responded to an email by saying, “Sorry for the delay, dealing with this winter weather thing. Will be all better by Thursday.”

ATLANTA —

Channel 2 Action News has received another batch of emails written by the head of Georgia Emergency Management that shed new light on what was happening before, during and after the winter storm  paralyzed the metro area. 
 
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston went through 73 pages of emails between GEMA Director Charley English and other state officials about the impending storm. 
 
Some of the emails were telling English that airlines were starting to cancel trips. Others were asking if the officials could be of help.  But his responses appeared casual.
 
"As I said, I made a terrible error in judgment," English said during a news conference last week.
 
In one email, GEMA staffers were sounding the alarm two days before the storm.  English responded:  "I heard some broadcast meteorologists predicting something."
 
Monday, 24 hours before cars started slipping and sliding on area expressways, a GEMA employee wondered if he should cancel a trip to Washington, D.C., because of the storm. 
 
“Thank you. Sure is warm outside," English wrote back.
 
At 3 p.m. Monday, a state employee sent English an email saying, "everyone keeps telling me how bad the weather is going to be and I keep saying if the weather was going to be bad, Charley would have called and he hasn't called me."
 
By that time, Channel 2 Action News meteorologists had already told viewers the storm was going to bad.
 
Tuesday, as the snow was falling and causing traffic trouble, English responded to an email by saying, “Sorry for the delay, dealing with this winter weather thing. Will be all better by Thursday.”
 
And 24 hours later, Wednesday, as people were still stuck in their cars and children were making their way home from sleeping at school, a National Weather  expert asked if there was anything they could do to help, English responded, “Thank you so much David, if you could elevate those temps about 20 degrees with wind it would be greatly appreciated.”

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