Atlanta Braces for Another Winter Storm

This time the city will be prepared, officials say.

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Traffic on Interstate 75/85 deals with snow and ice conditions on January 28, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia — a storm that shut down the city.

A winter storm is expected to hit the Southeast Monday night just two weeks after a snowstorm brought the city of Atlanta to a standstill. This time, Georgia officials say they’ll be better prepared.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who was heavily criticized for his department’s response to January’s storm, put emergency response agencies on alert. He has declared a state of emergency in 14 counties.

The Atlanta Department of Transportation told TIME that the city is well-prepared for whatever the storm brings. “We’re getting out in advance of the storm,” said spokesperson Valerie Bell-Smith. “Last time we started the morning of the event and this time we’re starting the night before.”

At around 8p.m. Monday, salt-spreading trucks will start pre-treating roads in the Atlanta area. According to Bell-Smith, they’ll have about 3,000 tons of rock salt on hand after preparations begin on Monday.

Snow, rain and sleet will cover Atlanta Monday morning and may last through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Up to two inches of snow could stick in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Little Rock.

After 2.6 inches of snow paralyzed Atlanta in last month’s storm, city officials including Mayor Kasim Reed came under fire for being poorly prepared. Thousands of children had to spend the night in schools as their parents were stuck in their cars on frozen highways for up to 20 hours. Atlanta created a new severe weather task force in response to the outcry, and this week’s storm will be its first test.

Additional reporting by Maya Rhodan

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