Atlanta weather | More Atlanta snow removal equipment; more progress

The city of Atlanta has increased its snow removal operation to more than 115 pieces of equipment, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday.

Reed said that while major roads are continuing to get cleared, workers have started venturing into neighborhoods to clear residential areas.

“We are working 24/7 to get the city back up and running,” Reed said at a news conference in Midtown. “This is the worst snow event in 15 years, and people want to get back to work.”

Reed said the next few days would be crucial as the city prepares for an Atlanta Hawks game, a boat show and the Atlanta Falcons’ night playoff game Saturday night.

“I have no doubt that we will be ready for Saturday,” Reed said.

Reed met with a group of reporters Thursday afternoon at Peachtree and 14th streets. Traffic flowed by -- heavy as usual -- on the cold blustery day. With temperatures in the 20s, Reed addressed the media in just a suit jacket -- no overcoat, gloves or scarf.

“We want to send a clear signal that we are working,” Reed said. “The last few days have been tough. I wouldn’t rate [our response] because we are still in it. But we are not hiding. This is a no-excuses situation.”

Reed, who initially said the city planned for the storm with about 20 trucks to remove snow and ice, said the city has now hired six outside contractors to help with the process. He said since the storm hit the city, there have been more than 2,000 emergency calls, with about a quarter of them related to accidents.

He said workers would be out at least until Sunday working “nonstop” to clean the city.

“I will not be satisfied until the city is fully up and operational,” Reed said. “And the government will be up and functioning every day.”