"Basically, everyone from the office is going to be working from home" on Tuesday, Dakota Herrera said as he left a downtown car park on his way to the office Monday.
Deal was doing many things differently. He opened an emergency operations center and held two news conferences before the storm. When the Jan. 28 storm hit, Deal was at an awards luncheon with Mayor Kasim Reed, who was named a magazine's 2014 "Georgian of the Year."
Reed had just tweeted: "Atlanta, we are ready for the snow."
This time, the mayor made no such predictions. Instead, he said he was in contact with school leaders and the city had 120 pieces of equipment to spread salt and sand and plow snow.
"We are just going to get out here and, flat out, let our work speak for itself," Reed said.
During the last storm, Deal and Reed didn't hold their first news conference until hours after highways were jammed.
Much is at stake for the governor, a Republican who is up for re-election, and Reed, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and has aspirations for higher office. Both took heat from residents, forecasters and even comedians during the last storm.
Saturday Night Live spoofed a storm "survivor" with a thick Southern accent. "The sun will rise again," the character said at one point. Jon Stewart quipped: "The ice age zombie doomsday apocalypse has come to Atlanta."
The governor apologized and announced the formation of a task force to study the problems. He also called for various reviews and wants a new public alert system for severe weather, similar to what's used for missing and endangered children.
Aaron Strickland, emergency operations director for Georgia Power, said the utility was bringing in crews from Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan.
"Ice is probably one of the worst events we face," Strickland said. "When you look at the types of ice we are talking about, it's catastrophic."
Associated Press writers Kate Brumback and Ray Henry contributed to this report.