MARTA to conduct emergency preparedness exercise

If you see smoke and hear alarms going off in Midtown this weekend, don’t panic. 

MARTA will perform the region’s largest emergency preparedness exercise from 10 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at the Midtown station, officials said in a news release. 

The exercise will feature a full-scale simulation with explosions, smoke and actors to create a realistic setting for first responders, MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said. 

“These exercises are a critical tool that enable us to assess our response to crisis situations and identify areas for improvements,” MARTA CEO Keith Parker said. “The recent terror attack on London’s rail system as well as natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma underscore the importance of running various scenarios.” 

Road closures will be in place while MARTA conducts an emergency preparedness exercise. (Credit: MARTA)

At 9 p.m. Saturday, service on the northbound and southbound rails will be interrupted and a bus bridge will be put in place at the Arts Center and North Avenue stations. The bus will take passengers to the next available station. 

Local businesses and nearby residents have been contacted about the exercise to minimize confusion, MARTA officials said. 

“Businesses and residents in a five-mile radius of the MARTA Midtown station may hear loud noises and see heavy police activity as part of this year’s exercise,” MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said. 

The following road closures will be in place during the exercise: 

-Peachtree Place NE from West Peachtree Street NW to Peachtree Street NE beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday.

-10th Street NE from West Peachtree Street NW to Peachtree Street NE beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Limited access will be provided for the Regency Suites parking deck and the Alta Midtown parking deck.

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