AJC photographers, meanwhile, continued to find ways to show readers exactly how bad things were, with thousands of cars still stranded two days after the storm hit.

Riley has plans to continue the watchdog coverage, hoping the AJC can push officials to finally find a solution before the next storm hits.

“We’re going to get out there around the country where this is done well and see what they do,” he said. “Next time something like this happens, my hope is it’s handled better and part of that will be because of our reporting.”

The paper has also begun to consider ways it can do better next time, starting with the basics. The real basics.

“It’s been less to do with the journalism and more with the basic necessities of life,” Riley said. “We want to cut a deal with a local hotel so we can reserve a block of rooms if we need it. We’ve been asking, are there supplies we can have in the newsroom, like blankets?”

Correction: The original version of this post misidentified two Journal-Constitution reporters. Their surnames have been corrected. CJR regrets the error.

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Susannah Nesmith is a Miami-based freelance writer and the faculty adviser to Barry University's student newspaper, The Barry Buccaneer. Follow her on Twitter @susannahnesmith.