Skip to comments.SOUTHERN-STYLE SNOWSTORM: GRIDLOCK, KIND NEIGHBORS
Posted on 01/29/2014 5:02:55 AM PST by Biggirl
ATLANTA (AP) -- Students camped out with teachers in school gyms or on buses and commuters abandoned cars along the highway to seek shelter in churches, fire stations - even grocery stores - after a rare snowstorm left thousands of unaccustomed Southerners frozen in their tracks.
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I’m not having problems, are other people?
When I first moved to Georgia from New Hampshire a neighbor saw my snow shovel and remarked that in Georgia people don’t shovel snow, they wait for it to go away. He was right.
3 inches of snow and the whole city shuts down. Amazing!
that is ridiculous
I made a call to College of Charleston yesterday and they were CLOSED because they were anticipating snow!
Generally, when it snows in Atlanta the roadways are still warm and the initial snows melts. Within minutes, the below-freezing air freezes the melted snow and in an hour's time the roads of an entire metro area are completely covered with ice, not snow.
It's similar to the phenomenon that causes Atlanta to have ice storms, where all outdoor surfaces, including power lines and tree limbs, become covered with 1/2" or more of solid ice.
I could drive in Boston and Chicago snow. I can't drive in Atlanta ice.
My son in college in Mississippi, went out and was pulled behind a 4-wheeler in a plastic box (he also went target-shooting to make his "Redneck Winter Festival" complete).
When I was going to Mississippi State back in the early 1980's, during snow storms we'd take lunch trays out of the cafeteria and then slide down "hernia hill", a large hill near the middle of campus. There would be students at the top of both hills on the road that would stop traffic when there were kids running down, then let the traffic through when they cleared out (the cafeteria sold old trays for .50 each so we weren't stealing anything). The cafeteria and student union would both have hot chocolate. It was a real festival.
apparently people were stranded all over the Birmingham metro area and still are. I saw plenty yesterday when it took an hour and a half to get to my children—usually a 25 minute drive. The weather itself wasn’t the worst I have been in, it was the drivers and the hills.
3 inches of snow and the whole city shuts down.
Got .6” in Spartanburg, SC. That’s six tenths of an inch.
No School. No work. No mail delivery. Nuthin...
Of course, it’s all ice. I don’t care where you’re from, you can’t drive on ice. Especially when there are no sanding or salting trucks available below the Mason-Dixon line.
Don’t forget the “Houston Strong” t-shirts and the all-star concert!
1 inch in Chattanooga and it was a mess. Not as bad as Atlanta, not by a long shot, but several people had a very long, slow drive home yesterday afternoon.
In defense of Atlanta (maybe defense is the wrong word), that city is just one "fender-bender" away from traffic chaos anyway. It has way too many cars for the amount of road/infrastructure as it is. Throw in slippery roads and you have a complete mess.
And no, southern cities don't have fleets of salt/plow trucks standing by like they do up north. It wouldn't make sense to spend that kind of money for trucks that they'd only use once every 3 years or so.
” I dont care where youre from, you cant drive on ice”
The northerners I know always laughed about it until their first real ice storm, then they understood the difference between ice and the pretty snow.
“Im not having problems, are other people?”
Still snowing here at the northern OBX in NC. Only about 5 inches of snow, just not equipped to handle it.
Pff. Its easy to drive on ice. Wusses. (Never mind that where I live a railroad grade is a steep hill...)
Snow is easy. Driving on ice is treacherous.
I’m in the worst of it and I’m like WTF there’s only 1/2 on the ground.
I can drive in New Jersey ice.
The hysteria around this “storm” is embarrassing.
Up north, here in upper east Tennessee, we have all those trucks. They are the ordinary trucks that are temporarily outfitted with salt dispensers and blades. The DOT uses dump trucks out fitted with tanks that dispense a liquid on the Interstates. It is very effective.
Our experience today is almost unique in my memory. We had light snow falling for hours on end at 15 degrees or less. We had what we skiers prayed for but never ever got....... powder. The accumulation is now bout 4” and the temp is 4 as well.
Stopping is the hard part.
I imagine this to be a crisis of epic proportions because, when confined to home, the courtesy of southern hospitality demands cooking marathons, producing vast quantities of food that is the antonym of “healthy”.
Rich, delicious, and you can hear your capillaries slamming shut. An entire pie is *not* an individual portion, nor is a whole rack of fresh, fluffy biscuits and cornbread, a KFC sized bucket of home fried chicken, mountains of deep fried vegetables, etc.
Oh, and gallons of sugared iced tea.
Well many places like our area 1 inch of snow. LOL!
4 hour local news blocks regarding the weather with helpful advice like “Its bad to build a fire pit in your living room” and “bridges ice before roads” brilliant fecus like that.
I am content with sitting in the leather chair in front of the fire.
The biggest problem I have with my fellow Deep Southerners is how they (try) to drive on ice and snow. I got my ice/snow driving skills in places like Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington DC and Germany while in the US Air Force.
Rule # 1 is SLOW DOWN! I am amazed to see how many book just like they are on a rain slicked road. It is NOT the same thing. Last night I took a drive with my daughter in our little ice/snow bound town in Southern Alabama. Not much traffic, everyone was staying home which is Rule # 2.
Rule # 2 is If you don’t have to go out; don’t! Anyway on the drive on a road with a 45MPH speed limit I was doing 20-25 MPH. an idiot in a big ol’ pickup passed me and was probably doing 50 when he ditched it. I slowed down and offered to help, but he said no problem and spun his big ole tires until they smoked. I told him to ride up on the grass which would give him traction rather than trying to spin on the ice. He did and got out.
Rule # 3 is don’t expect a heavy, hard foot on the brake pedal to slow you down. Firm, short pumps. And follow rule # 1 so you don’t have to brake so hard. Many if not most spin outs happen when a driver stomps the brakes.
Last night I violated rule # 2. I was telling my teenage daughter that the most dangerous thing on these icy roads were other drivers, right before the pickup passed us. Who knows, maybe me being there going so slow caused him to get flustered, LOL!
4. Turn into the skid
Feh, you see it once every few years. In CT it’s a regular occurrence. The only ice we really need to worry about is what’s called black ice. In March and April the sun will melt the snow, and at night it freezes into perfectly smooth sheets of ice that you can’t see until your almost ion top of them. If you stop on on your car can slide sideways.
Thank you, yes that! Rule # 4!
If you’re on ice and start to slide, you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. I don’t care WHERE you’re from; ice is bad news.
NJ sands and salts and scrapes the roads when you guys get ice. There’s probably not a single salt truck south of I-40. Much less enough of them to adequately cover a big metro area like Atl. I could ‘drive’ on NJ ‘ice’ too. I only hesistated when there was more than 8 or 10” in a fairly short period of time. Then I just waited for the salt trucks/plows to ‘take care of’ the turnpike and GSP before I headed out.
I wonder just how much of Atl’s problem was northerners who thought ‘I can drive on snow, it’s just a couple inches!’ and then got stuck because hey, no plows, no scrapers, no salt trucks and no sanding. Happened to a friend of mine who moved to the Memphis area. It’s easy to trick mother nature if you’ve got tricks up your sleeve.
That’s exactly what happened in Atl. The snow hit the warm roadways (it was in the 50’s the day before), melted and then refroze as the temps continued to plunge and it continued to snow.
CT has sanding and salt trucks and plows. Atl does not.
Yes, it’s always the Yanks’ fault. Even the snow.
Nah, we make chili and jambalaya. Hubby cooked a venison roast in the crock pot.
I made snow ice cream for the kids.
Then we drank hot tea, unsweetened, to stay warm.
Judging by the ‘it’s just 2” of snow!, what a bunch of idiots’ comments by northerners on this thread, and the number of northerners that have arrived in Atl over the past 20 years I dare you to tell me there weren’t any at fault in those big traffic jams.
And I’d like to see what happens in NJ if someone took all your plows, salting trucks and emptied your salt storage domes in the townships.
It’s easy to ‘drive on ice and snow’, if your municipality has the means to clear it before hand.
Was that for just breakfast, or just brunch?
It’s not the same. We regularly have temps well below freezing followed by rain. Happens all the time. Black ice is different.
I sympathize with your problems. The area and drivers are just not prepared for snow. Sometimes it’s better to check out early from work, or just not go in.
The whole day.
Kids had a larabar for snack in the afternoon.
Most people, who aren’t of food stamps, can’t afford to eat like that.
When your precipitation hits, melts and then freezes it’s all the same thing. Our high here Sunday was nearly 60.
We have black ice warnings out for today after it thaws a bit and refreezes after dark.
We still have no salting trucks or plows.
And the ambient temp at my house is 18F. So salt would be of dubious use anyways. I’m reminded to see if I can buy some of that blue chemical stuff that melts ice at lower temps than road salt.
Atl was supposed to see just a flurry yesterday. Unfortunately for them, the NWS mets busted that forecast bigtime. By the time they realized it would be a big problem everyone was at school or work already.
New Jersey. Parts of it quite close to Manhattan, where entire Upper Eastside neighborhoods were recently crippled by mere snow. Thank goodness they didn't have to deal with black ice, like Atlanta.
I’m not trying to be harsh actually.
Municipal Snow/ice removal up north becomes ‘expected’ and done without your having to actually take part in it or worry about if it will happen. It’s like garbage collection or waste water removal. It ‘just happens’. You expect it to happen. You don’t realize how important it is to keep things moving along.
Then you move to the deep south. 2” of snow is forecast and your work cancels and your kids schools shut down. You express ridicule and amazement. Not realizing that the snow and ice removal you came to take for granted in NJ and CT just doesn’t exist down here. At all. And the snow will be gone in a day anyways. It’s cheaper for the municipalities to take the snow day, once every 2 or 3 years, than it is to buy big expensive trucks and clearing equipment and maintain salt depots.
I will say this is the second snow my parents, who live 45m SOUTH of me, have had this year. The second in 2 weeks time. My father, nearly 80, says that’s a first in his memory as well. This is the first time I remember snow being around the next day since the 70’s. And it might not melt today either with the temp on my back porch standing at 18F still and cloudy outside.
Usually our snow is in the overnight or early morning, everyone gets a half day and by lunch time the temps are in the low 40’s and even if the snow isn’t all gone, the roads are safe and everyone goes to work 1/2 day. We’re way further south than Atl. Our high temp yesterday was 29F at 12:01AM. Temps fell all day long and it was snowing with a temp of 23F at my house. Neither my father nor his 75yr old brother can remember it snowing with temps that cold. Snow is usually a 29F+ event.
Oh, and no one has snow tires. Although there may be a briskish business in chains for emergency vehicles after this.
There’s no scraping of ice. Our last storm, it got packed down. We just drive very slow over it and pump, pump, pump, no slamming on breaks.
We never get black ice? I didn’t know that.
It’s easy to do when someone has sanded/salted the roads though.
I’ve driven both places. In the snow and ice. I drove in NJ just a few days after the 33” snow storm of ‘96. If we got 3’ of snow down here it would literally cripple us. It would be like those NYC neighborhoods that DeBlasio didn’t plow at all.
They were plowing the streets up there even as the first 2 or 3” had fallen. And kept it up through the night. Every few hours the sound of the snow plows scraping pavement woke us up. So yes, there’s scraping. Those several hundred pound snow plows do a pretty effective job. And the salt out of the back end of the trucks does the rest.
I drove in NJ snow and ice for the better part of a decade. I only delayed when it was more than 8”. Mainly to give the removal equipment time to do their jobs and for NJ highway patrol and local cops time to get all the wrecks cleared.
Everything you say is spot on.
I would expect after reading it for smart conservatives to understand.
I would expect dumb and smart a$$es not to.
Actually black ice is a big problem up north. Depending on the roadway. The closest I ever came to a major wreck involved black ice in a curve/turn on ramp onto the NJ Turnpike. The rest of the road was ‘perfect’ as it had been salted and plowed the day before. However, the melting snow had made a giant puddle that in the 15F or so overnight had refrozen in spite of being salty. As the reporters say ‘UNEXPECTED!’.
Driving on ice can be done, fairly easily, but it requires something most people in the South usually don’t have.
Experience, and THE RIGHT KIND OF TIRES....
The tires, and their condition, make all the difference, in that type of weather.
I thought I read somewhere that nobody can drive in New Jersey. :)
All my family live in the southern states.....and from Atlanta, Ga. To Tennessee they are frozen in.
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