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Old 01-31-2014, 01:52 PM
 
1,613 posts, read 1,938,110 times
Reputation: 871

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitman619 View Post
That was kinda cool
Georgia/Alabama is not use to this type of bad weather, so you calling these people stupid makes you look stupid
That's not true, though. I have spent lots of time in Atlanta, and winter weather is common. Everyone who lives in Atlanta knows about snow and ice.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:24 PM
 
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Reputation: 46025
Okay. This is just stupid. Stunning how forgetful Northerners are about their own terrible driving in icy conditions. Here are some examples in cities that, according to the conceit of posters here, are populated 100% by drivers who could handle the road to Prudhoe Bay with ease.

Here's Milwaukee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgvOHnujspg

How 'bout Chicago?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ZiA3VOUrs

Well, look at what I found for Minneapolis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIMT0eihJII

Pittsburg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aiYryHykIM

Yonkers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pHsAbzGC4w

Toronto

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f_IxltRuYo

Denver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjs7m8phBH0

Massachusetts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kW2jWo20qQ


I think you get my drift, no pun intended. Mind you, these are cities that get substantial snowfall year in and year out, cities where people have snow tires and street departments are fully experienced with making these kinds of conditions drivable. And even in these places, driving in snow and ice post distinct challenges. Now, let's get down to brass tacks about what happened in the South.

1) The storm track was actually predicted by everybody from the National Weather Service to the local forecasters to track 200 miles to the South. The affected areas were only predicted to get flurries or, at most, dusting. In fact, even as the snow was falling, the most up-to-date forecasts were for no travel issues. So everybody went to work and school thinking that there would not be a problem. But the snowfall melted on the roads that had still been warm from a weekend in the 60s then immediately turned to sheet ice. Nobody anticipated that. I was in a three-hour meeting that lasted from 9 a.m. to noon. At 9 a.m., there was no snow on the ground. At 9:30, it was flurrying. At 10:15, it was sticking. At 10:30, they started closing schools. Because my client poo-poohed the snow based on what the weatherman had said, we kept meeting until 12:30. I managed to get to my brother-in-law's house five miles away at 3:00, even though I have experience driving on snow and ice and have a 4WD vehicle.

2) We get significant snowfall about once every five years. Typically, we have enough warning that we all simply stay home for the morning and wait for the crap to melt because -- wait for it -- we actually listen to weather forecasts. So the amount of practice we get driving in snow can be measured in minutes, not months -- if then.

3) Also, you could find winter tires in the South if you really, really looked, but they are rare. In fact, ask most Southerners, and they would respond, "Winter tires? What are those?"

4) Regarding sand trucks etc. Because the weather service did indeed predict the snow to track 100-200 miles to the South, municipalities send what equipment they had to the areas expected to be affected. So there were no trucks here. What's more, given that there is significant snow in most of the South perhaps one day in every ten years, it makes little sense to purchase that kind of equipment to sit idle in the garage.

5) Let's talk topography. I love people from Chicago or Minneapolis or other cities bragging about how they never skid on ice. Well, duh. I've been to those cities. They are flat as pancakes. The change in elevation in a city such as Chicago or Minneapolis could be encompassed by the average extension ladder. Meanwhile in cities such as Birmingham, you are dealing with major ridge lines that often separate the downtown area from the suburbs. So not only do you have fewer available arteries, but you also have a situation where a motorist has to climb a mile or two of freeway at maximum gradient for the interstate, while secondary roads are even steeper and curvier. In fact, here's one of several hills that people had to climb to get home:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...nOoEBwnMGA!2e0

Here's another:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...v-38MQ9c6A!2e0

Or you could try a secondary road like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...DZGfNuzHtg!2e0

Or this:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...gvnzIIwlRg!2e0

Or this:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...4qGSXXupVw!2e0

6. Finally, I've read some pretty idiotic comments, the biggest of which was that Southerners were driving like something out of the Dukes Of Hazzard on the roads. Actually, no. Traffic moved at a crawl and stayed at a crawl. Almost all the accidents happened at less than 10 mph.

Now. Imagine a metro area of 1.2 million people going about their business, assured by the morning weather report that things were hunky dory, only to have to stage a massive suave qui peut in terrible conditions without proper tires or the knowledge to drive on ice, having to get down a handful of major arteries crossing some pretty respectable elevations in order to get home. I know that doesn't fit nicely and neatly into your narrative, but that's what happened.

Last edited by cpg35223; 01-31-2014 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:42 PM
 
40,103 posts, read 24,345,620 times
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Bottom line: Anyone can drive on snow. No one can drive on ice.

In the south, the roads often don't get pre-treated, because the ice is preceded by rain, and rain just washes the pre-treatment chemicals away. So they wait. In Atlanta, besides the fact that the traffic is horrible there, anyway, the highways are often elevated, so that they ice more easily. And the cities in the South buy ice treatment that works within a narrow temperature range, so when the temperatures are too cold, the treatments don't melt the ice. On top of that, when they do melt, they refreeze overnight. That, coupled with the shortage of equipment, is what leads to gridlock. It isn't stupidity that makes people go to work. Just like people everywhere, people go to work because they have to, and they hope that when the weather turns inclement, their bosses will let them leave early.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:52 PM
 
2,975 posts, read 2,702,812 times
Reputation: 5627
Much of the mess could have been avoided if they had just cancelled schools in the area. The supposedly brilliant idiots that run the schools were too stupid to do so. The people of the Atlanta metro area should remember that next time they go to the voting booths.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:55 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,717,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james777 View Post
Much of the mess could have been avoided if they had just cancelled schools in the area. The supposedly brilliant idiots that run the schools were too stupid to do so. The people of the Atlanta should remember that next time they go to the voting booths.
Again, the National Weather Service predicted flurries. Maybe a mild dusting. In fact, even workers at The Weather Channel in Atlanta were caught flatfooted and couldnt make it home. So if the Weather Service didn't predict this, how could a bunch of school superintendents?

Last edited by cpg35223; 01-31-2014 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:24 PM
 
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Cpg, I can't rep you again, so I'll state my thanks here. I already reported the offensive title of this thread, but I don't possess your patience to answer the OP.

Trust me people, the snow/ice was not expected. The south does not own de-icing/salting equipment in the quantities the north does.

I'm a NJ native and can well remember snowstorms that took me 8 hours to get home in, from Wayne to Westwood. I passed many cars on Rt 46 that couldn't handle the mild elevations. It isn't just the south that battles winter weather, it's just more amplified here, because it gives the north something to mock.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:32 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,717,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Cpg, I can't rep you again, so I'll state my thanks here. I already reported the offensive title of this thread, but I don't possess your patience to answer the OP.

Trust me people, the snow/ice was not expected. The south does not own de-icing/salting equipment in the quantities the north does.

I'm a NJ native and can well remember snowstorms that took me 8 hours to get home in, from Wayne to Westwood. I passed many cars on Rt 46 that couldn't handle the mild elevations. It isn't just the south that battles winter weather, it's just more amplified here, because it gives the north something to mock.
Well, I don't understand the mentality. Another poster rebutted by saying "Well, you guys couldn't handle Hurricane Sandy." Dumb in some ways, but actually dead-on in others. Because Sandy was a rather mild hurricane by Gulf Coast standards. It was a Category 1, a mild storm for which Southerners don't even bother evacuating. But we didn't mock New Jersey and New York for what they experienced. We just sent power crews to whom fixing this kind of damage was second nature.

The point of that? Every part of the country has some weather that it can handle readily and other kinds of weather it cannot. Anybody who has ever tried to deal with Los Angeles drivers during a heavy rain could tell you as much. Heck, I remember being in August in Toronto in 2012 during what was their version of a heat wave, with highs in the low 80s. People kept apologizing to me for the extreme temperatures. I thanked them, but thought to myself, "Heck, this would be a nice October day back home."
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:40 PM
 
2,995 posts, read 6,482,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirron View Post
To be fair, is it possible that most underestimated what would happen? Here in the north, most who go out into storms and icy conditions have the attitude that they can handle it. Of course, most of us do just that. But then we've had experience with how to navigate such roads. These folks didn't.
These folks? Most of "these folks" who live in Atlanta came down from the North. Just try to find a native Atlantan in Atlanta - not so easy.

There are lots of reasons (that are being hashed out in extraordinary detail in the Atlanta forum) for what happened on Tuesday, but most of the drivers crammed in on the Atlanta roads were most likely NOT Southerners!
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:29 PM
 
396 posts, read 961,672 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Yeah all those stupid teachers should have known to stay home even though school was open and their classes were waiting for them. Some people do not have the option of just blowing off work when they don't feel like going. Or is that a stupid thought too?
They weren't teachers, by the way, they work in higher education in support roles. No classes of students waiting for them, but pressure to be there just the same. They DID technically have the option to "blow off" work (i.e. they had available leave) but they were discouraged from using it.

And, many problems in Atlanta could have been prevented by just canceling schools and taking the heat if the snow/ice wasn't as bad as predicted, or only amounted to flurries. If only emergency personnel and medical personnel were going and coming from work (instead of tons of parents rushing to pick up students) the conditions in Atlanta would not have been nearly as bad.

Raleigh NC had a similar problem a few years ago; the DC metro region had a similar (but not as bad, because: snow plows + taxes) situation a couple of years ago too. It caused the Office of Personnel Management to totally revisit the way they decide to "close" the federal government, especially since many private employers in the area use the Feds to decide their closure policy. Look it up. Their decision, after "Snowmaggedon": to encourage those who can telework from home (a significant number) to do so in the face of an oncoming storm, order managers to allow "liberal leave", and for those employees who HAVE to come in they need to make preparations to sleep/stay in their offices. So people working at hospitals, keeping the Zoo animals fed, and guard the military bases, etc... would have to "shelter in place." Others are to stay off the roads to allow these emergency/essential people to do their jobs.

Pinetreelover also hit the nail on the head: most people who live in Atlanta (or DC, for that matter) aren't from the south.

Last edited by bonnielisabeth; 01-31-2014 at 04:51 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:06 PM
 
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Well, I'm from Mobile, AL, and we paid attention to the weather forecast and went home. Most schools and businesses were closed for almost the entire week due to ice on the roads, and we only got a very light dusting of snow. It was big news, though. The Gulf Coast typically doesn't get this kind of weather.
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