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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chipper Jones Rescued Freddie Freeman from Traffic Nightmare

More here. As of this morning, many Atlanta drivers who left work yesterday were still stranded. Many others had to abandon their vehicles and walk home.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:14 PM | 143 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, free hugs, marta is smarta

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   1. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4648050)
It's not good down here right now, the hordes of kids sledding down the frozen hill on my street notwithstanding.
   2. catomi01 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4648057)
4 of us got stuck in traffic on the LIE heading east out of Manhattan last week during the storm (6 miles in the first 3 hours of the drive)...gave some thought to calling the office where we have a couple of quads, but 60 + miles in a suit through a snow storm wasn't much more appealing than sitting on the LIE. Eventually we just took back roads and made it home in about 5 hours total (normally 1 to 1 1/2 where we are on he island).
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4648060)
On my commute, we've had major traffic-snarling, weather-related accidents in the exact same location on the interstate for four straight business days. You might think our DoT would realize that something is amiss with the road conditions in that location, but you'd be wrong.
   4. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4648063)
To us Canadians, it's always amusing to see how people react to snow where it basically never snows.

As of yesterday, my hometown of Quebec City got 6'2" of snow (188cm) since last November. We usually get more than 10 feet on average every year. In 2007-2008 (the year my daughter was born, that's why I remember), we got close to 17 feet. Just last Monday, we got 4 inch during the morning rush hours, then it stopped, and we gout 5 more inches during afternoon rush hour. We all got to work/home late that day, but it was just one of those days for us.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4648082)
That looked like a thin layer of frost helluva snowstorm, Sam. I hope everyone in the neck-stabbing community are doing fine.

Much like what happened after the Boston bombings, the Braves players will use this momentous event as the inspiration needed to propel them to a World Series title.
   6. Mike A Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4648086)
Remember we don't have any equipment down here to handle the snow. I live in Atlanta but spend a lot of time in Chicago. In Chicago, there's salt trucks and snow plows everywhere. Roads are cleared quickly during tough winter weather situations. Not in Atlanta.

Yeah, a lot of people here don't know how to drive in the snow, and that compounds the situation. But I don't care if you're the greatest snow driver of all-time, nobody can drive on ice. A lot of the roads yesterday turned to sheer ice. That caused semis to jackknife and block roads, leading to more disaster and gridlock.

There were a lot of mistakes made yesterday, mainly revolving around the incorrect weather forecasts and the questionable decision to keep schools/businesses open. But there's more to it than just a 'couple of inches of snow' and 'stupid Southern drivers.'
   7. NTP Nate Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4648089)
Is Chipper Mr. Plow or the Plow King in this story?
   8. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4648093)
That looked like a thin layer of frost helluva snowstorm, Sam.


Yes, and the entire NEC was basically shut down for a month because of a minor tropical storm. I'm sorry; SUPERSTORM SANDY!!! Apparently if you're not prepared to deal with a weather event, that weather event is harder to deal with than it is in places where they deal with it every winter.

We don't deal with snow and ice well at the best of times, what with being essentially a sub-tropical locale and all. Yesterday was literally the worst conflation of "worst possible scenarios" of any winter weather event I've seen since moving to the city in 1990. I understand the desire to mock from afar. It's fun being an ####### on the internet. Pardon me if I don't find it amusing right now as we shift through trying to get meds and food to diabetics and infants who have been iced onto the interstate for going on 16 hours.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4648095)
And, in related news, the highway patrol finally managed to track down Pascual Perez...
   10. TJ Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4648097)
So does Chipper get RBI credit for driving another Brave in?
   11. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4648099)
Yes, and the entire NEC was basically shut down for a month


If by "entire NEC" you mean "downtown Manhattan and Coney Island" and "month" you mean "week". I see the snow is making someone particularly stabby this afternoon.
   12. Belfry Bob Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4648104)
I understand the desire to mock from afar. It's fun being an ####### on the internet. Pardon me if I don't find it amusing right now


Yep. My sister-in-law had a horrible, scary time getting home last night, but she was thankful that she GOT home. Reminds me of that sudden ice storm that hit DC a few years ago that caused the same kinds of problems. I spent five hours out in that one and never made it home until the next day.

That won't stop the snarky 'smarter-than-you crowd', though. 'Being an ###### on the Internet' is such a way of life for so many...

That being said, #9 and #10 are great. :)
   13. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4648105)
'Being an ###### on the Internet' is such a way of life for so many...


Sure. I'm going to be the first to mock Jason when his grandparents die from heat because the NE can't figure out basic air conditioning, ya know.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4648109)
If by "entire NEC" you mean "downtown Manhattan and Coney Island" and "month" you mean "week". I see the snow is making someone particularly stabby this afternoon.


The Jersey Shore was shut-down from Halloween to Independence Day.
   15. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4648113)
It's very difficult for me to understand how so many people (at least the able bodied ones) could be "stuck" on the highway/in their cars. At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort? The closest thing I can think of is the '03 blackout when I was working in Queens and living in the North Bronx. The power went out and my immediate reaction was, ok, time to walk home. Some 14 miles and 7 or so hours later I was home.
   16. zonk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4648116)
Do southern states keep any sort of snow/ice fighting equipment on hand?

I can't imagine it makes a lot of sense for Georgia or Atlanta to have a fleet of plows or a cave of salt, but do they have any at all? Or is it just wholly contracted as needed?

   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4648124)
Salt is good for ice. Not sure why they use sand instead.

Just go to Chik-Fil-A, there's a lot of salt on the waffle fries.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4648127)
Do southern states keep any sort of snow/ice fighting equipment on hand?

Saw a news report that said Atlanta had 70 trucks with plowing and/or salting/sanding capabilities. Not a lot, but there seems to also have been issues as to how resources were deployed, which may not be surprising if you don't get a lot of practice, and thus cut back on planning & preparation.
   19. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4648130)
It's very difficult for me to understand how so many people (at least the able bodied ones) could be "stuck" on the highway/in their cars. At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort?


Many people did abandon their vehicles and walk. Not everyone could. I have a friend who is a project manager for the applications company I used to work for. He lives in Peachtree City. He is working a local client that is based in Alpharetta. He left the client offices around 1:00 PM yesterday. As of this morning, he hadn't made it halfway home. He was stuck, 16 hours later, between semi trucks, at the intersection of 75 and 285.

I find most NEC locals don't really understand the sheer level of sprawl that a city like Atlanta entails. I know they don't understand that we do not have a problem driving on "snow." We drive on snow just fine, just like you do. The problem is that after an inch of snow, our entire road system ices over with an inch of pure ice. And we no more can navigate than than can you.

Do southern states keep any sort of snow/ice fighting equipment on hand?


In the last winter weather event, metro Atlanta had four (4) ice trucks and something like 6 plows. For a city of 6 million sprawled out over an area equivalent to all of NYC, Long Island, and most of northern New Jersey. Hilariously, when two of them ran into each other in the parking lot and we were down to two trucks (2). They purchased more (20 or so) after that, but most of them got stuck in the ice themselves.

No one in Atlanta has snow tires. Atlanta is an very hilly city.
   20. Shibal Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4648133)
At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort?


You mean just leave your car sitting in the middle of the highway or off to the side of the road where emergency crews need access?

Most folks have a little more respect for their fellow citizens than that. Plus tow fees aren't cheap. And walking in awful weather sucks. And no one would be able to come get you even if you make it to a store.

You don't have a lot of options when you are stuck in traffic.
   21. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4648134)
Not a lot, but there seems to also have been issues as to how resources were deployed, which may not be surprising if you don't get a lot of practice, and thus cut back on planning & preparation.


There is a major problem in Atlanta around who "owns" the problem. City of Atlanta technically ends at the 285 Perimeter. GA DOT is supposed to own the interstates. The suburban counties and cities have no capacity whatsoever themselves. No one trusts anyone else. The state (deep red reps from the exurbs and the sticks) hate Democratic (and black) Atlanta. Atlanta hates the 'burbs. The outer counties (Gwinnett, Cobb, Dekalb) run on graft to developers. It's a pretty big ###########.
   22. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4648135)
So does Chipper get RBI credit for driving another Brave in?


Primey.

It's very difficult for me to understand how so many people (at least the able bodied ones) could be "stuck" on the highway/in their cars. At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort? The closest thing I can think of is the '03 blackout when I was working in Queens and living in the North Bronx. The power went out and my immediate reaction was, ok, time to walk home. Some 14 miles and 7 or so hours later I was home.


Well, I think part of it is uncertainty. You certainly don't think you're going to be sitting there for a day, so waiting seems better than trying to walk home in frigid temperatures.

Then it becomes an issue of sticking to a decision. "Sure, if I'd left right away it wouldn't have been too bad, but if I leave now I won't get home until after midnight, and I've been waiting here for five hours. Best to wait."

Also, depending on your gas level, the car at least is heated, has a radio, etc. And not everyone is even up to a seven-hour walk in freezing cold, or may not even be dressed for it. Nor is everyone 14 miles away; my client's site is almost sixty miles away. If I were stuck on the tollway 40 miles from home, walking wouldn't even be an option.

What was the weather like during the '03 blackout? When I used to work in downtown Chicago, walking a mile from Union Station to my then-office was torture in late Jan/early Feb, and that was just a mile. Walking many miles? No thanks.

EDIT: Cokes.
   23. Canker Soriano Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4648138)
The Jersey Shore was shut-down from Halloween to Independence Day.

The self-tan, body glitter, and fedora industries may never fully recover to their pre-storm levels.
   24. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4648140)
Here's a pretty good take on yesterday's debacle from a guy who moved here from the NEC. Keep that in mind when you talk about "Atlantans" and our troubles with snow and ice. Half of the metro is comprised of immigrants from the NEC and the upper Midwest. People who grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin and Boston and Chicago and Jersey. None of them can deal with winter weather events in Atlanta either. (Often, they are large percentages of the problem because if it's their first Atlanta winter storm, they think "I'm not staying home from work and keeping the kids out of school over three inches of snow!" because they think the magic ice trucks and snow plows will have the streets clean by the time they get off work.
   25. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4648141)
I have never owned nor will i ever own snow tires, you dont really need them up here. All you would do is waste money on them.
   26. The Good Face Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4648142)
The problem is that after an inch of snow, our entire road system ices over with an inch of pure ice.


Wat? Snow does not work that way.

This news fills me with conflicting emotions. One the one hand, lots of perfectly good people are having a hard time dealing with this "snowstorm", and that's a shame. On the other hand, it's making Sam have a sad on the internet, and that is just delightful.
   27. Canker Soriano Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4648143)
It's very difficult for me to understand how so many people (at least the able bodied ones) could be "stuck" on the highway/in their cars. At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort?

It happened to me about 10 years ago, driving through Pennsylvania up near the lake. Snow storm blew in and shut down the highway completely. There was no movement in any direction for several hours. It was probably a couple of miles to the next off-ramp, in more or less whiteout conditions. This was not my home area, so I had no idea what might lie just off the interstate (all I could see was snow and trees). I was not about to get out of my car and walk those two miles in conditions where, if traffic did start to move again, no one would be able to see me. (Or if emergency vehicles needed to get through, etc.)

It was safest in the car - cold, yes, but I was out of the elements and surrounded by a whole crowd of people. Eventually they would have to come save us all, or clear the road ahead.
   28. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4648145)
I appreciate the responses. I wasn't trying to be snarky at all, as someone who has spent msot of his life in NYC it's very difficult for me to process what's going on down there.
   29. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4648146)
I suppose I'm the '###### on the Internet' because I pointed out it's possible to live in a snowy place.

I understand cities in the Southern US don't need a fleet of plows and salt trucks. But to make roads safe, you don't need plows and salt trucks.

You need dirt, dump trucks and bulldozers. They're easy to find (so is dirt) everywhere. Fertilizer trucks are even better, but tougher to find. We don't keep heavy equipment only for winter up here. We use the summer equipment during winter. I imagine this could be done anywhere relatively rapidly at low costs almost anywhere.

Also, the most basic safety procedure you can take in such circumstances is not to drive. When conditions get so bad that buses can't drive safely up here, children stay in school. Their parents stay at work if they can't make it home. And they wait until everything clears up. This actually removes vehicles from the road and allow those who need to be (ambulances, fire trucks, policemen, army, etc.) to have it easier so they can deliver "food to diabetics and infants."

I'm sorry to say this, but if peoples' lives are endangered for a few inches of snow, it's not snow's fault.
   30. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4648147)
The problem is that after an inch of snow, our entire road system ices over with an inch of pure ice.

The education system of the South at work.

   31. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4648150)
he problem is that after an inch of snow, our entire road system ices over with an inch of pure ice.


If the snark is about the 1:1 conversion of snow to ice, fine, have your fun jackasses. I guarantee you that if you had been attempting to drive from Downtown to Roswell on 75/85 north yesterday, you too would have been utterly lost as to what to do about the conditions.
   32. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4648152)
I wasn't trying to be snarky at all, as someone who has spent msot of his life in NYC it's very difficult for me to process what's going on down there.


That's perfectly reasonable. If you've lived your life in the north, our difficulties with winter weather systems is almost certainly impossible to process. I had the exact same reaction the first time I heard news stories about folks from the NEC and/or Chicago dying in their apartments during heat waves. Growing up in the deep south the idea that people lived in homes without at least a window A/C unit was beyond me.
   33. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4648154)
An A/C unit is extremely modern technology, compared with things like "salt" and "shovels".
   34. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4648158)
I had the exact same reaction the first time I heard news stories about folks from the NEC and/or Chicago dying in their apartments during heat waves.

There you go! Anything above 90F seems unreasonably hot for me. Every year some older/sick people die because of that kind of "heat" up here (I'm not kidding). And when you think of it, it's utterly stupid. We should have contingency plans to bring older/sick people to malls, movie theaters, etc. but we don't...

Often, they are large percentages of the problem because if it's their first Atlanta winter storm, they think "I'm not staying home from work and keeping the kids out of school over three inches of snow!" because they think the magic ice trucks and snow plows will have the streets clean by the time they get off work.

I would be that person...
   35. Moe Greene Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4648159)
Up here in the PNW, we get the worst of both worlds: the vast majority of houses (even newer ones) don't have A/C, _and_ there aren't any snow plows for the rare occasions that snow occurs. So any 'extreme' weather such as 2 inches of snow or 90 degrees is a big PITA.
   36. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4648160)
I know one should be sympathetic, but pointing and laughing at dumb hicks (read: people from a different part of one's own country) is easier and more satisfying.

   37. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4648166)
An A/C unit is extremely modern technology, compared with things like "salt" and "shovels".


Do you think San Diego has warehouses full of salt stockpiled in case they get snow? Los Angeles? Casablanca? Because those are cities near Atlanta on the latitudinal map.

(Phoenix. Baghdad. Damascus. Islamabad.)
   38. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4648168)
Also, the most basic safety procedure you can take in such circumstances is not to drive.


Right, I'm from N. MI, grew up about a mile from Lake Michigan, it's routine in the Winter to be "snowed in" and oftentimes this means you cancel exciting, cool things you want to do in the balance of safety. At a certain point, no matter how good of driver you are or how careful you are it's just not safe to be driving. I think that's something my parents ingrained in me as "part of living in N. MI". I think if you're not from an area that accepts this mentality (like ATL) then you're ######.

Up here in the PNW, we get the worst of both worlds: the vast majority of houses (even newer ones) don't have A/C, _and_ there aren't any snow plows for the rare occasions that snow occurs. So any 'extreme' weather such as 2 inches of snow or 90 degrees is a big PITA.


One of the problems is that Seattle is an extremely hilly city and another is that quite a few people drive very light, manual transmission vehicles that do poorly in snow conditions. It's imprudent of course to buy a car based on a once a year snowstorm but what is silly is trying to drive it in the snow.
   39. Mike A Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4648171)
When conditions get so bad that buses can't drive safely up here, children stay in school.

The problem was nobody knew how bad the roads would get. Most forecasts called for a little bit of snow starting at the beginning of pm rush hour, which is why most schools stayed open. The storm came in 4-5 hours earlier and stronger than expected, and everyone started leaving work/school/etc at once. And once people get on the roads, it's tough to turn back around. The limited equipment trucks couldn't get through the traffic to help clean up the roads. And even if they cleaned them up, they would eventually ice over again. In short, everything that could have gone wrong pretty much did.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4648172)
Do you think San Diego has warehouses full of salt stockpiled in case they get snow? Los Angeles? Casablanca? Because those are cities near Atlanta on the latitudinal map.


Well, Portland is well north of Chicago on the same map, so the latitudinal map is not something to rely on when determining the need for snow removal equipment.

It is worth noting that the overwhelming majority of the people who get bogged down in a situation like Atlanta's didn't have an actual problem navigating through the storm. But that didn't keep them from being ######.

   41. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4648173)
I know one should be sympathetic, but pointing and laughing at dumb hicks (read: people from a different part of one's own country) is easier and more satisfying.

I'm actually extremely sympathetic to people who truly suffered through this like sick people, those with needs, etc. My point, which I haven't clearly made, is that no one's life should be threatened by 3-4 inches of snow. There are ways to go around that.

   42. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4648174)
The other thing to account for in yesterday's disaster was the speed in which the snow hit, turned to ice, and shut down the traffic system. That sequence of maps shows you both the "hot spots" for Atlanta traffic hell* as well as the time lapse of the storm coming in from the northwest and wiping out the city's infrastructure.

*note, the section of the maps at the top, where 75N crosses 285 (the Perimeter) is the location of the new Braves stadium, which is why a lot of people are unhappy with that idea.
   43. AROM Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4648175)
At some point, don't you just get out of your car and walk home or to a store of some sort?


That only works in LA. But it can get you into trouble - rude Korean store owners, gang bangers, elitist golfers, neo-nazis, taking a bazooka to a road construction site - and suddenly the cops are after you and you're the bad guy.

How'd that happen?
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4648176)
Do you think San Diego has warehouses full of salt stockpiled in case they get snow? Los Angeles? Casablanca? Because those are cities near Atlanta on the latitudinal map.

Seriously, the concept of "There is a road salt storage facility somewhere in the metropolitan area" is a lot easier to achieve than "Every single household independently possesses and maintains its own air conditioning system".

I'm not trying to make fun of you actually.

Now wondering how much the highway department spends on those domes by the side of the road filled with salt. I mean, it's not exactly a server farm in terms of upkeep and maintenance costs. Cursory googling suggests the stuff costs about $200 a ton.
   45. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4648178)
Well, Portland is well north of Chicago on the same map, so the latitudinal map is not something to rely on when determining the need for snow removal equipment.

The latitudinal map is worthless to determining weather. Seattle is more to the North than Quebec City, actually (I'm not kidding!).
[Edit because I suck at writing]
   46. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4648179)
Over the past 80 years, there have been 11 snowstorms of 4 inches or more in the city of Atlanta. The highest total was on Jan. 23, 1940, when 8.3 inches of the white stuff fell on Atlanta.

The March 2009 snowfall was the most recent case for more than 4 inches. It closed some school districts for a day, about 12,000 metro Atlanta residents lost power and Delta canceled about 300 round-trip flights. Two days later, most of the roads had dried off, and flights were back on schedule.

This is from an AJC POLITIFACT article about a snow and ice storm in 2011.

If you get snowfall like this once a decade, and had a bad traffic-disruptive snowfall in 2011, and 2009, your level of preparedness should be a bit better in 2014 than what has been exhibited, IMO.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4648180)
Edit: Nevermind.
   48. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4648181)
   49. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4648183)
My point, which I haven't clearly made, is that no one's life should be threatened by 3-4 inches of snow.


On that we can agree. Here's another article that's a bit snarkier, but a bit more on point with the problems of the Atlanta metro.

This city, administratively speaking, does not do anything well. There are a lot of reasons for this, but ineptitude as a general rule leads to massive ineptitude in specific areas of anti-expertise. Atlanta's bad at a lot of things it has to do every day, so the things it has to do rarely are really, really badly done--particularly when it involves something the city experiences every three or four years
   50. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4648184)
On the global scale, they always say Madrid is the same latitude as New York. The southernmost city in England, Plymouth, is the same latitude as Winnipeg.

Also, the one significant snowstorm every 8 years that Atlanta gets is infinitely more than Los Angeles.
   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4648185)
Part of the reason was one of the drivers in front of me (with Tennessee plates) was going 5 miles-per-hour in a 35 miles-per-hour zone with no cars in front of them.


I hate people like that.
A couple of years ago it was snowing on Staten Island, about 2 inches already down, and I was trying to get home on Rockland Avenue, which is a windy and hilly street that cuts through the greenbelt in the center of the island. (Note, do not drive 5 mph on a hilly and windy road while it is snowing, you need something more than that because you may need the momentum.) This was the first snow of the year so no salt or sand had been put out yet, I could feel my tires slipping- and knew damn well that if I lost traction in a trough I was gonna be stuck. So I stopped in a "hill" and watched as this idiot kept going at 5 mph, until he lost traction going up a hill about 100 yards away... and slid back a few yards... I watched a few minutes as he basically went back and forth the same 5-10 yards until he drifted onto the shoulder and really got stuck.

I then got going again- at 10mph, and drove past him, lost traction on the hill he'd lost it, but had enough momentum to reach the top and keep going. No, I didn't stop to help him, his car was fine stuck where it was, and he was within walking distance of shelter, and besides, as I was passing him I could hear the stupid SOB cursing up storm (cursing his car, god, the snow...)

   52. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4648188)
Seriously, the concept of "There is a road salt storage facility somewhere in the metropolitan area" is a lot easier to achieve than "Every single household independently possesses and maintains its own air conditioning system".


We agree on this point. I think the COA is completely ###### on infrastructure issues, including prep for winter weather, from top to bottom. I think Kasim Reed needs to go Kristallnacht on the outer ring county boards, Mussolini up and build a train system that runs on time. I think the state house needs to tell the cotton seeds sucking up cotton and corn subsidies down south to #### off and pay for some damned infrastructure in the state's only economic engine.

Regrettably, we still allow the serfs down there to vote.

EDIT: Also, the libertarian exurbs of the city proper. They need some killin' too.
   53. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4648199)
(Phoenix. Baghdad. Damascus. Islamabad.)


From the rejected first draft of "Pop Muzik."
   54. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4648204)
How'd that happen?


really bad haircut and fashion sense, that's how.
   55. tfbg9 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4648213)
From the rejected first draft of "Pop Muzik."



Haha.
   56. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4648218)
The problem was nobody knew how bad the roads would get. Most forecasts called for a little bit of snow starting at the beginning of pm rush hour, which is why most schools stayed open. The storm came in 4-5 hours earlier and stronger than expected, and everyone started leaving work/school/etc at once.


Montgomery made out a lot better than Atlanta (or Brmingham, for that matter), but yeah. I got to work about my usual time, a few minutes after 8 a.m. Within 20 minutes they sent us home. I'm only about 4 miles away, so no big deal, but my supervisor called late yesterday afternoon to tell me we're off today as well, & she said she'd been on the interstate about 3 or 4 hours. That's normally about a 20-minute drive.
   57. zonk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4648221)

Now wondering how much the highway department spends on those domes by the side of the road filled with salt. I mean, it's not exactly a server farm in terms of upkeep and maintenance costs. Cursory googling suggests the stuff costs about $200 a ton.


The Chicago Tribune had a big article on this just a few days ago - because of the really, really rough winter -- many municipalities don't have enough to get them through to the spring, and since it's a problem affecting the entire region AND icing over the Mississippi (many barges still run the river), they're having trouble getting more.

If my memory is correct-- Chicago keeps 250K tons of salt on hand for a typical winter and we're down to just 70K left.

Anyway, I remember the big 2011 snow when Chicago saw cars stranded an LSD -- sometimes the #### just happens so far that even preparation can't save you.... I mean, we obviously get snows -- and even big snows -- a lot in Chicago, but the 2011 storm just landed with a big furious thud. One minute it was just regular snowstorm, the next, you're buried under a foot. Mistakes were made, yada yada - but even in my own case... I left work 3 hours early, just as the snow started. It still took me 5 hours to get home. There snow was just coming down so hard and fast that plowing was irrelevant.
   58. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4648223)
Gee, if only the people who voted by an overwhelming majority against more public transit had another way to get home last night...

This article summed it up nicely.


Pretty spot on. Only thing extra I would highlight is that the metro area is a lethal combination of hills and ice. People are trapped because it's impossible to get out.
   59. JE (Jason) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4648229)
For BTF's longtime agent provocateur to get all hot and bothered over a sprinking of snark is rich.
   60. jacjacatk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4648230)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMxDyv9WZ1Y

This is from the 2011 storm, but is typical of the idiocy of the drivers around here. I don't think the video I linked shows it, but he overheated the car spinning his wheels trying to go up an icy hill repeatedly.

No one here knows what those numbers after D are for, or when traction control is counter-productive, or (as noted above) the value of momentum. I made it home around 2 at an OK pace on surface streets, but was witness to multiple cars off the road in ditches where it shouldn't have been possible for a rational person to end up under the conditions at the time. Anyone who was looking at being on the road much after about 4 should have just bagged it and stayed in place given the reports that were coming in at that point, because it was pretty much game over once things started to freeze given the hills around here.
   61. Swedish Chef Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4648234)
Gee, if only the people who voted by an overwhelming majority against more public transit had another way to get home last night...


It doesn't take too much snow and wind to knock out public transport in ####### Sweden, and we are supposed to be experienced at this.

EDIT: Also, how ####### stupid were our ancestors to settle here? Must have some idiotic macho trip. I hate them.
   62. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4648236)
For BTF's longtime agent provocateur to get all hot and bothered over a sprinking of snark is rich.


I'm not hot and bothered, Jay Jay. Like I said, I'll be the first mocking unexpected misfortune of others when it comes back around.
   63. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4648241)
I'm not hot and bothered

Naah, you're just biding your time in the metaphorical bushes, waiting for your schadenfreude moment. This, somehow, will help the poor diabetics and infants in Atlanta. I salute you, sir!
   64. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4648242)
It doesn't take too much snow and wind to knock out public transport in ####### Sweden, and we are supposed to be experienced at this.


Trains are running, although delayed. But at least you're waiting inside and not sleeping in your car on the side of the road.
   65. bfan Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4648243)
Gee, if only the people who voted by an overwhelming majority against more public transit had another way to get home last night...


Well, at $160 million a mile, I suppose one night of inconvenience was probably worth it.
   66. dlf Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4648246)
No one here knows what those numbers after D are for, or when traction control is counter-productive, or (as noted above) the value of momentum. I made it home around 2 at an OK pace on surface streets, but was witness to multiple cars off the road in ditches where it shouldn't have been possible for a rational person to end up under the conditions at the time. Anyone who was looking at being on the road much after about 4 should have just bagged it and stayed in place given the reports that were coming in at that point, because it was pretty much game over once things started to freeze given the hills around here.


Born in Buffalo, lived in upstate NY for college and in Wisconsin for a decade. I've been living in the South for a little more than 20 years and in Atlanta for the last 9 ... and people here are crazy.

The road outside our office was completely shut down from 1pm to 5pm, but some idiots sat in the parking deck for three hours. Once that road freed up, I headed home. It took 4.5 hours to get the 20 miles from Ashford-Dunwoody to Johns Creek, but most of that was being stuck on PIB when a couple of trucks blocked the entire road and it wasn't possible to get off the raised highway. Once through that, just a slow and steady drive home with none of my usual short cuts - hilly, winding two lane roads aren't a good idea in the snow folks.

Today has been great. I worked remotely for half a day, then spent about five hours by the fire pit outside while sipping on a nice vin chaud. Perfect. Plus the snow will be gone shortly and I don't have to shovel.
   67. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4648256)
Let me just say I live in the hinterlands of Canada, and I wouldn't want to be driving on unplowed roads without snow tires. I could do it just fine, as long as there were no hills, but knowing that 9 out of every 10 drivers on the road with me didn't have a ####### clue what they were doing would make me very apprehensive.
   68. bigglou115 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4648260)
Ice is not fun. Down here in Arkansas we get roughly one ice storm a year. People always freak out. It's just the way it is, there's no good way to handle ice on the road except to not drive. I've got a lifted pickup with mud tires and I absolutely don't drive in the ice (of course the 60 degree incline if my driveway doesn't help). Of course the problem down here is a little different, there are trees everywhere and the power goes down for 70% of the state. So yeah, I have a lot if sympathy for people in southern states during the ice. I've also seen northerners lose their #### over a little baby tornado so glass houses and all.

I should clarify, taking proper safety precautions during tornados makes sense, calling your loved ones to say goodbye does not.
   69. Srul Itza Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4648262)
So, really hot weather can suck just as bad as really cold, snowy weather.

Or so I seem to remember.

It hasn't broken 80 degrees here lately, and we've had some wind and rain. And 50 foot surf and snow on Mauna Loa. So I have been thinking about wearing a jacket. Maybe tomorrow.

During the hot summer, it sometimes gets up to 90, but with the trades blowing, I haven't turned on the AC at home in 3 years.

Stay warm, friends.
   70. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4648296)
For BTF's longtime agent provocateur to get all hot and bothered over a sprinking of snark is rich.

As a discerning consumer, these words in any sentence referring to Sam is criminal. No good, very bad, Jason.
   71. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4648304)
   72. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4648305)
Where's Dr. Who when you need him?

"The Doctor takes Martha in the TARDIS to the year five billion and fifty three and the city of New New York on the planet New Earth. They end up in an alleyway where street traders are selling mood patches to help people deal with their emotions. While the Doctor talks to a vendor, Martha is kidnapped at gun point by a young couple named Milo and Cheen. Once in their vehicle, they explain that Cheen is pregnant and that they needed three adult passengers with them to use the fast lane. They promise they will drop Martha off when they reach their destination ten miles away, estimated to take six years."
   73. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4648309)
Where's Dr. Who when you need him?


OK, that's not...

First of all, it's...

AAUUUGGGHHH!!!!!
   74. formerly dp Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4648310)
I'm a current Charleston resident who grew up in upstate NY: the major bridge here in town has been shut down for about 24 hours, and isn't reopening until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Campus has been closed for two days. My gut instinct is usually to mock the southern freakout over winter weather, but this one was pretty legit. It is going to be around 18 here tonight, and they have no strategy for dealing with ice other than "wait until it melts". Lots of people here are without power (around 7500 and climbing), and with all of the bridges closed, it's probably going to be that way for a lot of the night.

The local news this morning was awesome-- newcasters gawked at an icicles "the size of a pencil" as if that's some sort of zany thing. The excitement is fun though, kind of cool how something as simple as ice on a branch can elicit so much wonder from the locals.

In case you missed it: video of Jim Cantore kicking a College of Charleston student who tried to rush him on live TV.
   75. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4648315)
Let me just say I live in the hinterlands of Canada, and I wouldn't want to be driving on unplowed roads without snow tires. I could do it just fine, as long as there were no hills, but knowing that 9 out of every 10 drivers on the road with me didn't have a ####### clue what they were doing would make me very apprehensive.


Yeah, as a mostly-lifelong Chicago-area resident, I know that most of the time they'll plow and salt the roads, and if it's ever so bad that they don't, I'm not going anywhere. Never owned snow tires in my life.

Having said that, I drove down to my oldest son's place in rural Indiana a couple of weeks ago. I was in a good-sized SUV with 4-wheel drive, and it was still scary. They do plow the rural roads, but only every so often, and in between, the snow gets blown from the fields onto the roads, and it's as if no plowing has occurred at all. We kept the speed slow and steady, and it's flat as hell, but at one point some ####### in a Civic went flying past us. About two miles later, we caught up to him; he was in a ditch.
   76. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4648327)
About two miles later, we caught up to him; he was in a ditch.


That always gives me a lot of satisfaction.
   77. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4648339)
Here in Lafayette they took the exact opposite approach (probably because we just had a significant winter storm last Friday). By Monday afternoon schools, government offices and even number of private businesses announced that they were closing through Wednesday. Tuesday comes, and for half a day the storm does basically nothing. By early afternoon the local news outlets are sounding the all clear and people are calling in and posting online about what a joke this all was and asking if the school district officials would volunteer to come babysit their kids the next day...

Then just after 3:00 (just as school would have been letting out and just before the start of rush hour) the skies open up, and for the next three hours plus we get waves of freezing rain, snow and pea-sized sleet... just as the sun goes down and the already wet roads flash freeze. Lafayette is only a fraction the size of Atlanta, but it has already pretty much outgrown its infrastructure. Traffic here is horrible even when the weather is perfect. You can get a 5-mile long traffic jam if somebody drops a nickel onto Johnston Street... But the streets this time were mostly empty, because a number of people in leadership positions acted like "sissies." If they hadn't, it would have been utter carnage.

There but for the grace of God...
   78. Dale Sams Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4648341)
I don't want to snark because I used to brag about how my car could drive in ANYTHING...and then a few years ago we had an actual blizzard for the first time in forever and I literally couldn't get out of our neighborhood for a week.

Though a few more years ago we had an ice storm that knocked out power pretty much city-wide (Tulsa) for two weeks. So that toughened me up some.
   79. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4648347)
PTI Guys are emphatic that Atlanta can never host another Super Bowl because they can't handle ice or snow.
   80. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4648352)
69 is probably the most vicious and nasty thing I've ever read on BTF.
   81. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4648355)
So by their reasoning, most Southern cities should never host a Superbowl. Because Houston or New Orleans might get unlucky and catch a rare snow or ice storm on just the wrong weekend. It nearly happened in Dallas just a couple of years ago. The zero defects approach is to play the game only in Los Angeles, Phoenix or Miami. Maybe Vegas or Hawaii if you want a little change of pace...
   82. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4648357)
And indeed, Bill Simmons spent about 70% of his Dallas Super Bowl coverage talking about how pathetic it was to have a Super Bowl in a place like Dallas where the Super Bowl can get almost destroyed by winter weather. And the rest of the coverage talking about how pathetic it was to have a Super Bowl in a place like Dallas where there is nothing to do and no history of anything interesting happening and even worse, you have to drive to get from your hotel to a restaurant.
   83. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4648359)
Why.

It still sounds like a lack of being able to deal with snow, exacerbated badly by the events and pretty bad decisions. But the bad decisions that helped cause this are really just the lack that's being spoken of.
   84. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4648361)
As Atlanta was getting crushed, there was actually an icestorm going on in New Orleans at the same time. Not as crippling, but it still closed the airport/major streets/freeways/bridges. It was actually their second one in five days. Now that would have been an epic Super Bowl Week. Bill Simmons would have probably gone on a sniper spree from the bell tower of St. Louis Cathedral...
   85. TerpNats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4648363)
To us Canadians native Syracusans, it's always amusing to see how people react to snow where it basically never snows.
Sorry -- reflex action.
   86. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4648368)
To us native Syracusans, it's always amusing to see how people react to snow where it basically never snows.


Well, it never snows in Syracuse, because it's the same latitude as Nice, Monaco, and Sochi Russia, and it never snows there.
   87. DA Baracus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4648370)
PTI Guys are emphatic that Atlanta can never host another Super Bowl because they can't handle ice or snow.


Forbes had a similar article, both are stupid. One, we get this weather once every few years. The chances it falls on Super Bowl weekend are slim (though this is the second time since 2000 it's happened--when it occurred when Atlanta hosted the Super Bowl). But more importantly, the chaos this time is from nobody from the state or city doing anything. That would not happen if the Super Bowl was here. That said, I'd be happy to never have a Super Bowl come to town.
   88. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4648380)
That said, I'd be happy to never have a Super Bowl come to town.


How's Ray Lewis gonna get his murder on then?
   89. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4648382)
Pardon me if I don't find it amusing right now as we shift through trying to get meds and food to diabetics and infants who have been iced onto the interstate for going on 16 hours.


What happened to the Sam I know and love? That Sam would have been fine with letting the diabetics and infants die so we don't have to deal with this problem next time. It's natural selection.
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4648384)

I have been in Atlanta, Dallas, and Seattle for ice storms. They all tied for last place in aggressive competition for the bottom spot.

That said, I hope things clear up soon, and my condolences.

   91. Tippecanoe Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4648385)
t still sounds like a lack of being able to deal with snow, exacerbated badly by the events and pretty bad decisions


In large part, the bad decisions are long term and concern Atlanta metro transportation in general. This town is perilously close to gridlock on fine clear spring days.
   92. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4648395)
Yes, and the entire NEC was basically shut down for a month because of a minor tropical storm. I'm sorry; SUPERSTORM SANDY!!! Apparently if you're not prepared to deal with a weather event, that weather event is harder to deal with than it is in places where they deal with it every winter.
The Midatlantic has always got its fair share of hurricanes; they're not something that we're unfamiliar with, nor that we don't deal with. Sandy, though, was exceptional in a variety of ways, and minimizing it as "a minor tropical storm" just shows you don't really know what you're talking about.

Compare that to, what, an inch or two of snow? The way you deal with an inch or two of snow, even if your town/county/state is unprepared for it and cannot plow or salt the roads, is (1) you try to avoid driving, and (2) if you must drive, you drive very slowly and maintain a large following distance. In other words, you don't be stupid.
   93. Tippecanoe Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4648400)
(1) you try to avoid driving

Have you been to Atlanta?
   94. SteveF Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4648402)
There's little Atlanta could have done on the day of the storm to avert disaster aside from shutting down the city before a single flake fell. The major failure is on every day leading up to the storm, and every day hereafter leading up to the next storm.

They aren't bad drivers -- at least no worse than anyone else. They're bad at voting and governing their towns, cities, and state. All told, it would be better if they were just bad at driving.
   95. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4648403)
Yes, I've been to Atlanta. I have also been to places where people are intelligent enough that they take a day off work if at all possible, thus dramatically decreasing the number of cars on the roads.
   96. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4648404)
you don't be stupid.


Insert #93 response here, too.
   97. jacjacatk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4648406)
They aren't bad drivers -- at least no worse than anyone else.


I'm not sure I'd agree with that in good weather (almost 20 years here after 10 in places where it actually snows), but with snow/ice factored in, people quite literally don't know what they're doing.
   98. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4648414)
I do sometimes wonder in this particular situation how many of the problems can be caused by the simplest piece of advice: slow the #### down.
   99. base ball chick Posted: January 30, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4648452)
Mike A Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4648171)
When conditions get so bad that buses can't drive safely up here, children stay in school.

The problem was nobody knew how bad the roads would get. Most forecasts called for a little bit of snow starting at the beginning of pm rush hour, which is why most schools stayed open.


- the SMART thing to do is to have the schools shut that day
then the worst that happens is that nothing bad happens

and people wonder why i freak when we get rain/ice/snow/temps below freezing in houston
and won't leave the house/let mah kidsss leave the house
i wouldn't let Husband leave the house neither but there is only so much you can do with stubborn males who got macho
   100. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 30, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4648471)
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