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State of Emergency declared for 1 INCH of snow!!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by Thump, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Raleigh Thrown in Tizzy by Inch of Snow
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    RALEIGH, N.C. - A mere inch of snow was all it took to cripple North Carolina's capital — and prompt plenty of finger-pointing Thursday as the city thawed from the surprise storm that caused gridlock and left 3,000 students stranded in classrooms overnight.

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    While a TV weatherman hung his head in shame — telling viewers his forecast of a mere dusting was "embarrassing" — the mayor vented at meteorologists for leaving Raleigh unprepared for Wednesday's storm.

    "A forecast that had given a better indication of the likely problem would have been very helpful," Mayor Charles Meeker said.

    Residents — particularly those who have lived in other parts of the country — could not believe the city was brought to its knees by just an inch of snow.

    "I just don't think they're equipped to handle it," said Lori Jamieson, from Pennsylvania.

    When the dry snow hit already frigid streets at midday, it turned to ice as schools and businesses scrambled to close early. That sent thousands of cars onto the roads before salt trucks could treat the pavement.

    Police handled more than 1,000 accidents, none fatal, and some people were caught in traffic jams that left them on the roads for more than eight hours. Buses were unable to take children home from school, stranding nearly 3,000 students in their classrooms with their teachers overnight. Some motorists who could not get home bunked with others in office buildings and even grocery stores.

    "This is embarrassing for my profession," a contrite WRAL-TV chief meteorologist Greg Fishel told viewers during the height of the chaos. "In the 24 years I've lived here, I have never encountered the traffic situation I saw today."

    But he was not alone. None of the television meteorologists made the right call, evoking memories of December 2002, when they failed to predict the severity of an ice storm that plunged much of the Carolinas into darkness for more than a week.

    Meeker said city workers could have been ready if forecasts had given a hint that icy roads could be a problem.

    People responded to the foul weather as they usually do in this region, shutting down early and going home. Had the city known that the roads were icing over, Meeker said, it would have advised people to stay at work and school late, so crews could put salt on the streets before they filled with traffic.

    It wasn't until late Wednesday that Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of emergency, allowing him to open two state government buildings in downtown Raleigh as shelters to accommodate drivers. He asked residents to stay home Thursday morning so Department of Transportation crews could clear the roads.

    The weather cooperated, warming into the low 40s and drying the moisture from most roads by midafternoon.

    Even as Wednesday's problems melted away, though, more snow was on the way. And this time, forecasters were making sure not to downplay the threat.

    The first round was forecast to fall between late Thursday and early Friday. "It'll be over by morning and we'll have time to assess things before the morning commute," said National Weather Service (news - web sites) meteorologist Mike Moneypenny.

    The weekend, however, looked grim, with sleet and snow predicted to fall in freezing temperatures Saturday and into Sunday.

    Meeker acknowledged the city should have had a plan for handling the ice.


    "I think everybody worked extremely hard to get through the situation. But I do think if we'd had a good policy in place and communicated it to the public, we could have lessened the disruption."

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  2. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Thump I could tell you so many stories...

    My first year here...the kids were ecstatic when snow flurries started to cover the ground. School was immediately dismissed. By the time the buses arrived, the flurries stopped and the slight dusting had melted. While I was driving home, people were moving no more than 15 MPH with their hazards on. We had a 2 Hr delay the next morning without a flake falling....
     
  3. DEBuckeye

    DEBuckeye It ain't easy, bein' cheesy.

    I understand that they're not used to this, but that is unbelievable. How can you be unable to drive in a fuckin' inch of snow?
     
  4. FKAGobucks877

    FKAGobucks877 The Most Power-Drunk

    Columbus is bad too. Not this bad, though. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get to work Wednesday morning, and that was after maybe two inches of snow. It normally only takes me 20-30 minutes in traffic...
     
  5. Crump's brother

    Crump's brother Moxahala Park Carnie/ Rehoboth Strangler

    To anybody who is not experienced in bad weather driving, find an empty parking lot. From there you have two choices: sit there and wait until the roads are clear, or spend 30 minutes doing doughnuts. Eventually, you'll learn how to regain control of your car quickly...


    One inch! Pretty sad. I've driven in snow deep enough that it touches the rocker panels on my F150.
     
  6. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    People always complain about Columbus drivers being bad in snow but the reality is, people everywhere are bad drivers in snow.
     
  7. FKAGobucks877

    FKAGobucks877 The Most Power-Drunk

    Not true. I grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, and have spent significant amounts of time in both Cleveland, Ohio, and Breckenridge, Colorado. Drivers in all three locales are much better than Columbus. In fact, Cincinnati and Columbus are by far the worst driving cities I have ever seen, regardless of snow. 2-3 inches of snow is a pain in the ass in Columbus. 6-10 inches is a level three emergency. In Colorado, they don't even cancel school for less than 12 inches.
     
  8. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Well considering most vehicles in Breckenridge have snow chains and four wheel drive, that may be a difference in driving.
     
  9. AKAK

    AKAK If you hear the siren its already too late Staff Member Tech Admin

    About half the drivers in Columbus are bad in the snow... which is more than enough to mess things up.

    The real problem in my opinion is the complete lack of a coherent and well equipped snow mangagement program on the part of the city. Its not that "people in Cleveland know how to drive in the snow" (Or buffalo or whatever) and they do have more experience... but... those cities are also prepared and committed to making the roads passable.


    I realize that there is a budget crunch, but it just fucking sucks. The only thing the even try to clear anymore are the Major Highways... which doesn't do you any good if you can get to the major highways... (And when I say major roads... 'little roads' like 161, 23, Morse Road don't make 'major')
    I'm sorry but major snow events are reasonably frequent... and, as someone mentioned... if there is no atttempt to clear the roads... 2 or 3 inches becomes a serious event. Its fucking ridiculous... and there is no excuse.


    Anyway, I would complain, but I live in Worthington. Where they do plow and salt the streets... but I can't very well leave Worthington without going through Columbus... so if all my Columbus resident pals on the board could write their councilman...I'd really appreciate it.
     
  10. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Good points AKAK. The reason Columbus needs to declare a snow emergency for 8 inches is b/c it is the 11th largest city in the nation and a city with a million people takes a lot longer to clear than Mansfield or Breckenridge.

    I know when I lived on Morse Rd. that 8 inches meant I couldn't even get out of my apartment b/c I would get stuck on Morse Rd. or the side streets getting to it.
     
  11. AKAK

    AKAK If you hear the siren its already too late Staff Member Tech Admin

    Hey.. 8 inches is one thing... but they can't handle 3 anymore. There is no excuse not to have salt on Dublin-Fucking- Granville Road or High Street before rush hour when it snows the night before...

    And even when they do get 8 they don't plow until its done... they plow until 8 hours per person is up.... "we're outta plowin money fer today"...
     
  12. Piney

    Piney Stay thirsty my friends Former Game Champion

    AKAK hit it right on the head. Snow removal and preparing the roads is what makes or breaks the drivers.

    In the south cities don't carry snow plows or salt trucks. So when snow hits they don't have anything to counter what is coming down. Here in Cleveland, and more specifically the snow belt I grew up in if they think it will snow over night the Salt trucks are out in full force to make sure when it snows... it melts instantly.

    It also helps having a few salt plants up here pulling salt from under Lake Erie for cheap Salt.

    I still remember my first year in Athens for school and we had 3 inches of snow and it cancelled classes for a few days... just amazed me. Then one faithful MLK weekend a bizarre snow storm hit and over a foot of snow came down. Classes were cancelled for a full week and some local schools were closed for almost 2 weeks due to having to use construction vehicles to remove snow and they had to use cinders instead of salt. Now that was sick.

    The worst part of it all... By Thursday there was an emergency due to no beer trucks being able to drive into town due to the snow emergency and bars were actually running out of beer... thank god me and my buddies saw this comming and bought 20 cases of beer to get us through these hard times :beer:
     
  13. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Now something that major should warrant the National Guard being sent in.
     
  14. buckeyefool

    buckeyefool He's back and better than ever!

    I can't agree more, that most of the problems that start in Columbus have to do with teh snow removal. I went to work on Weds morning and even the north side of 270 looked like it hadn't been touched at 7 am. I was like what the fuck it's not that bad.

    One thing growing up near Cincy like I did most of the small;er cities outside of the town have there own snow remval trucks that take care of the backroads and city streets leaving the city trucks and odot to take care of the major highways. Exapmle My brother works for the city of montgomery park and recreation and he work from 4 am to midnight yesterday clearing roads and the such. Of course that is a town that is filled with a WHOLE bunch of rich people. My brother alone has hit and destroyed the same guys 200 dollar mail box three times in the last two years. You would think this guy would listen to the city who has explained to him 3 times now that where he is putting his mailboz is in the right of way.
     
  15. OSUsushichic

    OSUsushichic Fired up! Ready to go! Staff Member

    Hey, I'm all for declaring a state of emergency -- whatever keeps those lunatics off the roads! I used to live in Durham, NC, and between the southerners who would drive 1 MPH and the northerners who would plow through at 75 MPH on icy roads, it was an ugly situation. It's just best if people stayed off the roads althogether down there! :biggrin:
     

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