We can still make fun of the South for other stuff, right? I put these traffics down to too many people getting four wheel drive in the belief that ice wouldn't be a problem. The interesting question is why DC shuts down when it DOES get snow fairly consistently. A city with neither snow preparations nor central air. Southern hospitality and northern efficiency, if your models are a rude southerner and inefficient northerner.
Let's just be clear: Atlanta has plows and sand/salt trucks. They have protocols for getting kids home in cold weather and snow. They've already used them this year. They knew what was coming, and did nothing. They absolutely need to be made fun of.
When I moved to California from Florida, my dad and I took a week to drive here via I-10. When we got to New Mexico, it was snowing. I pulled over to the side of the road and made my dad drive. He grew up in Philly, and I grew up in Florida. I had never even seen snow fall from the sky until my freshman year of college, when it inexplicably snowed one day in Tallahassee, for about 20 minutes. I figured if my dad wrecked my car, he'd have to replace it. If *I* wrecked it, he'd just laugh at me. Driving in any level of snow when you've never done so is terrifying. And I've driven through the edges of hurricanes, and tried to outrun them. Driving in snowy conditions when you're scared, and cold, and worried about friends and family members that might also be in this condition must be a zillion times worse. Add to that the fact that your city decided to act like they didn't know it was going to snow, and you've got yourself a snowpocalypse freeway situation, I'm sure.
Even places that are well equipped to deal with winter get caught off guard sometimes. (For example: ://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/storms/winter/2010-12-02-new-york-snowstorm_N.htm )
They could've just called Mr. Plow, that's his name! That name again is Mr. Plow!
Having lived in Atlanta, I both am not surprised and a bit amused. I've been there when Atlantans were panicking about snow falling that wasn't even sticking, which is amusing, because snow falling that doesn't stick is, really, no problem at all. Snow sticking is freak-out worthy there. That said, when I lived there, I lived a mile from work. If it had started snowing and I was at work, I'd have just walked home. A lot of people live a lot further away than I did, and even if you know how to drive in the stuff, that doesn't need that the other people on the road with you do.In other news, my new benchmark for how a day is going is: "Well, I didn't have to sleep on the floor of a Kroger, so...."
The speed with which this hit and how quickly the roads turned from a little damp to completely fcked was amazing. My 25 minute commute took fours to get home and that was with parking at the local high school and walking the last mile and a half (and I consider myself lucky). Good decision since most of that was a long downhill across a bridge and then uphill again. Walking back up the next day there were easily 50 cars left on the shoulders and side streets of both sides of the bridge, with a good handful smashed into each other.Definitely different decisions that could have been made, but to say Atlanta (and all the other cities and counties) did nothing and acted like they didn't know it was going to snow isn't accurate. Schools are out again tomorrow and as my drive to work includes a number of hilly and shaded sections that will still be iced over, I'll take another day off. Maybe go play tennis; the courts are clear and I can get to the park.
Typically in Birmingham, where I live, a simple forecast of snow will shut everything down--schools and businesses will close, and after the traditional rush to buy milk and bread, everyone stays home. Also, if those forecasts do pan out and we get snow, the roads are usually the last thing it sticks to, giving us all a chance to get somewhere if we're caught in it. Neither of those things happened this time--the snow was supposed to go south of the city, so nothing was closed, and the snow instantly stuck to the cold asphalt, quickly turning to ice. (There's a YouTube video of someone actually ice skating on Birmingham's streets.) Now, put all those people at work onto the icy streets--and our hilly urban terrain--and you have a demolition derby. I couldn't get home for two days. (Sleeping on the cold, hard office floor: not fun.) And I was pretty lucky. Some people weren't reunited with their children until yesterday. Many faced the choice of whether or not to spend the night in a potentially wrecked car in near-zero temperatures--without food or needed medication. Making fun of people in such situations is a pretty low thing to do, despite anyone's opinion of how they should drive in winter weather.