OMG! The Atlanta area received 2-3 inches of snow yesterday. The city is crippled. I have lived in the New York area, received an 18 inch snowfall, and gone to work the next day never skipping a beat. What is the difference you ask? Many will tell you it is the inexperienced drivers in the south. I think there is some validity to that, but there is more to the story.
Yesterday as the snow began to fall, the area businesses let their employees go...all at the same time. Schools let out as well. There were probably a hundred thousand cars dumped on our highway system all at once. At the same time big rig trucks started to slide on the highways and they blocked the roads, unable to get moving again. As of this morning, there are still thousands of commuters still trapped on the highways. Many have sat in their cars for 18 hours and are now running out of gas.
Because of all the cars blocking the highways, snow plows and other emergency vehicles are unable to get through. And the temperature is not supposed to be over freezing today.
Our snow storms usually come after a few warm days. This warms the roads so that when the snow does fall it melts. I think this happened yesterday, as the day before the temps were near 60, and the 22 degree weather quickly cooled the roads and they all froze. We now have coatings of ice on the roads that even experienced northern drivers would find tricky to drive on.
It does seem funny to many that just a few inches of snow can cripple a city. But its more than that. It is the glaze of ice and the lack of equipment to treat the roads that cause the most problems. Still, metro Atlanta needs to find a way to keep this from happening. Perhaps opening southbound lanes to north bound traffic when necessary to bleed off traffic so that emergency workers can get through would help.