What happens when 2-inches of snow fall in the middle of the day in a city with a tragically ineffectual public transit system? Everyone leaves work early. At the same time. And they flood the streets with their cars. At the same time. And then they sit there – for many, many hours.
Tonight, people are still stranded on roads, thousands of kids are stuck either at school or on buses on roads (little kids. They’ve been there for almost 12 hours as I’m writing this.), even a baby was born on a major highway, which is how you know it’s a fucking situation. Somebody always pops off a baby in the middle of a crisis just to let you know it’s a crisis.
Contrary to the South’s reputation as not being able to handle snow (I mean, we can’t, but it’s not usually this bad), this event is the product of a LOT of fuck ups. One guy summed it up really well:
For all you Yankees laughing at GA for being shut down by two inches of snow, let’s talk about what really happened: At noon, it started snowing. All of the schools, at once, decided to close without any advance notice around 1:30. It was basically, “Hey, we’re closed now! come get your kids!”
At the same time, most businesses closed. So that’s roughly 5 million people who all got on the roads at the same time, which clearly caused a massive traffic jam. Then, while they’re out there, the snow gets worse, turns into slush, and then, eventually, full-on sheets of ice. And, while everyone was in gridlock, they couldn’t reload the salt trucks because the gridlock was too thick to navigate back to the salt storage areas (we have 30 trucks & 40 plows in ATL proper), so the ice situation got worse and worse, until short trips became hours-long and some folks ditched their cars and walked. And, there’s a good number of kids and staff spending the night at the schools tonight because there’s too much ice for the buses to run safely to take them home.
Also, [Georgia Department of Transportation] is saying there were around 940 accidents today.
So anyway, it’s a giant shit show. I could go on about the political and infrastructural implications of all of this (there. are. many.) but let’s just look at the carnage for now and take comfort in remembering that when we were kids, we would’ve been super excited to spend the night at school. They’re probably(?) having a blast. Prayers for them teachers tho.
NOW: Icy traffic nightmare in Atlanta tonight (Photo @ajc) pic.twitter.com/5pNt1E4fAk – @Brosner85
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) January 29, 2014
At 10pm, I-75 at W. Paces Ferry in #Atlanta is still a parking lot. Incredible #Leon #GAwx pic.twitter.com/5HZHuaA5bf
— Shawn Reynolds (@WCL_Shawn) January 29, 2014
I apologize to the kids who have to spend their #atlsnow day at school. It’s my fault. #atlweather #SnowedOutAtlanta pic.twitter.com/xxAII1kHZI
— ATL’s Only Snow Plow (@ATLsnowplow) January 29, 2014
Gridlock Day 2: “A horrible, horrible situation for people who are stuck out there’. http://t.co/Y829EZyZQa pic.twitter.com/bQswbnJDEU #atlsnow
— Paula Whittle (@Paula_Whittle) January 29, 2014