Atlanta Area Clearing 2,000 Cars Abandoned in Snow Snarl

After gridlock that lasted more than a day

  • Share
  • Read Later
David Tulis / AP

Abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered Cobb Parkway at I-285 after a winter snow storm slammed the city with over 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots creating massive traffic jams lasting through Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta.

Authorities in Georgia were helping motorists Thursday to retrieve more than 2,000 vehicles that were abandoned in and around Atlanta, following a modest snowfall that nevertheless jammed roads for more than a day this week, infuriated citizens and put officials on the defensive over their response.

Drivers are being transported in four-wheel-drive vehicles to their cars and provided with additional gas and a jump-start if necessary, CNN reports, after the snow that began Tuesday caused massive gridlock, thousands of accidents, hundreds of injuries and at least one fatality.

The ice-cold weather across much of the South didn’t stop one doctor in Alabama, Zenko Hrynkiw, who ditched his car and walked some six miles in the snow to perform a life-saving brain surgery, AL.com reports. And it didn’t keep one mother, Amy Anderson, from giving birth to a daughter on the side of a highway, police officer Tim Sheffield, who responded to the scene, told the Today show.

Schools in Atlanta were closed again Thursday amid freezing temperatures in the morning, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had already announced Wednesday that state government offices would be closed. Some of the ice on the region’s highways melted Wednesday, and temperatures were expected to rise by Thursday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In Alabama—where more than 11,000 students were trapped in schools on Tuesday night—most schools in the Birmingham area will also be closed, but thawing temperatures are expected later in the day.

[CNN]

11 comments
KerriganMarois
KerriganMarois

Almost no one from northern states puts chains on their tires. I have seen it maybe twice in my 20 years here, growing up in the country and then moving to minneapolis. 


We also, don't go on green lights in the winter in anticipation for someone to come sliding through. 


Its not hard, you put sand and salt on the road in the winter. I know we are better prepared in MN but its not like our roads are somehow perfect because we have plows. We have to put boiling water onto the road near our tires to get out sometimes, we have to shovel it out with an ice scraper, or have a neighbor help push us out. And yeah, we bitch about going to work when its freezing or we have to spend 30 minutes shoveling out a car, but we don't call the national guard to come bail us out. AND we are a liberal state, look who needs their gov't now. 


What happened there is only an emergency because everyone freaked out and made it one instead of driving on ice nice and slowly like a rational human being. 

MattHill
MattHill

"We don need no stinkin' government..."


Always amazes me that the ones that crow the loudest that they don't need the government for anything are typically the first to whine when their city gets walloped by one of these storms, "Where's the emergency equipment, how my gonna get home from Wall Mart!"

RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

When political leaders of Atlanta start playing the blame game with the weather forecasters than you should know who is to blame when they avoiding to take responsibility.I'm not even a weather man and I know they was talking about this storm for days. They didn't want to spend the money and now are spending ten times more in clean up cost. It took 2 inches to cripple a major city and for the people in that state to be put in this situation because, it's leaders decided to  ignore the obvious. You would think this state got hit by a hurricane with all the stories we hearing..Wow! 

DelawareJack
DelawareJack

It was not the tiny 3 inches of snow that caused the problems .. it was the layer of ice beneath that puny 3 inches of snow . There is not one single city anywhere that would not be severely affected nor one single vehicle that can move easily or safely anywhere when that city is covered with ice or where a vehicle is moving on a sheet of ice ....

TallusRip
TallusRip

@DelawareJackTrue story.  The ice was really bad in Austin last Friday and this past Tuesday.  I had to get hot water to pour on my car door just to get the ice off so I could open the friggin thing and turn the engine on.  I had about 1/4in of ice on my entire car after the rain-freeze the night before.  Everything else was frozen over too.  The roads were one giant ice-rink and peoples' summer tires were like sleds.  It was just a total nightmare.  I used to live in Canada and this sort of thing never happened.  If we had black ice, it was in patches...but in Austin EVERYTHING was black ice.

vrcplou
vrcplou

@DelawareJack Agree - we had the exact same thing here in Dallas back in early December.  It looks deceptively like snow but it is ice and no one can drive on that without chains and even then I imagine it's a challenge.  The only difference here was that most people heeded the weather warnings, the school districts closed ahead of the storm and the majority of drivers were off the road.  However, the truckers and those who decided to ignore the warnings were stranded on I-30 for over a day because YOU CAN'T DRIVE ON ICE.  The mess in Atlanta lies squarely with government and school officials who didn't take appropriate action ahead of the storm.

TallusRip
TallusRip

@vrcplou We had that in Austin on Tuesday.  I don't think a single ISD put out notices of closures or delayed starts until after people were already heading there.  My dad and younger sister had drive all the way to the Leander HS before getting the notice that they were actually going to be closed that day.  Whoops.  Thanks Leander ISD for being so punctual with that correction.

TallusRip
TallusRip

@JimboJonesIV Southern states aren't used to having this kind of weather for more than a day or two, so they see no need to prepare for it like in northern states.  They don't typically bother with winter tires when it takes so much money and time to swap them out with their summer fare just for a couple days a year.  It would do southerners a great service if they would stop driving like it's only raining, though.  A car with summer tires on roads plastered over with perfectly clear ice is NOT going to stop on a dime.  I saw a lady in an SUV last Tuesday who thought she was so great that she came flying out of a neighborhood and out onto a highway, completely barreling through the stop sign without even so much as slowing down.  She's lucky no one was coming at that moment because going 40mph on an icy road sent her across all 3 lanes before she finally hit the grassy ditch-median and stopped.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,106 other followers