« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Daryl Ritchison, Published February 02 2014

Weather talk: Traffic, weather tough on roads in the South

This past Tuesday was a day that many people in the South will likely never forgot. Snow and freezing rain brought devastating results to several major cities.

Particularly hard hit were Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta. Both cities had people abandoning their vehicles and either walking home or seeking shelter after sitting in traffic gridlock for hours. Thousands of commuters spent eight to 12 hours or longer sitting in their cars barely moving.

Both of those cities only recorded 1-3 inches of snow, so why all the chaos? In both cities, once the snow arrived, schools, government offices and private businesses all shut down and everyone hit the roads at the same time.

The roads do not have the capacity to handle that many vehicles in perfect weather. Add in hundreds of accidents caused by the snow, and it is easy to see how the roads turned into large parking lots almost instantly.

This is why southern areas usually shut down schools and nonessential businesses when snow or ice accumulations are expected.

– Daryl Ritchison

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108