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Old 01-31-14, 10:12 AM   #51
Cycle Babble
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Bluesdawg,
Kinda like how often you won the Superbowl
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Old 01-31-14, 10:42 AM   #52
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Touche. But the real point is that the traffic disaster in Atlanta is far more complex than driver ignorance of how to drive in snow. It involves overdependence on automobiles for transportation, lack of coordination between various cities, counties, school districts and businesses. With the infrequency of frozen precipitation in the South, it is hard to justify the expense of adequate equipment to keep the streets passable under these conditions, especially in a political climate of austerity.

The biggest blunders were the decisions to open the schools and government offices on a day when ice and snow was predicted to fall during the day and then sending everyone home in the middle of the day. Putting that many cars on the streets of Atlanta at once would have caused almost the same mess without the layer of ice topped by snow.

But, of course, if they had cancelled school and closed offices and the weather didn't arrive until 7pm, they would have caught crap for that, too.
Here is the best article I have seen on the situation.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:54 AM   #53
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Ironically, warm weather has caused a huge snowslide that now covers the Richardson Highway to Valdez, Alaska. The city is cut-off, this was the only road in.

My weather seems manageable now.


Zaz Hollander reported from Wasilla and Michelle Theriault Boots reported from Valdez. Email: zhollander@adn.com and mtheriault@adn.com.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/01/29/329728...#storylink=cpy

More than 11 inches of rain falling on deep mountain snows over a two-week period triggered two big avalanches that blocked the road at Mile 39 near Thompson Pass and at Mile 16 in Keystone Canyon on Friday.

Then state Department of Transportation crews dropped avalanche-triggering explosives on the slopes at Mile 16, an area known tellingly as Snowslide Gulch. That sent an even bigger avalanche thundering down on top of the first one.

The resulting monster mountain of snow -- first estimated at 100 feet tall and 1,000 to 1,500 feet long -- dammed the Lowe River. It created a roughly 500 million-gallon lake that stretched back a half mile and basically filled the canyon.

From the air on Wednesday, the lake still looked big enough to float a ferry. It was dotted with sheets of ice and tree branches wrenched from the mountainside.

The Richardson Highway was a thin string of asphalt suddenly consumed by an ocean of snow, striped soot gray or the color of coffee grounds.

The debris field at Mile 16, which officials have estimated to be as much as 100 feet high, looked like it could have swallowed Valdez's Safeway store, high school and a handful of houses to boot. It made an empty bulldozer parked where the road emerged from the crushing blanket of avalanche look like a child's toy.

Vertical Solutions Helicopters pilot Douglas Furney watched the biggest avalanche tumble down on Saturday.

The force of the snow was so great that for a moment it reversed the river.

"I saw something I bet nobody else has ever seen," he said. "The Lowe River flowed backwards."

State transportation officials say water is draining from the lake behind the giant snow pile -- the damalanche -- but the instability of the snow and the huge amount of water behind it makes conditions too dangerous for crews to start clearing debris.

TIMELINE EMERGES

Officials say it's possible that road clearing at Mile 16 could end as early as Sunday or perhaps a few days after, unless the weather or other factors intrude. Then they need to check for any damage, though engineers said they didn't expect anything serious.

Jason Sakalaskas, a Valdez-based engineer with the state Department of Transportation, said Wednesday an estimate he gave the Valdez City Council Monday night still stands: three to four days for the water to drop enough to start work, then another three or four days to clear the avalanche debris in hopes of reopening the road, barring any serious damage to the now-submerged pavement.

If you do the math, that equals as early as Sunday or as late as Tuesday.

But Sakalaskas said he doesn't want to get that specific.

"We're trying not to state any dates because it could start to rain," he said. "It is reducing ... we went from an estimate of 10 to 15 feet of water (depth) on the north side to 5 to 10. We do see a positive decrease."

The flooded area behind the snow dam measured 1,500 feet long as of Wednesday morning, a significant reduction from the 2,500-foot reading estimated on Monday, officials say. Water is gushing through an abandoned highway tunnel, Sakalaskas said. It's also flowing through the river channel under all that snow -- normally a frozen trickle this month, the Lowe is cranking at about a third of its summer volume, when boaters come to play in its whitewater.

State officials had originally said water was draining from an old railroad tunnel.

EVACUATION ADVISORY LIFTED

As engineers keep watch on water levels at Mile 16, two subdivisions below the dammed area are still under a flash flood watch, but the dropping water levels led a state hydrology expert to consider any threat to the Alpine Woods and Nordic subdivisions "to have decreased significantly," according to a Valdez city update.

Police sirens would warn residents should there be any kind of sudden water release detected; the city canceled its weekly Wednesday siren test "due to current circumstances," the update said.

The city is also closing an emergency shelter established in town for any subdivision residents who wanted to leave.

"No one used it but people did leave their homes and stay with friends and family," deputy city clerk Holly Wolgamott said.

The Alaska Marine Highway System and Ravn Alaska -- the new name for Era Alaska -- have increased ferry and air service to Valdez.

A statement from the state Transportation Department reminded drivers to watch for flaggers and heavy equipment on the highway and to "exercise extreme caution if traveling through mountain passes in this region as there is an increased possibility for more avalanches to occur."
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Old 01-31-14, 11:52 AM   #54
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All this weather craziness underscores the importance of having more people in the U.S. believe in science to the point that we can actually do some common sense things to help keep our kids from seeing more disasters. I've never in my life seen people in the U.S. not embrace a movement where money could be made, but here too I guess there's an exception to every rule.

We've become a nation that has a large population that, while they don't see it as that, are pretty much happy with being ignorant. And that's a big problem.
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Old 01-31-14, 12:06 PM   #55
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Eh?
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Old 01-31-14, 12:51 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Touche. But the real point is that the traffic disaster in Atlanta is far more complex than driver ignorance of how to drive in snow. It involves overdependence on automobiles for transportation, lack of coordination between various cities, counties, school districts and businesses. With the infrequency of frozen precipitation in the South, it is hard to justify the expense of adequate equipment to keep the streets passable under these conditions, especially in a political climate of austerity.

The biggest blunders were the decisions to open the schools and government offices on a day when ice and snow was predicted to fall during the day and then sending everyone home in the middle of the day. Putting that many cars on the streets of Atlanta at once would have caused almost the same mess without the layer of ice topped by snow.

But, of course, if they had cancelled school and closed offices and the weather didn't arrive until 7pm, they would have caught crap for that, too.
Here is the best article I have seen on the situation.
This is true. 6 centimeters of snow is pretty trivial, you can ride a road bike with 23mm tires in it as long as it's not packed down into ice, or there's ice underneath. So I doubt that it was just the snow. Even here in Vancouver, where we get maybe two real snowfalls per winter (on average), traffic really slows down when it snows. I even see more traffic backing up on rainy days. So put this into a large metro area that's pretty dependent on cars, and there's no real public transit alternative that covers the entire region, and you're going to end up with quite a mess. And when you've got icy conditions, things are sort of OK as long as you're moving, or the terrain is flat. Once you stop moving, or have to go uphill (even as gentle as an overpass), then wheels start spinning. Since traffic is mostly serial (and not parallel), you start to get bottlenecks. So like the article above says, the fault is more with the existing infrastructure and lack of coordinated transit.

Luis
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Old 01-31-14, 02:39 PM   #57
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I've seen pics of this storm and others, and I sure don't think it's just lack of experience. We tend to forget that up here in the frozen north(tm) we have trucks spreading sand and salt almost as soon as it starts snowing. Atlanta just doesn't have the trucks, or the stockpiles of salt and sand, for what amounts to a once-a-decade event. And there's nothing more slippery than wet ice, which is what they had. The only way to avert the traffic mess would have been for everyone to stay home in the first place.
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Old 02-02-14, 10:22 PM   #58
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Today I rode in shorts and a light shirt. 70 degrees and sunny. Don't like the weather in Georgia? Wait a couple of days.
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Old 02-02-14, 10:35 PM   #59
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Just spent the weekend skiing in Winter Park, CO. Three feet of fresh powder. Life is good.
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Old 02-03-14, 06:22 AM   #60
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Its been warm here and has been on an upward trend since the ice storm days last week. It was mid 60's Saturday and Sunday with some clouds and sprinkles thrown in. Its raining right now and we stayed in the mid 60's all night. I understand that then next series of fronts aren't Arctic in nature and originate out of the NW from the North Pacific so they will be not quite as cold with more rainfall. These usually become a warm front after they pass through into the Gulf and back up, dumping a lot of rain here. I wish we could send some to Vic and the others in SoCal.

Bill
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