Why Couldn’t Plows Keep Up With This Particular Snow Storm?
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Thursday afternoon's commute was a living nightmare for many Hudson Valley residents, and there are several reasons why this storm was so hard to clean up.
Facebook was flooded with stories about motorists stranded on local roadways for upwards of 8 hours. Dutchess County Emergency Management reported at 9pm that they had already received over 400 calls to 911 since the snow began falling around 4:30pm. While everyone's first instinct was to blame municipalities for a lack of response, there were other factors at work that made this storm so hard to navigate.
The timing of the storm, beginning just before the afternoon commute, coupled with the incredibly fast rate of snow accumulations caused an unprecedented amount of accidents, which was the real reason roads were impossible to keep clear
DCEM says that the volume of traffic accidents and congestion from commuters hitting the roads at quitting time made it impossible to keep up with the snowfall. Because plows were caught in traffic they couldn't clear the roadways fast enough and that led more accumulations on the roadway. The worse the conditions got, the more congested the roads got and things quickly spiraled out of control.
It's important to note that the terrible road conditions weren't isolated to any one community or county. Roadways from New Jersey all the way up the Thruway and Taconic were in the same condition throughout most of the afternoon and evening. The storm was just too fast, and by the time cars were already on the road it was too congested for plows to get to the snow.
Luckily, crews were able to tackle a majority of the roadways during the overnight. Friday morning's commute will see some more snow and mixed precipitation, but roads should not be nearly as bad as they were on Thursday afternoon.