From left, Abby, Katherine and Emma Conrod take a break from playing in the snow on Saturday. The Conrod family and thousands of others around Suffolk went to bed on Friday with a fresh blanket of snow having fallen through the afternoon and evening and just waiting for folks to go outside and have some fun in it on Saturday. For more reader photos of snow fun and games, check out our Facebook page. (Maryanne Conrod Photo)

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Snow problem

Published 9:24pm Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter storm makes Friday rush hour a mess

Just as forecasters had promised, the snow on Friday started early in the afternoon and quickly accumulated on lawns, sidewalks and highways, turning the afternoon commute into a nightmare for many in Suffolk.

Suffolk police responded to 82 accidents or disabled-vehicle calls involving about 160 vehicles between 3 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, according to Suffolk spokesperson Diana Klink, who stated in a press release on Saturday that none of the accidents had been “major.”

Fire and rescue personnel assisted the police department at a number of crashes, Klink stated. There were no fire calls during the period.

By the time Suffolk had retired for the evening, the snowfall was over, having left nearly three inches of accumulation in some places, and Suffolk Public Works crews worked through the night and all day Saturday trying to catch up with the situation.

At one point Friday night, icy conditions had closed the Route 58 entrance and exit ramps at Pruden Boulevard and Godwin Boulevard, and conditions on Holland Road were being described as treacherous.

In other parts of the city, even those who had left work early in anticipation of a slippery commute found themselves waiting at a near-standstill as crashes and disabled vehicles were cleared from the roads in front of them.

At one point, Klink stated in an email update during the storm, police had advised of more than 25 accidents that had taken place in just the previous hour.

On Thursday, public works crews had begun treating Suffolk’s roads with a brine solution designed “to inhibit snow and ice from adhering to the pavement,” Klink stated Friday evening. “Earlier today, they spread brine on Route 13 and 32 from the Route 58 bypass to the North Carolina line. All 30 dump trucks with plows and spreaders were loaded and dispatched into the field shortly after the first snow was observed this afternoon and are actively monitoring the primary roadways.”

On Saturday, she stated, 26 of those trucks had snow blades pushing snow and ice off the roadways around the city, as well as spreading salt and abrasives on the highways.

“Their aggressive monitoring of our roadways continues,” she stated. “Overall the primary roadways are down to bare pavement and are in great shape.”

But many secondary and neighborhood roads had not been scraped or salted on Saturday, and officials warned that conditions Saturday night could still be slippery in many parts of the city.

Events around the city were canceled on Saturday, and many Suffolk businesses and agencies turned to social media to announce they would open late or take the day off entirely.

Though temperatures Saturday night were expected to drop below freezing again, a brief warming trend promised temperatures as high as 70 on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, whose forecast shows the mercury diving again on Thursday and Friday, with a high on Friday of only 39 degrees.

There is no more snow in Suffolk’s seven-day forecast.

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  • cynical

    “All 30 dump trucks with plows and spreaders were loaded and dispatched into the field shortly after the first snow was observed this afternoon and are actively monitoring the primary roadways.”

    Actively monitoring?!? How about actively *doing something* about the quickly deteriorating road conditions?

    “On Saturday, she stated, 26 of those trucks had snow blades pushing snow and ice off the roadways around the city, as well as spreading salt and abrasives on the highways.”

    Too little, too late…

    “Their aggressive monitoring of our roadways continues…”

    Again, here’s that “agressive monitoring”. What exactly does that mean?

    The bottom line is that they knew this was coming, it came *exactly* as predicted, and they were not prepared. So why do we have them?

    Suggest Removal

  • KNRMCO

    WOW, 3 INCHES & EVERYTHING GRINDS TO A STANDSTILL! SUFFOLK & THE COMMUNITIES AROUND IT HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO PREPARE FOR SNOW WHICH WAS QUITE APPARENT WITH 3-5 HR COMMUTES HOME! CAN YOU IMAGINE IF IT HAD BEEN 3 FEET?

    Suggest Removal

  • happyGoLucky

    5hr commute (half of it just on rt 58!… The temps were already at freezing. We all knew it was coming. The City Manager did not manage. Wow…shocker.

    If you voted for the buffoons that not only keep this woman employed but feel compelled to make her the highest paid CM in the area..considering population and number of viable tax paying citizens….you are an idiot!

    Every co-worker I spoke with Today rues the day that they decided to move to Suffolk… This CC and CM will drive all responsible tax paying citizens away from the city rendering Suffolk to Detroit like landscape full of vacant homes and clueless idiots at the helm.

    Suggest Removal

  • Kyliesmimi

    5 HOURS TO GET HOME FROM GREENBRIER TO GODWIN! Shame on all of you. Suffolk is a cow town with no potential for growth both economically or intelligently! A claustrophobic situation to say the least. Sitting in a car, on ice in 24 degree weather for 5 hours! Nothing more to be said but…children, elderly and the rest of us held hostage. Closed ramps and no pre-treating of the roadways…is more than pathetic.

    Suggest Removal

  • am

    What, the Chief of Staff wasn’t available to answer the tough questions about the distribution of the plows and when? What do the roads look like around her house, the CM’s house as well as other top brass for Suffolk? Come on people, it’s not like this was the first snow ever in Suffolk. Get it together

    Suggest Removal

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