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Author Topic: I-78, Stuck on road, can you imagine...  (Read 1525 times)
JerryH
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« on: February 16, 2007, 05:12:37 PM »

So I guess our state road dept. (PennDOT) really dropped the ball on keeping I-78 clear ... or at the very least, keeping people from entering I-78 given the fact they had a 20+ mile back up with traffic moving no where ... or at the very very least, assisting motorists stranded for upwards of 18+ hours on I-78 with no food, water, fuel, heat, etc.

You watch DateLine NBC, PrimeTime, 60-Minutes, and others reporting about commercial airliners stuck on the tarmac for 9-hours with overflowing toilets ...

... so have you ever been stranded on a highway unable to move for an extended period of time?  Where you in your bus?  Did you wish (given the situation) you were in your bus with a Genset, heat, food, a restoom?

Just curious,
Jerry H.
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brojcol
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 06:13:40 PM »

I would not have wanted to be in that mess with a bus... period.

It was unlike anything I've ever seen.  I live in Wilkes-Barre and this is my first real snow.  In Mississippi, where I lived all my life, we maybe saw snow once every three or four years. 

My neighbor said he's lived in the valley all his life (he's retired) and has never seen it like this with the sleet mixed in. 

But hey, all my friends and coworkers tried to warn me and scare me about the snow.  But when it came down, they closed our office on the 14th and re-opened on the 15th.  I came to work, but only two of my staff of 17 were able to get here.  So, a country boy can survive. 

This  is what you call a BAPTISM BY FIRE (or blizzard).
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 06:16:52 PM »

I was stuck in a car on an Interstate in Indiana for an hour or more.  Traffic just ground to a halt in the middle of a rural area.  It was summer so people where getting out of their cars since they couldn't move.  Never did figure out why traffic had stopped.

Brian Elfert
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John E. Smith
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 08:31:50 PM »

Winter 1985/86, 27 miles east of Santa Rosa, NM -- sat on the interstate for 53 hours due to snow and ice.  Interstate 40 was closed from Kingman, AZ all the way to Oklahoma City.  We had 6 big trucks get into a jack-knife contest right in front of us, blocked the road, and the nearest wrecker was in Santa Rosa -- with a 16 truck backlog before he got to those.  So we sat...

Luckily, I did have a small diesel genset on my truck and a well stocked refrigerator.  I was driving a 1983 Pete with a 88" custom sleeper which had all the comforts of home.  I just locked the doors and went to bed.  About 18 hours into it, the driver in front of me ran out of fuel so I let him "camp out" in my truck just so he didn't freeze to death.

They finally got the road clear enough for everyone to make it to the next cross-over -- so they turned all of us around and made us get off at the TA at Santa Rosa.  I-40 finally reopened 3 days later!
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John E. Smith
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 08:40:30 PM »

In December, we were near Tehachapi, CA on SR58. A truck caught fire ahead of us, and they closed the freeway. Cars were allowed to turn around by crossing the median, but no heavies.

They told us to go to sleep and they would wake us when the road was clear. After 4 hours, we got out of there. It was chilly and windy out, and it would have been a really long wait in a car.

That's the first time we were ever told to go to sleep in the middle of the freeyway!

Tom Caffrey
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2007, 08:48:18 PM »

I have forgotten the year but it was late 70s or early 80s. There was a massive storn that shut down I-95 in New England. I and my Dad were still hauling freight together. We spent 4 days in the middle of I-95 S.in Pawtucket, R.I. I still have the pics. When the National Guard finally plowed the road from Mass down to were we were, I backed the rig 12 miles back into Mass so I could get off an exit & go north back to the Mass Pike and around R.I. It is something I will never forget.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 03:16:24 AM »

So I guess our state road dept. (PennDOT) really dropped the ball on keeping I-78 clear ... or at the very least, keeping people from entering I-78 given the fact they had a 20+ mile back up with traffic moving no where ... or at the very very least, assisting motorists stranded for upwards of 18+ hours on I-78 with no food, water, fuel, heat, etc.

You watch DateLine NBC, PrimeTime, 60-Minutes, and others reporting about commercial airliners stuck on the tarmac for 9-hours with overflowing toilets ...

... so have you ever been stranded on a highway unable to move for an extended period of time?  Where you in your bus?  Did you wish (given the situation) you were in your bus with a Genset, heat, food, a restoom?

Just curious,
Jerry H.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2007, 07:09:14 AM »

One of my closest freind's,  Rick got stuck in a snowstorm for 11 hours due to the NY Thruway being closed. He was close to the toll booth at exit 50. After 11 hours the thruway was reopened and he proceeded to the toll both, where they tried to collect the toll!!!!
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2007, 08:30:48 AM »

That's it, I'm staying at the KOA until summer gets here.....

 Grin

Bill
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 11:19:18 AM »

To all those who were stuck in PA on I-81, I-80, or I-78, I apologize for our state.  Our leadership did not act very quickly to declare a state of emergency, which is required to activate the National Guard.  When they did activate, many of the guardsmen could not get to the base! The interstates were not even closed until about 1-1/2 days after the storm started!

PENNDOT was in charge of the road clearing, and as I understand took a gamble by leaving a layer of snow on the road when the freezing rain started, in hopes of having something plowable.  But wrecks blocked the roads and by the time they were able to get plows out again the temperature had dropped another 20 degrees to near zero, and the salt does not work very well at that temperature on 3-4" of ice.  When PENNDOT did start clearing they didn't use any of the National Guard construction equipment, which probably   doubled the time they needed to clear the road.

This situation makes us look like we (PA) can't even manage one little snowstorm, how would they deal with a real disaster?

Pabusnut
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Steve Toomey
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2007, 09:12:38 AM »

I have forgotten the year but it was late 70s or early 80s. There was a massive storn that shut down I-95 in New England. I and my Dad were still hauling freight together. We spent 4 days in the middle of I-95 S.in Pawtucket, R.I. I still have the pics. When the National Guard finally plowed the road from Mass down to were we were, I backed the rig 12 miles back into Mass so I could get off an exit & go north back to the Mass Pike and around R.I. It is something I will never forget.

Sounds like that was the "Blizzard of '78." I was a youngster living in Franklin, Massachusetts at the time, which is not too far from Pawtucket. Roads were a mess, but you kind of expect that with about 4' of snow, plus wind, plus traffic...

Obligatory topical reference, never had the pleasure(?) of being stuck in traffic long enough to wish for genset, heater and food...

- John
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