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Accident 2/12 in Ft. Worth involves 133 vehicles.


padgett
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Central Texas is in the middle of a freeze right now. It's been between 20 or 30 here, west of Waco. Very unusual. It is supposed get close to zero next week. People drive like idiots on I35 anyway regardless of the weather. I have no need or desire to go to DFW so I'll remain holed up in the sticks.            

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Lived in DFW area (Azle) and ice storms were not unusual. Remember one day I tried to go to work. Barely made to the stop sign, turned around, could not make up the driveway fso left on front lawn until thaw. Also saw indications that Texas DOT failed to properly maintain (sand, salt) the roadway.

 

Believe it or don't: Dallas used to store road salt under the expressway until it rotted out the road supports.

 

ps reading 81F outside at moment, AC is on.

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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I've heard several people say it was unusual. But, having watched the news reports for the last 40 years, it is common, just not yearly,  for that area to get caught in an ice storm that causes damage because drivers are NOT used to ice!

 

Now maybe the 133 vehicles is unusual. 

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I have relatives that live in that part of Texas.

Ice isn't uncommon there, but snow might be once

a year.  They aren't experienced with driving in winter

conditions, and for some reason don't treat

ice the same way that northern states do.

 

An example:  One Christmas Eve I visited, there

was an wintry storm.  We went to the Christmas

Eve service, and the church parking lot and sidewalks

were coated in ice.  The church had plenty of

pre-printed signs that they set up:  "Caution:  Ice."

But they didn't sprinkle a grain of sand or salt on

the parking lots and sidewalks!

 

For the effort to set up all the signs, they could

have melted the ice!

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What are the regulations re snow tires there?  They are mandatory here (British Columbia) from October 1st to March 31st.  It is snowing lightly here right now - first of the season.

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We have not had an ice event here in DFW since 2015 so even the very few people who knew how to drive in it have forgotten. The area where it happened was the "Texpress" toll lanes on a freeway where the speed limit is 75. It is essentially a two lane speedway with walls on both sides that is all raised above ground and the perfect conditions for black ice. And on top of all that it looks like they did not properly treat it with brine or sand. 

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42 minutes ago, TexRiv_63 said:

We have not had an ice event here in DFW since 2015 so even the very few people who knew how to drive in it have forgotten. ... And on top of all that it looks like they did not properly treat it with brine or sand. 

 

I agree with Tex and others - inexperience of driving in icy conditions is a factor among many Southerners. Also, a lack of snow or ice removal equipment can be a factor in generally warm climates, at least equipment that can be made operational in a hurry for an emergency. Tex is also right about forgetting how to drive in ice, even if you've had experience. Here in the upper Midwest we all tend to be caught off guard a little at the beginning of the season. The thing is, we tend to get small doses of poor winter driving in Nov.-Dec., so were more prepared for later on when the nasty storms hit.

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In my early 20’s I was driving home from work on a rural road and my car just wouldn’t turn at all on a curve.  I managed to get it pulled over and got out to see what had broken.  Instantly I was on my back in the road.  As I lay there I thought - “Oh, black ice!”.  Glad I figured it out and didn’t call a tow truck. The weather seemed fine - I just happened to be in a spot where conditions were just right. 

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Reminds me of the Blues Brothers and the entire 78 Mopar 4-door production.

What I want to know is how that white Lexus got parked waaay up on top & facing a car pointed the other way..

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Ice here in southern Virginia today. 1/4"+ accretion on trees and power lines. My power went out shortly after 8AM and I really don't expect it back on before Monday, which means my heat pump, water heater and well pump don't work. I secured the place same as when I'm gone for a few days and decamped to a hotel tonight. At least roads are passable except trees.

 

Last ice we had like this, I was still working and I retired in 2016. I can do very well without it, thank you. What's happened in TX makes me grateful we don't get much of it.

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I expect I'll look into a whole-house generator shortly. Hate to spend the money but I'm past the point of looking at multi-day power outages as an adventure. I like being warm and being able to have a shower. Inside the house was 70° at 0900. Down to 57° when I left at 1800. House is reasonably well insulated too but it hasn't been over 32° today.

 

What do you folks living where it stays below zero for weeks do?!

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I lived in the far west Chicago suburbs most of my life. If you have a whole house generator it better be run on natural gas not gasoline or propane as the cost to run one for multiple days can get expensive. If it’s an overall area outage you can’t get gasoline anyway. Most houses in that area are natural gas and Commonwealth Edison (prior to being bought out by the conglomerate) was one of the best systems in the USA. In my 55 years there we were never without power more than a day or two. That’s even after a tornado went thru the area.  They were one of the only systems that the line men worked live wired! They would shut down a block or two but not a whole grid while doing repairs.  Other power companies would hold job fairs trying to recruit linemen away from CE so they could train their crews in working that way.  
dave s 

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22 hours ago, JamesR said:

 

I agree with Tex and others - inexperience of driving in icy conditions is a factor among many Southerners. Also, a lack of snow or ice removal equipment can be a factor in generally warm climates, at least equipment that can be made operational in a hurry for an emergency. Tex is also right about forgetting how to drive in ice, even if you've had experience. Here in the upper Midwest we all tend to be caught off guard a little at the beginning of the season. The thing is, we tend to get small doses of poor winter driving in Nov.-Dec., so were more prepared for later on when the nasty storms hit.

When I first moved to DFW from Illinois in 1992 I laughed at the way everything was shut down by a couple inches of snow. I always made it to work and when I had modern cars with traction control it was even better. But when it came to ice storms, black ice, etc. I stayed home. The only way to control that is by constant heavy applications of salt and they are just not capable of doing it here.

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A family from upstate NY relocated here in early 00s. They had as much trouble driving in it as natives who didn't see enough of it to learn how to drive in it. After the 2nd year fighting it the guy said "ya know, the snow down here is different than what we had in NY". He said up there it would pack to where one could drive on it, but down here it got slushy, melted and refroze into ice.

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I wrecked a car on black ice in PA a few years ago. I'm an experienced driver, I was driving carefully below the speed limit and the car was an all-wheel-drive Subaru, so I managed to limit the damage and not cause a pile-up. But nothing can prevent such an accident. Once you hit that black ice, there's just no control. 

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It seems like an unusual year, but is it really part of the new norm? I heard a commentator from Texas discussing Texas energy officials not heeding the warning signs. It's as though Texas continues to look in the rear view mirror and make make adjustments because of past occurances and continues to ignore the future. My heart goes out to everyone having to deal with this, they deserve better.

 

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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I did not like to hear that the nuclear power plant was shut down because the incoming water froze up. They are heat generating machines. The reactor is used to create steam to generate electricity. When located on the coast they are accused of heating the ocean and damaging the ecosystem. So, by whatever means, it should have been possible to use some of that heat to keep the incoming water above freezing.

Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)
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On 2/13/2021 at 8:37 PM, rocketraider said:

I expect I'll look into a whole-house generator shortly. Hate to spend the money but I'm past the point of looking at multi-day power outages as an adventure. I like being warm and being able to have a shower. Inside the house was 70° at 0900. Down to 57° when I left at 1800. House is reasonably well insulated too but it hasn't been over 32° today.

 

What do you folks living where it stays below zero for weeks do?!

The wife list of things to do?    It has been Five years on this...

 

I need to get this framed... Wife pick it up last week..

ceil.jpg

old.jpg

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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18 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

It seems like an unusual year, but is it really part of the new norm? I heard a commentator from Texas discussing Texas energy officials not heeding the warning signs. It's as though Texas continues to look in the rear view mirror and make make adjustments because of past occurances and continues to ignore the future. My heart goes out to everyone having to deal with this, they deserve better.

 

The same scenario of outages happened 10 years ago and also in 1989, although this year's was the worst. I would love to think this time will provoke real change but my cynical self is pretty sure money and politics will not allow that to happen. I am also seriously considering a whole-house generator.

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Have had gennys for years, Florida power has never been very reliable. First was a Coleman that was like to wake the dead, for years American generators did not understand mufflers. Then in 2015 organized the shootout to find a 2KW class portable genny that could run a 13.5KBTU AC in a travel trailer. Gave most of those away.

 

Today I have a 2200W Westinghouse, a 3500W from Pep Boyz, and a 8750W from HF all with very good mufflers & all bought on sale. Is enough to run fridges, essentials, and AC the bedroom (usually lose power in Hurricane season).

 

On the ocean many had emergency power sheds with a 20KW unit & automatic starting and transfer.

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Accident 2/12 in Ft. Worth involves 133 vehicles.

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