I spent 3+ hours yesterday stuck in gridlock in my car coming home from school. The cause 1 inch of snow.
Now many of my northern readers (do I have any Northern readers?) will say this just goes to show that Southerners do not know how to drive on ice and snow. Well that was probably part of it.
Ironically, this is a case where the hysteria really was worse than the thing people were afraid of.
We were not expecting more than a dusting of snow, but people were weary, since last time that happened we got several inches. So schools first started cancelling classes and letting students go home, then businesses as well. My school canceled everything after 3pm, but the lots were already emptying by 2pm.
Take one very cold day, add a touch of snow.
Pile on everyone in Raleigh trying to get either to school or home.
Season with some unexperienced drivers.
It spells disaster. The city was literally shut down. The full lines were full (my cell next to useless).
If however, knowing we were only getting a small amount of snow, businesses and schools stayed on their normal routines, if people didn't think they needed to stock up on staples (bread, milk, shotgun shells, etc..) then nothing would have happened. We might have had a few spills (it was icy) but emergency vehicles could have gotten there quickly and fixed things before they got too bad.
Spending an hour at a stoplight, Pondering that sort thing made my afternoon go quite slowly. Of course, I was part of the problem.