Who's to blame for snowy gridlock?


Drivers stuck in the maddening mess now say some major employers may be to blame for their long and frustrating drive home.

Durham County Emergency Management says it sent county employees home at 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday. Going forward, it will encourage its community partners to do the same.

When it comes to the weather-related gridlock, just about everyone has a roadside survivor story and also has an idea about whom or what's to blame.

Some drivers, who went to work or school, told ABC11 that they wish they could have stayed home or hit the road as early as 11 a.m. that morning beating the crush of cars on the road.

ABC11 checked with some major employers in the Triangle.

Glaxo Smith Kline says its workers were allowed to go home around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. A half-hour later, Duke University says it released its campus and hospital employees around 1 p.m. Nearly an hour would pass before UNC-Chapel Hill would dismiss students and staff.

Duke University officials say they relied on the National Weather Service, but they admit predicting how quickly the snow would fall and stick to the ground was an "educated guess" and a bit of "tricky business."

Many say the fact that schools were already closed may have been the only saving grace.

Late Monday, the governor's office via the DOT released this statement after a request for comment from ABC11: "As we do for any major weather event, we will get feedback from our Division Engineers and Maintenance Engineers across the state on what worked in our prep and cleanup process and what needs improvements, both on a short term and long term basis. We are collecting that feedback over the next few days, especially regarding short term fixes that could be in place should another winter event come this season. Once we have the input, we would be glad to talk to you about it. Right now it is too early in the process."

Messages left with several other companies and public works in Raleigh were not returned.

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