Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wisconsin: German for Hell On Earth

Well, if it had frozen over:
Hundreds of motorists were stranded in a massive traffic pileup on Thursday, and classes were canceled for thousands of students as the Midwest dug out from a major snowstorm.

In Wisconsin, traffic backed up for 19 miles south of Madison on Wednesday after semitrailer trucks got stuck on a hill. Gov. Jim Doyle later called a state of emergency, sending National Guard troops to help vehicles stuck in the jam blocking Interstate 90. Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles were used to check on the stranded motorists and bring them food or fuel.

As many as 800 vehicles remained stranded Thursday morning, according to Wisconsin National Guard Lt. Col. Tim Donovan.

The highway I live on was a washboard of packed ice attempting desperately to shake my teeth free. Cars in my apartment parking lot were up to their hoods in drifs and over a half inch of ice coated my windshield.

But the best line from the stranded cars south of Madison?
"In some cases, the drivers seemed to have given up and gone to sleep," said Donovan, who assessed the backup from a helicopter.

That's how I'm starting to feel about this winter business in general. Maybe the bears have it right.

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