Monday morning parts of the North Country saw some accumulating snow, creating a traffic nightmare.
Snow showers began around sunrise Monday morning. And with temperatures mostly in the 20s, it accumulated on all surfaces, including roadways and made for a very treacherous morning commute.
"Everything was tied up. Everybody was going real slow and at the four-way intersections there was no place for cars to go once they pulled out because the other lane was already filled. So you spent most of your time just standing still," said one driver.
VTrans rolled out more than 35 trucks in northwestern Vermont to spread salt on the slick roads. "It came suddenly and as soon as we got people in here, we started sending them out shortly after 7 a.m. said the agency's Art Danyow.
Most areas received only around 1 inch of snow, yet dozens of accidents were reported. The weather conditions were ideal to turn the snow into black ice.
"The road temps are running around 25/27 degrees. That's perfect temperature for a little bit of snow to get run on and with the heat that comes off of the tires, makes a little water, it refreezes, and then you've got yourself an icy situation," Danyow said.
Another factor contributing to the slippery surfaces? This was the first accumulating snowfall of the season in the Champlain Valley, which means there wasn't any residual salt residue on the roadways.
For many drivers, this morning's slippery commute motivated them to get their snow tires put on. But even with snow tires, driving on ice is dangerous.
"The phone's been ringing off of the hook. People with snow tires are complaining because the roads are slippery with their new tires. When you're on ice there are very few snow tires that will really dig in and do the job," said Rene Bourne, with Bourne's Auto.
With the official start of winter just a few short weeks away, more icy travel conditions are likely in the coming months. If you do encounter slippery roads, state police are reminding drivers to slow down, avoid any sudden steering or braking motions and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
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