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Md. Crippled By Powerful Winter Storm

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Abandoned cars are still out there Thursday night, simply parked in the middle of the road. Not only is that a problem, but a lot of roads are still covered with snow and slush. There’s concern that much of it will refreeze.

Weijia Jiang has more.

This massive headache will go down in history.

Epic gridlock, thousands of spinning wheels, hopeless drivers.

“We were crying,” said Tamika Plumer of Baltimore. “You got grown people crying because we had nothing to do and nowhere to go.”

It was a “nightmare situation backing up I-83 all the way into the city for many hours,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.

And the day after the wild thunder snowstorm wasn’t much better.

“They towed my car. In order to get it back I had to pay $220 cash,” said Susan Crenshaw of Baltimore.

Like hundreds, Crenshaw abandoned her car and walked home.

The parking lot where she left her car is marked “private,” but she felt there was no choice. Receiving the fee made matters worse.

“It’s just too much money,” she said. “We’re talking a snow emergency. It came down faster than the snow plows can handle.”

“These guys hit the jackpot. It’s pretty much like they took a sledgehammer, cracked us over the head, and said ‘Take it, or leave it,’” said David Washington of Baltimore.

Vehicles stranded within Baltimore lines were taken to schools for free, but the city Department of Transportation says cars that are left in school parking lots that are not picked up by Thursday night could be impounded by Friday.

“I’m just glad that my car was here; it was horrible. Eight hours. And then once you ran out of gas, it was freezing,” said Plumer.

“It was a perfect storm for a frustrating evening,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

 Authorities say rainfall prevented crews from pre-treating the roads.

The consequences are still visible now, and crews are unsure when the mess will be gone.

  • Joe Wiley

    What was more insulting on I-83 (I was there and witnessed it) was that once the tractor trailer obstruction was gone, police only let a few cars go at a time so they could allow the tow trucks to come and tow– even though the cars in question were not obstructing the flow. Rather than getting all of us who were trapped for 4-5 hours on our way they continued to stop an delay the backup so these tow trucks could tow cars to the impound lot. It turned a 5 hour delay into an 8 hour delay and they should be ashamed of the mess they made worse. Seems it was a bigger priority for the tow companies to make their money than get people on their way

  • Buddog

    Try learning how to drive when there’s snow on the ground you morons.

  • moleman

    You drivers knew the storm was coming, everybody was warned but no, you had to grab that last roll of toilet paper, milk & hamburger like you were going to be marooned for days. What Jerks. You all deserve to still be on I-83.

  • john grahm

    you know you people that have made comments about this are freaking jerks!!!! have you ever been in florida before a hurricane if you have you would know the need to get things before the storm.. the way this hit we did not have much time to do things. most people were probably comming home from work as my family was ..the government should not let these companies charge these people for towing.. in florida they would arrest the owners for something out ragous as that it is like price gouging.. wakeup maryland legislatures help your people when they need it alot of people are out of work….

    • Matt

      get things, for what? you may at the most be stuck inside for a day. you can survive. It would be terrible to not have a gallon of milk in the house for a single day.

  • PK

    Pretty amazing how clueless people are with winter driving. I tried helping a few people out on my way home from work, and they were just clueless on what tires they had, tow hook locations, and driving platforms (AWD, FWD, RWD).. Oh and flooring it doesn’t help when you are stuck. If you did not have winter tires or 4×4/AWD w/decent tires, you should have left work early or stayed home. The most ridiculous car I saw out there was a Corvette C6, not too sure what that guy was thinking.

    Granted some people may have had no choihce and had to drive through this mess due to no leave or they HAD to get somehwhere. I feel for ya and hope you prepare yourselves better for the next winter storm.

  • Bite Me

    For all non drivers try this get out into a snow covered parking lot and get the feel of how your car/ truck handles in these conditions. (Simple) This is how I was taught back in the 60’s
    I agree with Buddog 100%

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