10,000 car backup on Chinese highway

The blizzards and ice have caused a 45 mile backup of stopped cars on one highway. The Army is driving tanks on the road to break up the ice.

Tanks? Do they not have snow plows? Guess not. And tanks could well break up the road as well as the ice. Plus, breaking up the ice is only part of the job, another vehicle then needs to push the ice off the road.

Sure, they are having freak cold and snow, but when large areas have been without power for days with transportation nearly shut down then one wonders if the government is able to cope.

Comparisons to the US government’s response to Hurricane Katrina are certainly in order.


  1. I recall the Great Snow of January 1969: the Town of Sutton, NH (where we lived) had only one V-plow, which had broken down. Six feet of new, wet snow was more then the normal plows could handle. The town was snowed in for a week. (Back in those days, we expected such things to happen, and we kept a couple of weeks of food in the basement.) In the next town south, Bradford, a 20-foot drift accumulated in the middle of Main Street. New England has no equipment to deal with such things, so they had to dynamite it.

    These days I think such events would qualify as a State of Emergency. Our expectations have changed significantly– and I wonder how many people keep two weeks worth of food in the basement anymore. Do you, Bob?

    This is not to downplay China’s problems– but the size of the backup fails to impress me: 10,000 vehicles backing up happens all the time in Los Angeles. I bet you’d find that nearly 10,000 vehicles backed up last week when they closed the Grapevine north of Los Angeles due to heavy snow. And I bet 10,000 vehicles backed up on the 101 yesterday evening following an accident at the 101/405 interchange!

    An ice storm a few years ago knocked out power in NH and MA for almost a week, made roads treacherous for days, and brought down millions of trees onto roads and power lines. It took almost a year to clean up the mess. I don’t recall anyone suggesting the government was unable to cope.

  2. > I wonder how many people keep two weeks worth of food in the basement anymore. Do you, Bob?

    I have about ten pounds of green coffee beans ready for roasting. What else could I possibly need???

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