Compacted snow and ice create slick roads across Connecticut Friday

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WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The morning after a blizzard hit Connecticut, snow and ice were still causing headaches for drivers on the hills of Waterbury. News8 reporter Kent Pierce and photojournalist Kevin Pflaumer staked out a particularly steep hill, but it was actually a much smaller hill across the street that turned out to be the problem

In Waterbury, several drivers got stuck trying to drive up Wigwam Avenue. A driver in a small car got stuck at the top of the intersection with Chase Avenue, then another driver in an SUV tried to go around, and got stuck themselves. A third vehicle tried to turn onto Wigwam Ave., but had to swing so wide around the other cars that he slid into snow on the shoulder.

“I’ve got all wheel drive and I was getting stuck at the light,” said Waterbury resident Ken Rea.

Eventually, Pflaumer and Pierce put the TV camera away to help dig and push Editor’s Note: Thanks to Target for helping everyone out with extra shovels, and thank you to Keith Havemeyer at Peak Physical Therapy for snapping these Report-It photos.

After completing a live report on television, News 8 Reporter Kent Pierce and Photographer Kevin Pflaumer helped dig out and push stuck drivers on Wigwaum Avenue in Waterbury. (WTNH / Report-It / Keith Havemeyer)

The sun came up, but it didn’t help. The cars kept coming, but not always going. More people came to help push. Ken Rea had a line so good it had to be included: “This is horrible around here. Like I said, it’s like the plowed with rakes.”

“Yes, we have snow-packed roads today and crews are out treating the roads,” acknowledged Waterbury Public Works Director David Simpson. He said the dark and the temperatures worked against them today. “Early in the morning, sand-salt mixtures do not work. We use a sand-salt mixture in Waterbury.”

Around 8 a.m., a city plow truck did come to the rescue, and it seemed like everything was going to be okay. Not before a semi truck without a trailer got stuck, too. No one was going to push that anywhere. The plow driver did make everything better, even though he said he worked straight through from yesterday. Simpson said all his crews did their best, but this storm was too intense.

“We’ve had long storms, but mid day yesterday, it was coming down a couple inches an hour. Hard to keep up with it,” Simpson said.

The result being cars drove on snow and compacted it down into an icy base that is still there and still slippery. There were front wheel drive, all wheel drive, 4 wheel drive cars get stuck. It did not seem to matter.

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