Commuters Hope This Storm Goes More Smoothly | NBC Connecticut

Commuters Hope This Storm Goes More Smoothly

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Friday, Interstate 84 in Western Connecticut was at a standstill as snow came down and officials are hoping that the storm coming tonight won't cause another scene like that.

    So are commuters, like Jessica Lillian, of Danbury.

    Drivers Respond to State's Handling Of Snowstorm

    [HAR] Drivers Respond to State's Handling Of Snowstorm
    Interstate 84 turned into a parking lot in Western Connecticut during Friday's snowstorm. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011)

    Her commute from work in Oxford to her home in Danbury is usually 30 minutes, but it took her six hours to get home on Friday.

    “When I was heading toward Newtown, everything just stopped. We would sit in the same place, literally put the car in park (and) sit in the same spot for 10, 15 minutes -- move 10, 20 feet and do it again,” she said.

    Lillian passed the time by playing on her phone and sending out Twitter messages, such as: "Stuck on I-84 West for the past three hours in Southbury/Newtown. Car is in park. Is this just from the snow?"

    She's already told her boss that she will not be going to work on Wednesday in anticipation for the big storm.

    On Friday, there were several crashes on I-84 between New York City and Danbury. Then, New York closed I-84, causing gridlock in Connecticut and some commuters abandoned their cars because they ran out of gas.

    Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said people were being rescued well into the night.

    "Anywhere from 684 all the way to exit 10, we had residents that were stuck out there literally for hours. People ran out of gas and walked up the exit ramps looking to get to a phone to get a relative to pick them up," Boughton said.

    Boughton is still wondering how something like this can happen, especially in Connecticut.

    A spokesman for the state Department of Emergency Management said, all state agencies involved worked as rapidly and aggressively as they possibly could. … Unfortunately, there's not much you can do. The accident in New York was the precipitating factor. In a perfect world, you wouldn't have tractor trailer accidents."

    “This isn’t a new problem, and yet we haven't gotten any better at handling it and being able to manage when a lot of people are stuck on the highway for whatever the reason,” Boughton said.