53's opened: But now City's slammed Hydraulic shut

news-route53Route 53– the main connection b/w Charlottesville and Fluvanna's Lake Monticello remains closed.

5:30am Tuesday update: the Newsplex reported yesterday afternoon that car-strewn Route 53 has finally reopened, yet eastbound Hydraulic Road near K-Mart has been closed due to icy conditions. (The Hookmobile drove several miles down Rt. 53 at 3pm yesterday to Simeon, but turned around in utter frustration because the lead vehicle in a four-car snake–- a dark green Ford truck–- refused to go over 15mph despite a "blackometer" level of about 70%.)

Orig. story: Crews are slowly extracting the dozens of abandoned cars along Route 53, southeast of Charlottesville as the Christmas Snowpocalypse enters day four of non-stop, non-stick mayhem.

The Hookmobile went out Monday morning for another tour of Charlottesville and environs. This slideshow shows what we found.

Also, this is the noontime Hook "Blackometer," the percentage of black asphalt available on a few given streets:
• Route 250W/Ivy Road - 5%
• Emmet Street - 60%
• Main Street - 20%
• Rugby Road - 30%
• Market Street - 40%
• Barracks Road - 50%
• Route 29 South - 60%
• Old Lynchburg Road - 0.00%

Please note that these estimates may change as the day's sunshine heats up the pavement. And authorities caution nighttime drivers that daytime's snowmelt can create nighttime's hazardous black ice.

Saturday's slideshow
Sunday's slideshow

–-original headline: "Still closed: Route 53 a mess; so's everything else"
–-second headline misstated closing party's name: "53's opened: But now VDOT's slammed Hydraulic shut"

Read more on: snowsnowfall


Augusta County is now reporting that even their secondary roads are clear and passable. They received about 10" more snow than we did.

Out here in Albemarle County we are running out of food waiting for the local VDOT manager get the roads cleared.

The local manager needs to be sacked immediately and replaced with someone capable of doing the job. It would also be nice if the surrounding regions could loan us some plows and drivers to finally rescue all the people stranded in the rural areas of the county.

The VDOT district manager for Culpepper is Mr. James Utterback.

I suggest that we all email him to ask why his area manager for Albemarle County has so far been unable to effectively discharge his duties.

Mr. Utterback's email address is: James.Utterback@vdot.virginia.gov

thanks B. I went out Garth road, up Free Union and right on Buck's Mtn. about %95 asphalt until Markwood.

Run outside, look to the West, wonderful Winter sunset. And remember tonight is the :

Winter Solstice 2009: Facts on Shortest Day of the Year
Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

"Today is the winter solstice and the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It's all due to Earth's tilt, which ensures that the shortest day of every year falls around December 21. "

View tilt at this wonderful map:

The blockometer is a very clever and useful idea - patent it!

D'oh! blackometer

My side street, in the City, is inches of ice covered with packed snow. This may take awhile to melt and see anything resembling black.
How long before they re-supply with sand and salt ?

Whitey aint got no soul.

No this is not a democratic or republican snow storm, but when you have one party rule in a town, as long as we have, stuff goes wrong.

Blackometer? Is this politicaly correct? LOL

not the first time I have been glad to not live in Lake Monticello.

Another great slideshow for us shut-ins. Thanks StormTeam Hawes . Never knew we had strip mining so close to town.

And the "whiteyometer" still shows 20"- how many inches do you have?

Thanks Hawes for this awesome catalogue of nature's wrath.. my question is one most of us may be asking tonight.. Monday.. why are the rest of Virginia's roads relatively passable, according to the site 511Virginia.. while Albemarle is stuck and spinning its wheels?? The county sent a plow to Meriwether Lewis near our home to dig IT out in case of a fire.. but VDOT is way way behind in road clearing on Owensville, etc. Delegate, Senators, Supes, etc. need to near from everyone! Thanks again for performing a wonderful service for us shutins.. IvyBob

You forgot Naked Ladies.

Let us never forget naked ladies!--hawes

Proffit's looking better by far and 20 north of Profitt is passable - if you go SLOW. thanks to locals plowing, not VDOT. Guess they forgot 20 is a commuter route.

I bet that these are Hawes' favorite beats, in order:

1. Trains
2. Blizzards
3. Dredging

WestBerkeleyFlats- what about unsolved mysteries?

Does Hawes write those or is that mainly Courteney's beat? That and smoke detectors. Go Courteney!

The section of Hydraulic near Kmart is maintained by the City, not VDOT.

Earlysville is still here...just hiding under the white stuff...

The Earlysville Market has been open since yesterday. Earlysville Road is 50% black 50% Ice over most of the length from the airport to Rheas Ford. Side roads packed snow...

Hawes, we need you to head up to Free Union for a report. No one is talking about road conditions up there. I'd also like to hear about the folks who are up past White Hall.

I just updated this item. Sorry, I shoulda updated yesterday. And word to wise: Avoid roads that may be occupied by lame drivers--- they're really slow.

Hawes, we need you to head up to Free Union for a report. No one is talking about road conditions up there

Roads in Free Union are fine -- more than 75% on the "blackometer" -- compared to conditions I encountered in the city yesterday (Rugby, Emmet, Barracks).

Hawes, we need you to head up to Free Union for a report. No one is talking about road conditions up there

Roads in Free Union are fine -- more than 75% on the "blackometer" -- compared to conditions I encountered in the city yesterday (Rugby, Emmet, Barracks).

The City is still a disaster, read that someone said "this is not a Republican or Democratic storm" but think one party government produces complacency. This is a huge economic loss for the City taxpayers and they should demand an investigation.

And Longo has issued a pedestrian alert ââ?¬Å?Pedestrians compete with motorists all the time,” Longo said. ââ?¬Å?The problem just gets exacerbated when there’s no sidewalk.”

and the latest Ric Barrick pronouncement is:

ââ?¬Å?Starting Wednesday, if you don’t have your sidewalks cleared, it is possible that you would be cited for that"

I just emailed VDOTs Utterback requesting plows in Owensville/ Ivy. We'll see of he emails back. I really doubt it. Thanks Dave!

any word on Rio road north out of town or Earlysville?

Anyone who is running out of food this early on is an idjit. No amount of snow plowing is going to change that! If you live in a rural area and only stock a 3 day supply of food, you need to get a clue or move back some place closer to a 7-Eleven.

For the rest of you, chill a bit, relax at home, and enjoy a few days off. The vast majority of you are not that important and really we won't miss you at all. Stay off the road and maybe the people that are essential can get where they need to go.

Blackometer. Snowpocolypse. bwaahahahaha! Love it....

Danica, it sounds like you haven't ever experienced a real "disaster" if you think the City is "still" in such a state. There's some snow on the roads, yes, some sidewalks haven't been shoveled, yes, but it's by no means a "disaster." I walked yesterday and today and managed fine. A disaster is when nobody has power, tens of thousands of outages, lots of people have died, and roads and sidewalks are nearly impassible all around. That's a disaster. This? No. Do what tripadvisor says and just chill, relax, enjoy your time off.

And right after my last post... 73 hours after the snow stopped... a plow came through and took my street from 1.5 cars wide of hard packed snow to 2.5 cars wide of hard packed snow...

Old Lynchburg was still an awful mess when we came through at 9am Wednesday morning.