Large piles of muddy snow were noticeable on sidewalks in Chapel Hill the past few days, but the cleanup is mostly over.
Catherine Lazorko, town spokeswoman, said more than 34 people from public works helped with the town’s cleanup process since last week’s snowstorm.
“Our first priority was our primary streets, including bus routes,” she said in an email. “Once the primaries had been plowed, crews commenced plowing paved secondary streets and later checked and plowed our last class of paved town-maintained streets.”
Chapel Hill police sent out messages telling people to retrieve their abandoned cars as early as last Friday.
Lt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said there were an estimated 32 crashes reported between Wednesday and Friday.
“Some of those are duplicates and when five people are driving past, we will get a number of calls,” he said. “We still have some belated crash reports coming in.”
He said there were approximately 25 crashes reported last Wednesday.
“We towed 10 vehicles, and that is not counting crashed vehicles,” he said. “That is between the driver and their insurance company to get their car towed. We towed the ones that were left in the travel lane and impeding plows or traffic.”
After walking two miles in the snow and using a Starbucks can as a pickaxe to dig her car out of the RR Lot, Holly Brown, a UNC junior, traveled to Greensboro last Thursday.
She said not many people were on the road, but many cars were pulled over.
“It was scary,” she said. “My entire way to Greensboro, there were cars abandoned left and right.”
She said there were people trying to rescue their cars, and she saw a wreck on the side of the road.
“I would see people trying to tow cars out because their cars were trapped in from the snow that got plowed,” she said. “I did see one car leaving Chapel Hill that had hit another car and hit a median and was left there.”
Susan Linn, library technical assistant for the Health Sciences Library, said she drove in the snow late last Wednesday and watched many people pull over.
“We saw a lot of people off the road and in ditches,” she said.
“We fishtailed some and left a lot of room for the people in front of us because the people that were going so slow would get no traction up the hill.
“And then we got to watch them get no traction up the hills and have to go off the road.”
Mecimore said he believes the department responded to the best of its ability with the resources officers had.
“We had a lot of officers out there pushing cars, which is something they are not required to do,” he said. “They were just trying to help people get home.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.