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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Presidential motorcade trapped in traffic for an hour as snow storm

Presidential pile-up: Barack Obama's motorcade was stuck in traffic for an hour in Washington D.C. after a snow storm caused gridlock

He may be the Leader of the Free World, but even Barack Obama is slowed down by a snow storm.

Heavy snow and strong winds caused traffic to grind to a halt in Washington D.C., and the President's motorcade was not immune either.

It took the fleet of armoured cars, secret service agents and police an hour to weave through the traffic after Mr Obama returned from a visit to Wisconsin and his helicopter, Marine One, was grounded by the bad weather.

The President had cut short his trip to Maintowoc to try and beat the snow storm, but the route was not cleared by police officers because the secret service did not want to divert resources from dealing with the storm.

Some commuters were left stranded on the George Washington Parkway for 12 hours after up to 16 inches of snow hit the region.

Strong winds, sleet and lightning caused havoc on the roads and triggered power cuts which affected more than 650,000 homes and businesses.

Schools in the Washington D.C. area were all shut and train services were also disrupted.

One listener described seeing scores of cars that had slid off the road or had been abandoned by the owners.

He told WTOP: 'You would move 100ft and then stop and sit for an hour.
People were abandoning their cars in the middle of the road and leaving.'

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