Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Jam '14

Since I haven't worn makeup much this week and it's really been the last thing on my mind, I thought today I'd post something a little different.

We have been snowed in here in the good ol' ATL since Tuesday afternoon.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I'm sure people living in Northern climates are having a good laugh at our silliness, because after all, it was only 3" of snow and the city went into full-fledged gridlock insanity.  However, one thing to keep in mind before you slap your knee and cackle at our stupidity: this is "Hotlanta"!  It snows here every few years and we've only had a major snow/ice event four times in my entire 33 years of living here.  There was "SnowJam '82", the "Blizzard of '93", a severe ice storm in 1999, and in 2011, ice and snow shut the city down for almost a week solid because the snow kept melting and refreezing, creating an icy mess on the roadways.  We have 30 salt/sand trucks for a city of 6 million people because snow is just not something we have to worry about very often.  So it shouldn't be a total shock that 3" of snow can shut this puppy down within a matter of hours.  However, Southerners are pretty good natured and can deal with some ribbing and laugh at themselves for the chaos and insanity.  Atlanta, the setting of the AMC TV show The Walking Dead, seemed to look eerily similar to the promo images used by the network!  Ya know, minus the zombies and plus the snow.

Jason and I got VERY lucky.  We both work within 3 miles of home and managed to make it to our place with relative ease.  One of the biggest problems was tractor trailers getting stuck across major highways and the snow turning to ice while the cars behind them waited.  Some people were stuck on the roads for more than 24 hours!  I thought I'd share a few pictures I found online and two stories from some of my favorite co-workers to illustrate just how crazy Snow Jam '14 was!
Tuesday evening (image credit: @primetimeatl)
Wednesday morning (image credit: @primetimeatl)
From my friend Frank, one of the kindest and most positive people you'd ever hope to meet.  After being on the road for 7 hours, his car slid into another car, and that turned into a 12 car pile-up.  Everyone was unharmed and the damage was minimal, but there was no way Frank could drive any farther.  Another person involved in the pile-up invited Frank to walk the 0.6 miles off the highway to her house to sleep for the night.  It took them 2.5 hours to walk there in the ice and snow.  This is the rest of his story as of Wednesday evening:
I am not home yet but I'm safe and warm. The nice South African lady who put me up for the night and I walked 2 1/2 miles to look at our cars at noon, but the hill on Northside Drive was still too icy. A kid drove by with a Georgia Tech license plate, and I waved him down. My daughter is a freshman at Tech, so I thought maybe he could drive me down to her dorm. Turns out he's a senior at Tech, but he wasn't headed down there. Just the same, he said I could hang with him for the time being. He then had the idea of taking me to the MARTA station at Medical Center, and so I rode it down to North Avenue. I'm now hanging with my daughter and her boyfriend in her dorm room, and her boyfriend said I could sleep on a futon in his dorm for the night. Then hopefully sometime tomorrow (Thursday) the ice will have melted enough on the hill where I'm stuck, my wife can drive down from Marietta and give me a lift, and all will be well!
Abandoned cars and those trying to navigate around them Wednesday morning. (Image credit: CNN)
From my friend and boss Mack, a fantastically funny man I respect and love:
I left the Capitol at 2:30 and, after 8 hours in the car and walking a mile or so, I made it to Publix at Northside Drive and West Paces Ferry.  I slept at the Publix and their floor is really hard. First shift I slept on the floor on aisle 3 between the ladies feminine products and the greeting cards.  I walked around the store at about 3:00 am to loosen up, and for the second shift, I moved over to aisle 5 and stretched out between the coffee display and the chow mein.  What a night!  I got a ride from a limo driver Wednesday afternoon and he dropped me off at Interstate 75 & Windy Hill and I walked home from there. Glad to be home.
One positive outcome of all of this is the wonderful stories of people helping others.  There were two kids who bought 200 biscuits from McDonald's and walked to the highway to hand them out to people stuck there.  All of the businesses who stayed open round the clock so people could sleep there and get a hot cup of coffee were vital to people who couldn't get home.  I love that the worst of mother nature brought out the best of human nature and it makes me proud to say I'm an Atlanta native.
video
In true Georgia fashion, it's forecasted to be 60℉ this Saturday!

What's your craziest snow story?  

26 comments :

  1. Being from Ga, we can totally sympathize with all of you! But we can honestly say we are glad we missed this snowpocolypse! LOL! Love your fiends story! We also posted today about the Ga weather in our Thankful Thursday post. So glad and thankful that all our family and friends were ok thru all this mess. And we're glad you and your honey are okay too! Great post!!!!!

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  2. All I kept thinking is that if I was stuck in a grocery/drug store is that I would park myself on the book/magazine aisle and buy myself a 6 pack! hah!

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  3. This just amazes me here, as you know I live in the land of snow and ice! It can take people a few hours to get home when the snow first hits, but we all get home! I just can't fathom this stuff and don't really understand it to be honest. But hey- i get that you're all not used to it! Glad you are safe and sound love!

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  4. I've got to admit, everyone is New England is stunned by this! We were talking about it at work, hearing stories of people being stuck in their cars overnight or abandoning them on the highway, kids being trapped in schools and being the Massholes we are say "because of 3 inches!?" But of course, we all know that stuff like this just doesn't happen down there, not knowing how to adjust your driving, not being able to clear the roads, so it makes sense. I'm just glad to hear you're safe and survived the snowmageddon ;)

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  5. I am so glad everyone you knew was safe, too! I would have hated to get stuck overnight! Lesson learned: Keep a "snow jam" safety kit in the trunk during the winter with blankets, boots with tread, warm clothes, water, and some non perishable food. Same preparations I'd take for a zombie apocalypse! ;)

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  6. Absolutely! We don't have a fleet of salt trucks and cars with snow tires/chains at the ready because it's just such a rare occurrence! I too hope this is the last hurrah of the polar vortex nonsense! I am ready for SPRiNG! Sunshine and birds singing!

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  7. ME TOO! I would have read quite a few books had I been stuck at a CVS overnight!

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  8. Well, it's all about having the resources to salt the roads and with 30 salt trucks...it just wasn't going to happen, lol! What should have happened was employers and schools should have said to stay home out of caution and none of this would have happened! I guess it would be like if Alaska had a heat wave! People would be fainting, there'd be no A/C units available, and no one owns shorts! :) Thank you - I am so happy I didn't spend the night in my car!

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  9. Thanks, Lily! Me too! Today it's almost 60 and sunny. Georgia weather is insane in the membrane!!

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  10. Ha ha! Oh I am sure everyone thinks we're complete morons! But when you can't move because tractor trailers have jackknifed and the roads freeze beneath you, this is what happens! I will say that the stories of kindness make this whole crazy event something positive. Can you imagine sleeping in your car with 3 strangers you just picked up?! It's wild! Also, most of Atlanta is transplants from the Northeast, so they certainly know how to drive in snow and ice, but without adequate salt trucks and plows...you're just screwed, lol! Thank you - I have never been happier that my fiance and I live so close to our jobs! No highway travel for us made it no problem getting home! Woohoooooo!

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  11. Yes, it was our own zombie apocalypse! sweet post- thanks for sharing.

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  12. Thanks, Embers! Glad you weren't stuck sleeping in a car, or a CVS!

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  13. Wow, that's crazy! And it wasn't even that much snow lol. You guys need to come take a how-to-deal-with-snow crash (no pun intended) course here in Switzerland :-)

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  14. Woah! The first two photos really freaked me out! LOL. If you add a little yellow tint to your version, it'll be just as scary as the original!

    For a city of 6m people and only 30 salt trucks.. well.. that kinda explains. I'm just glad you are not far from your work!

    We still have snow piled up everywhere in my town, most of them taller than me, and in my case, I think we have about 30 people the whole town and 6m trucks, ha ha! Everyday there will be people driving around in their snow plow truck asking if we want a snow shovel for $20. We mostly say yes, lol.

    It's always good to hear a story of people helping out each other. Thanks for sharing this, Kristen! :)

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  15. Even for cities in Canada that are used to dealing with snow, the first week of major snow fall is always a freaking mess. I totally sympathized with Atlanta during this unexpected weather condition! Glad to hear you and your loved ones are safe. And nothing bonds people like times of need. The stories are really heartwarming - such a nice change from the usual news about disasters and crimes.

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  16. OH MY GOSH. Another New Englander!! Yes I have to admit I was looking at that on the news going, HAH. But I understand that it does not snow there like is does up here! Kristen; I'm glad you and your fiancé (Jason!?) were able to make it safely around. That's one of the worst things with snow and ice on the roads. Especially when you don't have the resources as a community to prevent it, super dangerous. I liked the change of pace post, it's always nice to see. Loved the little Flipagram at the end too ;) Stay safe in the ice!!


    Much Love,
    -BBFF

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  17. So so glad to hear that you're okay. My husband was in ATL for work and was stuck for 8 hours in his car with coworkers. He was also suffering from food poisoning so the poor guy was a mess.

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  18. Oh my goodness, Brittany! Your poor husband! His story is like my worst nightmare save for the lack of clowns! I cannot imagine being stuck in a car - WITH COWORKERS - WITH FOOD POISONING - during this insanity!! That man deserves a medal of honor. Please give him a big hug for me and a cup of warm chicken broth!

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  19. Thank you so much for your super thoughtfulness! It's hard enough to go through it only to realize the majority of Earth's populace thinks you're a pack of morons, lol! But yes, focusing on the sweet stories is the best way to remember it. One woman gave birth on one of the clogged highways and tonight the news reported that the 2 cops who delivered her baby received a handwritten thank you note from the woman and her husband, complete with a picture of their new baby! I love stuff like that. ❤

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  20. You are not joking! It was a totally crazy fluke event. The last time it snowed here during a week day was 1982, and a similar situation happened but not to this magnitude! The irony is today we had a record high - 74! So Tuesday you need a ski suit and today shorts are perfectly acceptable! The weather here is seriously on crack.

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  21. LOL! I loved your story! 30 people and 6M trucks should definitely yield some nicely cleared roads, lol! Thanks for being so understanding, even though we did look like amateurs! Where do you live, btw? Thailand? What part? I know! I love the happy stories that come out of events like this. My fiance and I were outside scraping ice off of our cars and we ended up helping a single woman with a really puny scraper completely de-ice her car, and another neighbor dude who was using a shower squeegee! It was super fun because we actually got to talk to our neighbors! We hardly ever see them, much less have a chat, so it was really nice!

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  22. A crash course! You are terrible, Melissa! Well, whaddya know, today it was 74F - a record high! Almost 80F the second day of February!? The weather here is crazier than anyone could ever hope to predict, lol! Snow ball fights on Tuesday, swimming pool dips on Sunday! :O

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  23. PS: It was 74F here today! Totes unbelievable!!

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  24. Yas! We do not have the resources as a community to prevent it! I love the way you said that! And thank you for all you said, yes Jason got home with relative ease. At one point we were eating cantaloupe and watching birds off the back deck. We were chillin'. And then we turned on the news and it was like full metal jacket hysteria! I mean, I made a flipagram, only later did I find out my friend Hilary, who liked said flipagram on instagram, was trapped in her car for 10 hours!! I felt like a royal ass bag! Anywho, we certainly enjoyed the snow days off (our offices were closed until Friday!) and today it was 74. WTH!

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  25. I'm in the US right now, Kristen! I'll probably be going back to Thailand soon, though! That's so nice of you and your fiance to help out the neighbor. I barely talk to any of my neighbors (hardly ever seem them!) and I've been living here for 4 years now. LOL. America is so different!!! In Thailand we would have been best friends within a week, haha!

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  26. It is SO weird, isn't it?! I wish we could go back to the days where you actually KNEW your neighbors and maybe could even become friends! So strange. Are you already back in Thailand or are you still in the US? What state are/were you in? This is so cool that you were here!

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