Hi everyone! Im taking a break from my busy life to share the goings on of this week and our city-wide shut down. Mainly I am here to vent. It’s my blog and I do what I wanna!
I knew this storm was coming. You knew this storm was coming, what happened? I have been reading some pretty interesting articles on the subject matter and really what it comes down to is the lack of transportation options Atlanta has. Also, in my opinion, poor planning.
I have lived in Atlanta for 15 years. Before that I lived in Chicago for the first 14 years of my life. I’ve lived through some crazy winters. The last winter of my living in Chicago, we experienced a blizzard that shut down schools and work for one day. I would say that happened once in a blue moon up there. When we moved to Atlanta my freshmen year of high school, we had a snow day when there was not a single flake of snow. It was threatening the northern half of our county (which happens to be in the beginning stages of mountains) and they closed everyone. It seems like each winter when the threat of any type of snow flurry, schools are closed or delayed.
Fast forward to this week. This winter storm was all over the news. It was coming and would stretch from Texas to Boston. The southern states were going to be hit. They were even projecting middle to south Georgia to be hit harder than us. My question is why didn’t they cancel schools for the day?
Now you have over a million people trying to get out of the city at once because schools were all cancelled at the SAME.EXACT.TIME! Chaos! I had friends on the roads stuck for up to 20 hours!!!! I could not imagine and I am thankful they are home and safe now with their families.
The snow started about noon here on Tuesday. Big, yummy flakes. When we saw the reports of traffic increasing by the minute and ice starting to form, we called our bosses (not located here) and their suggestion was to get a hotel room because we needed to be at work the next day. The problem with that is hotel rooms were sold out. I live about three miles from work, so I took a gamble. I drove home.
I have some pretty big hills to climb on my ride home, so I was pretty nervous because the roads were already freezing. I watched one guy slip and slide all over the road near work trying to get up the hill. I was VERY lucky on my ride home. I stayed on side streets and it only took me an hour to get home. I was going so slow, my automatic locks in my car didn’t lock. Once home, I settled in and tried to come up with a game plan for the next day. The streets were going to freeze and there was no getting around it.
This guy LOVES snow
I woke up at 4:30am (everyday this week) and flipped on the news. Absolute chaos! National news! Friends from all over texting me asking if I was ok. Tweets/Facebook posts/comments in news articles about how Southerners cant drive in 2″ of snow. I will admit, driving here sucks! But I want to challenge any of my friends or family from the northern region of the country to drive on solid ICE? That is what the roads were for most of the day Tuesday and all of yesterday. ICE
Seeing these reports, the stories, the people stranded, my anger grew each second that I was required to be at work. I do not know how to drive on ice. I do not know how to drive on hills covered in ice. My only option was to walk the 3 miles to work since the trains weren’t really running. Matt got whiff of that idea (his office has been closed the last two days) and stopped me. He offered to drive me to the train and I would have to wait. We argued about it because, Ill say it again, THE ROADS WERE ICE!!! After going round and round, I let him take me to the train. He slipped and slid around, but he was pretty smart about it and we were ok getting there. Getting home for him was trickier though.
I got on the train platform and waited. And waited. And waited. I think I was up there for almost an hour in the 14 degree weather with the wind blowing. My feet had no feeling and I wanted to cry but didnt want to coldness on my face.
Once the train finally got there, I made it into work only to deal with some of the most hateful people. We have a tradeshow moving in, so a lot of people are arriving late, if at all. In the first hour of my being here, I had a few people yell at me about having a light crew (most people could not make it in) and how stupid people from Atlanta are. Listen here, if I could control the weather like these people claim I could, we would be living in 75 degrees and sunny everyday.
As the day went on, the roads started clearing up. They were able to get the few salt trucks we have out and hit major roads. There was even some melting taking place. But there was one problem looming over us: the temps were dropping fast and everything that melted was refreezing.
We called the bosses back up and explained what was going on. It’s not that bad they said. You have to stay late they said. The news was on Sports Center for goodness sakes! Matt gave me the cutoff time of picking me up to be 5pm. Just before it got dark. I got word we had to stay until 7. I wouldn’t normally complain about this on a public forum, but it hurt that my safety was thrown to the side. It was that bad people. I was planning on walking back home (because we could not find any news if the trains were still going), but Matt risked it again for me and came directly to get me, at 7pm. It was a tricky ride because there was still ice, but we made it home.
As I watched all this unfold, it made me really think. What if Atlanta, God forbid, had a 9/11 situation happen? What if something catastrophic happened in the city? What is our escape route? Do we sit on the roads for 20 hours hoping to get out? We have our escape route in place if something were to happen (we live 3 miles from the city center), but what about the city? What about the cities in close proximity? What about the entire metro area? The state for that matter?
Just some things to really think about, you know?
I will leave you will puppies and kitties playing in the snow like little weirdos
Stay safe and warm friends! I am starting a countdown to spring!