When I left for work on Tuesday morning the forecast called for light snow in the afternoon with accumulations of up to a half inch. The snow wasn't supposed to really start falling until late afternoon. So, I went to work as usual figuring the evening commute may be a little bit messy at worst. I had no fucking idea what I was in for.
Now keep in mind, (before you people up north start making fun
), that down here we don't get snow often. Here in the Atlanta area we may see flakes about once or twice a winter and see actual accumulation maybe once every two or three years. So, they don't treat the roads for it because it would be impractical for them to do so. Also, people down here don't have experience driving on snow and ice. Nobody owns tire chains, etc. So, when we get a few inches of snow, all hell brakes loose. Thing is, normally we're at least prepared for it. This one no one was prepared for.
The snow started falling at just before noon and I immediately noticed it didn't seem like the light snow shower they had talked about on the news. Still, I continued to work on my accounts and still thought the worst I was in for was a messy commute. Then my brother called me and told me how bad the roads were getting and warned me to get the hell out of there and get home as soon as I could. So, I called my boss and told him I was calling it a day, which he was fine with, and headed for home.
What followed was a 9 and 1/2 hour nightmare. My commute home, which from that particular account normally takes just under an hour, and could be done in about 35 minutes with no traffic, took 9 and 1/2 hours. Nine and one half hours of sitting in gridlock, barely moving, watching other drivers slide into each other, seeing abandoned car after abandoned car in ditches and on medians, seeing people walking home who had abandoned their cars. It was literally like being in a scene out of some apocalyptic movie.
At one point I thought I was going to run out of gas but I finally got to a station that had some, (after stopping at a station that had sold out.) I also almost got stuck at one point myself going up a hill with only about three miles left to go. The people in front of me weren't going fast enough to get up the hill, so they started spinning their tires, which made me start spinning mine. I thought I was going to pop a blood vessel in my head at that point. I was stuck for what seemed like a long time but it was probably really only a few minutes. Fortunately I was able to maneuver my way out of it.
CSA and resulting issue stuff aside, that was one of the worst, most stressful and most frustrating experiences I have ever endured in my life. Sadly, as of this morning, there were still thousands of cars and motorists stranded out there, on the interstates, in gridlock, unable to move. I thought I had it bad but I shutter to think about having been one of them.
All told we got about three inches of snow where I live. I know that doesn't sound like a lot to most of you but it's plenty when it all turns to a sheet of ice the second it touches the untreated roads and turns every street and highway into a skating rink. Combine that with 5.5 million workers and school children all being released at once and you have an epic disaster on your hands. And it was. I've never been so happy to be home in my entire life as I was last night at about 10:30 PM. Peace,