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#459710 - 01/29/14 03:54 PM SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! (Now with pics).
BraveFalcon Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL
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 grin), 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,

Ken


Edited by BraveFalcon (02/13/14 02:02 PM)

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#459714 - 01/29/14 04:52 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
Suwanee Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 702
Loc: Southeast USA
Ken,

I know. I know. I know.

I wondered how you were doing. I lucked out and got ahead of the madness.

Glad you're safe.

Will


Edited by Suwanee (01/29/14 05:07 PM)
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#459729 - 01/29/14 08:51 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
Sounds like you and your car made it. Phew! I thought about you as well when watching this all unfold on World News. Ice is bad no matter where you live. All wheel drive, 4 wheel drive, nothing works.
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#459760 - 01/30/14 09:44 AM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
atari_kid86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 124
Loc: Michigan
Glad you made it home! It sounds just awful.

Are ya gonna invest in some tire chains now? wink

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#459778 - 01/30/14 01:08 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3365
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Ken,

I'm from the north where we got more snow than that just in the past 6 hours - but... it's not the snow that is the real issue - it's the ice - ice will bring traffic to a standstill every time no matter how used to winter driving you are - or are'nt...

Glad you made it home safely though...
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#459782 - 01/30/14 02:52 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 702
Loc: Southeast USA
For those who don't live down here, it doesn't take much to cause a huge problem.

Right now, the Blame Game is being played out by the governor and Atlanta's mayor. You have to realize that Atlanta is more than "Atlanta." It is a sprawling metro area consisting of dozens of counties and municipalities. Nobody really expected it to get so bad so fast.

Part of the blame game includes the National Weather Service which predicted most of the precipitation would fall south of Atlanta. It merely issued a "Weather Advisory" instead of an attention-getting "Winter Weather Warning." Pretty much the same thing happened in nearby Birmingham, AL and Chattanooga, TN.

But...blame also goes back to the local agencies who clung to that faulty forecast even as the radar showed a solid six hours of snowfall moving in and a thermometer showing below freezing temps and 'upstream' temps in Alabama that were also in the 20s down to the Gulf coast. THEN, you have the madness of everything shutting down at once and a million plus people trying to get home. Almost always...any snow we get of consequence comes in from the Gulf to our southwest.

I really think if I had left the office just 15 minutes later, I'd would have had a commute like Ken.

I don't know how you put up with it up north!

Will


Edited by Suwanee (01/30/14 02:54 PM)
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#459785 - 01/30/14 03:09 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
In PA we just don't get too much ice. It's either snow or rain. Occasionally we have bad years and get some ice storms. 1993 was a year of several ice storms in a row. The first one took out power for a weekend and was thick enough to ice skate on. I remember because I just had my first child and we drove to Canada. Stupidest thing I have ever done with the family but the wife wanted to go home so the two of us and our three week old headed north. At least they had power up there smile

We also salt like crazy so that helps keep things from freezing. Even when it's so cold that the salt doesn't melt the ice it's usually never the really slick smooth sheet of ice. It's frozen slush and bumpy so you can still get traction on that smile

In other words, it's rarely what you guys just had...


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#459820 - 01/31/14 08:37 AM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
atari_kid86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 124
Loc: Michigan
I grew up in southern Indiana where we got ice storms as much as we did snow. Honestly I'll take a foot of lake effect snow over an inch of ice any day.

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#459830 - 01/31/14 11:31 AM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 324
Loc: Iowa, USA
Ken and Will,

I'm glad that you both made it through that mess safely. I will admit that since I'm from the Iowa where snow and hazardous driving are just part of winter, I was less than sympathetic at first when I saw this on the news. I mean, on Sunday, I drove through snow and 75 mph winds. Of course, I soon realized that this isn't a joking matter at all. I saw the pictures of traffic at a standstill on the interstate. It's not these people's fault that they don't have winter driving experience, because there's not opportunity to get it if it never snows. No one should have to go through an experience like that. There is no excuse for what city administrators allowed to happen. I'm just glad you're okay.

Dave

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#459840 - 01/31/14 12:56 PM Re: SNOWMAGEDDON IN THE SOUTH!!! [Re: BraveFalcon]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Ken I am glad you brought this up, I live near Talladega which is about 2 hours west of greater Atlanta Ga. I was near Birmingham when the snow started about 10:30am and watched it increase to a winter storm. The ground was unusually cold from freezing temperatures so the precipitation stuck to the ground and froze. It took four times longer to get through to where I live, being stuck in traffic, watching cars getting stuck on hills and sliding off into ditches. I watched as a line of cars were moving into a blind lane at the crest of a hill trying to get around a car stuck in the other lane. I was home by 2pm and only spent a few hours in the truck. We had neighbors in their vehicles for 13 1/2 hours before they were taken off the road by emergency personnel. One man had to hike 9 miles when he became trapped in traffic.

I have spent 40 years in the north, in Wisconsin. This was the first time in five years the weather was this bad in the South. What I like about the South is that hours after the worst snow storm seen in years, the air conditioner is humming and the sun is melting the snow. The forecast will be in the 50's today!
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