Our office closed down officially around 1PM, but seeing the traffic from my window, I hung around until about 3:30 before the white accumulation in the parking lot started to worry me. Heading out, I slipped three times, cursing the facts that I had chosen to break in my new Tibi piper boots today and that my sedan (with Montana plates, nonetheless) had not a single snow brush or ice scraper in the trunk. Beginning the trek home, I checked Google Maps - my regular 20-minute, 10-mile commute home was projected to take 1 hour 40 minutes. As I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the quiet road, with flakes coming down softly and steadily, I felt my tires slipping and thought: Here goes nothing. Silent and spoken prayers went up for a safe trip home.
As it turned out, that nearly 2 hour commute was simply wishful thinking. More than 5 hours later, I had gone only 7 miles and was sitting in a gridlock. Cars were simply not moving - at all. Vehicles from pickups to buses to trucks were spinning out to my right and left, blocking lanes and not going anywhere. In a split second, I decided to pull off the road into an AT&T parking lot and walk the rest of the way home. Thank goodness I had a pair of flat boots in my car. I locked my car and made a beeline for home.
It must have been adrenaline that powered me through, because I ended up running almost all of those 3 miles in what seemed like 5 minutes. Derrick started walking from our house and met me near the middle, bringing me my hat and scarf (what a guy!). As we got to our street, an eerie silence had set in over the town. Cars had been abandoned in business driveways, at gas pumps, along the side of the interstate, in the medians and on random lawns. We watched as a police officer tried to help a woman in a BMW make it up our hill to no avail.
Happy to be home, warm and safe and together more than 6 hours after I'd left my office, we made quesadillas (thank goodness for hot, gooey cheese) and poured a few stiff drinks. Around 3am, I woke up and looked out the window at GA400 - still gridlocked. This morning at 7am, the news told the same story. I was horrified to learn that thousands of commuters had been stranded on roadways overnight, some for more than 24 hours. Emails came in from work that our office - along with the majority of Atlanta - was shut down for the day. Amazing what havoc three inches of snow can wreak on a Southern city!
Temperatures are forecasted to be in the 60s this weekend, so cheers to the big meltdown ahead - and prayers to anyone who's still stuck in their cars to get home safely to loved ones. It's days like these where I'm especially grateful for all my fellow media friends - TV and news reporters who are working around the clock (like the great team at WSBTV2) to keep us updated on weather and traffic conditions.
|Monty helping Derrick work.|
|Monty is happy his humans are home all day!|