Snowjam 2014

January 29, 2014

Hello friends! Did you guys watch the news yesterday and today? Did you hear about the absurd gridlock that happened yesterday afternoon and evening? It started snowing around 11am, I think, and it was really pretty. Around 12:30pm, we were encouraged to head out and work from home for the rest of the day. You know what? Apparently, the exact same thing happened in every office building in Atlanta. Plus, schools too. About 1 million Atlantans hit the roads at the exact same time. Here’s what happened to me on my trek home.

atlanta snowjam 2014_1 I left work at 12:45. I figured traffic would be bad and it would take me a few hours. I called a few friends to pass the time. It was funny and I tried to keep my spirits up. I had a water bottle and a cookie, I was fine for a few hours. After hour 3 it wasn’t as funny. I texted my boss to say I wasn’t going to be working from home any time soon.

atlanta snowjam 2014_2

It took hours to travel just a couple of miles. Luckily, I chose a non-interstate route, not because I knew it would be easier, but purely by luck. Also lucky, I happened to have a full tank of gas when I started the trek. My total commute is 23 miles. It usually takes 1 hour at rush hour. At 10:00pm, I had traveled about 13 miles and had 10 miles left. I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom, buy water and snacks, and top off my gas tank. I hit the road again and traveled about a half mile in 2 hours.

atlanta snowjam 2014_4

I  rounded a corner and quickly realized the slow pace was because of a steep icy hill up ahead. Cars were sliding down backward and hitting other cars that had been abandoned on the side of the road. Emergency vehicles were assisting cars up the hill as best they could and individuals were pushing cars up the hill. There was an auto repair shop at the base of the hill where lots of people had parked and abandoned their cars. I decided to pull in there to wait and reassess rather than attempt the uphill, where the was the potential of accidents and sliding down the ice. Plus, even if I made it up that hill there were more hills and bridges to come on my route. It wouldn’t be easy. I waited about an hour, talking about my options with my husband (who was in Florida traveling for work) and family. I was about 8 miles from home.

atlanta snowjam 2014_6

I knew exactly what I wanted to do – I was warm. I had food and water. I didn’t need to get out of the car. I decided to stay put and sleep in the car. I would just leave the car on all night and try to get a few naps. I had to argue that my father-in-law didn’t need to trek 7.8 miles in the snow just to come sit with me. He really wanted to come, but I assured everyone I was totally fine. Warmth, water, food.

atlanta snowjam 2014_5

I slept on and off for about 4 hours. I woke up at 5 and watched a car drive out of the parking lot, over a thick sheet of ice, sliding around and spinning his wheels. I watched where his wheels went and decided it was do-able if I could follow his tread marks. It was really scary. I made it to the main road, where the crews had poured salt and gravel. I made it, slowly, over a bridge and up 2 more hills. It took me over an hour to go 7.8 miles. I made it safely home, 18 hours later, at 7am.

atlanta snowjam 2014_3

Thank you to all my sweet friends and family who texted, called, and tweeted to check on me. I appreciate your concern so very much! I’m thankful I made it home as quickly as I did.

Photos via Atlanta Journal Constitution

PS – It’s been quite a couple of months for The Curtis Casa – new job, moving, holidays, house-hunting, traveling, and now this. I’m exhausted! Who wants to cheers a big glass of wine with me?!

12 thoughts on “Snowjam 2014

  1. Meghan

    I’m so glad you finally made it home safely. Many of my friends and family were stuck places even longer. You definitely deserve that glass of wine! I was thankful that my county is further east and did decide to ice the roads prior to the snow actually starting and that my boss told us not to come in Tues or Wed.

    Reply
  2. Ileana

    What a great story. I just came across your blog as I was poking around reading Alt Summit recaps. Being from the Northeast, I heard the news stories and wondered how something of that magnitude could happen with so little snow. But now I understand. Glad you made it home safe, what an odyssey.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Atlanta’s Snowjam Disaster: How Much Was Sprawl to Blame? | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  4. emily / the object enthusiast

    whoa! whitney, i am so glad you’re okay! what a crazy experience. it gets kinda crazy here in the midwest, and i’ve moved more north than i’m used to, so it can be even worse up here. luckily I work from home and most midwesterners are used to this kinda thing, so people are prepared. but dang! 18 hours. so so crazy!!

    Reply
  5. Heather Baileyy

    That is seriously insane! For some reason I have not been getting emails about your posts, maybe I need to re-subsrcibe to your blog? Anyways, glad you are safe, we are about to get 5 – 9 inches by tomorrow afternoon… needless to say I will be working from home ;-)

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Kleenex Style | the curtis casa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *