It took me almost 7 hours to get home yesterday.
As I’m sure everyone is aware, winter showed up on a Tuesday this year. Depending on the weather source, the appearance of said storm was highly contested. When would it arrive? Morning! Wait, no! Afternoon! How much were we looking at? Well, erm, 2 inches? Wait! It’ll be south of the city itself, fear not! The first few flakes started falling a little after 1230 at my office. They made the executive decision to close the office around 230. And so did the schools. And so did every other establishment in 12 metro counties with a total population of 6 million people. Everyone hit the streets between 2-3p yesterday. I got in the car at 330p. By 915p, we were stuck sitting on a hill. It was close enough to the house, that I got out and hoofed it. I walked in the house a little before 10p. Everyone (*cough cough* those north of the Mason-Dixon line & west of Mississippi) has been making fun of us for nothing being able to handle it. Fortunately, certain bloggers and actual reporters have a rebuttal. As do I.
Yes, people in Atlanta can’t drive. This is a well established fact. Even rain will slow down a commute by about 30 minutes. However, snow isn’t our problem. It’s ice. That’s fine and dandy when traffic is at least moving. The heat of the cars keeps it slushy enough to get traction. Not so when you’re sitting still. That’s simple physics, kids. Show me a Northerner who can drive on ice with no problem (and no snow chains), then I’ll shut up. It’s also no secret that Atlanta is a driving city. We have no public transportation to speak of unless you’re either within the city limits or close to it. Most people had no choice but to get in the car to get home, pick up their kids, or some combination of both. As I walked the 2 miles back to the house, it looked like a scene from a zombie movie. Maybe 15 cars drove by after I crested the hill (a 3 car spinout was the issue stopping traffic in this case). People had abandoned their cars on the side of the road for one reason or another. Seeing as The Walking Dead is filmed here, it would appear life is imitating fiction. My dad ended up spending the night in his office. He rolled in about 930 this morning with reports of so many abandoned cars that it looked like a sporting event. All we were missing was the stadium. Hell, Waffle House ran out of food. the apocalypse is indeed upon us.
The weather isn’t on track to get any better tonight or early tomorrow. The news flat out told people to not go out before noon tomorrow unless absolutely necessary. Everything that melted today will just refreeze. By Friday, it’ll be in the 50s again. At least those in the North have time to get used to the cold weather and it stays cold. I was wearing short sleeves on my birthday 2 weeks ago. I was wearing short sleeves on MLK day. Yesterday it was thick pants, boots, and a heavy coat. It’ll keep doing this until late March. It’s a crapshoot as to what will happen when.
In short, cut us a little slack. The city’s infrastructure sucks, but the people don’t. There were plenty of people who were helping each other out. People offering their houses to people stranded or walking down the interstate offering coffee to drivers. People with 4 wheel drive or otherwise easily driveable cars stopping to pick up people walking and give them a ride. A baby was born on the highway. It’s situations like this which show that the world isn’t such a bad place, regardless of what the news wants us to think. People are still kind and willing to help each other. Here’s to all the good people who decided to help their fellow man, no matter how grand or how small.