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Snowpocalypse

Oh, the South is a joke.

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News… we are.  For reasons out of our control.

*Do NOT base you opinions on the pictures in this post. Because it looks easy. Read. Don’t judge. It’s 1:00am, and kids are still in BUSES.*

Jokes. Well, not the individuals who live here. Not the kids who were (are still) stuck on the buses. Not the parents breaking their fists across the steering wheel, just praying the kids would be okay. Trying to get home.  5, 6, 7, 10+ hours in the car… just trying to get home.

The snow in Atlanta was not funny.  Because for those of you who don’t know, there’s like 6 million people in Atlanta, and today… everyone left at the same time.  To get their kids, to get home, to avoid the ice.

And I have never seen anything like it.

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Hour Three in Car.

I work 7 miles from home. (A miracle in itself, considering I used to be 33 miles each way).

I left the office at 12:11pm. 

Between 12:11pm and 2:00, I was rear-ended in the car. Sitting still.  Wha-pam! Smack!

Whiplash.

I picked up my kids at 3:00. I drove 200 yards to them. And it took me an incredible amount of time.

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“Well why didn’t you get out of the car and walk???!” you ask.  (Well, that makes you stupid. You can’t abandon a vehicle and expect 5 and 6 year old kids to walk in snow with sneakers for 5 miles. Idiots.)

I made it to the kids (with the car), who were super excited about the snow. Silly kiddos. “Yay snow!” So let them enjoy it for like, oh, 20 seconds before I hearded them into the car.

At 4:25pm, after moving 45 feet, I pulled over and made the kids put on socks and spare shoes.

I said, “We’re walking.”

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I stepped out of the car, and the snow blast and chill (22 degrees) hit me.  I had on a thin shirt and a cardigan.  (We don’t know how to dress in this weather, either. We take for granted that we won’t need to trek 3-4 miles home.)

I looked at the kids. They had fluffy jackets and hoodies. They’d be okay.

I looked at my cardigan.  If I pass out from hypothermia in this 2 mile walk, these kids have nothing. I would freeze in what I was wearing (thinking of my coat, draped over my office chair. Stupid.)

“Back into the car!” I screamed.

“Whyyyy,” James whined.

“Do you not see this snow?”  I cried out.

“Whoooo! Snow!” said Stella.

Gawrsh. 

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It may seem stupid. But as I spun out on a hill, with two very young kiddos in the car, it’s not stupid. I had doubts that I could get home.  The drivetrain (from the rear-end hit, I guess) on the Pilot was puttering like a helicopter. i wasn’t sure the car was ok.

As the day rolled on, and as I got closer home, I checked on my people:  Mountain Goat, Coach T-Bone (who had walked 3 miles each way to retrieve his kiddos from school), Yoda, the Coach Formerly-Known-as-Monster (who was in-process of walking 4 miles as I spoke with him)… everyone I could think of.

Are you okay… text after text, call after call.

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Everyone was there.  But I watched the news. And so many weren’t even home yet.

We got home, and the kids are like, “Let play in the snow!”

I looked, horrified, and them, and I said, “Really!??!”

And they said, “Will it be here tomorrow?” I nodded.

They said, “Oh good. Let’s go inside,” obviously tired too.

There it was… 5.5 hours later, we pulled into the driveway.

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6.5 hours later, the Expert rolled in.

Now that it’s 1:00 am, and the Expert has settled into the house (he went on a Good Samaratian Mission walk to the neighborhood, saving many people and school buses… I’m not kidding),  and reported that “so many people are still walking home” — I am blown away at how incredibly stupid this incident was.

Atlanta was unleashed….upon Atlanta.

Everyone delayed the school closings.

Therefore, the businesses didn’t close. And when they realized, “oh shit, we have a serious storm here” and unleashed millions onto the roads, it was too late. Unreal.

And as I finish the night with my sleeping kiddos, a full-do-you-proud bottle of YellowTail and a hope of a better tomorrow, I’m just glad that all I have is a busted bike rack, whiplash and a piercing headache.

For it could be much worse. I could still be sitting on 400.

Atlanta. You suck.

15 Comments

  • Erinn

    January 29, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Wow. I have friends in Atlanta who are crashing at other people’s homes tonight, but I had no idea the extent of the craziness. I’m so happy your family’s okay. You should get checked out by a doctor, esp. for the headache. I’m sure you know this already. Get some rest. 🙂

    Reply
    • carol frohlich

      January 29, 2014 at 8:47 am

      OY vey…. so sorry. Indy has been crazy with the cold and snow too. I spun out on I 70 recently and nearly bought the farm….
      Lots of school delays …..school will go on until June this year.
      be safe!
      carol

      Reply
    • Heather

      January 29, 2014 at 11:45 am

      I’m so glad you at least got the Girl Child and Boy Child. I can’t imagine those parents who still don’t have their babies back. Talked to my parents this morning, and one of my Dad’s employees is still sitting in her car on the highway — 19 hours and counting. Jeezus. Hopefully, at some point today or tomorrow, I’ll be able to go find my car, and hopefully it will be in one piece. But if not, it’s just a car.

      Hope you’re feeling okay after the “Wha-pam! Smack!” Stay warm, Atwoods. <3

      Reply
  • Killian

    January 29, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Glad , you , yours and those you know and love best are fine. States that seldom experience snow are terrible at dealing with it. I’ve a great story about Seattle/Tacoma in 1974 if you want to hear it.

    Reply
  • heather

    January 29, 2014 at 3:16 am

    On my 25 mile drive home from austell to Decatur I did not see one salted or sanded road….Didn’t they learn anything from the last ice storm? This is insane.

    Reply
  • Kristine

    January 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

    That sucks. What people in the north don’t understand (I’m in CT but from VA) is just how awful roads are when they aren’t treated at all. Roads here almost always get treated ahead of time, and we sort of forget that. I’m glad you guys are safe. Very stressful. Take care and rest that neck until it’s really better!

    Reply
  • TENN

    January 29, 2014 at 7:15 am

    The northern states don’t have it all figured out. Everyone leaving to go home at the same time as the storm hits is a continual problem. Every 3-5 years in southern New England, businesses and government decide after a bad commuting incident that they need to stagger the releases. The good thing here is that we do have plows and sanding trucks. I can drive in snow, but there’s not much you can do with ice.

    Reply
  • Courtney @The TriGirl Chronicles

    January 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Glad you’re all okay. I have family in Chattanooga who all did the same thing basically, getting stuck in traffic, left their cars in church parking lots, and walked their kids home, taking hours longer to get there than usual. The south needs a better snow plan. But, if it makes you feel any better, I live where getting 170″ of snow a season is normal and people still can’t drive or function in it half the time. So don’t worry, it’s not just Atlanta.

    Reply
  • Debbie

    January 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

    We are in north Georgia (metro Chattanooga) and it was gridlock too. My boys made it home from school at 11am and my oldest boy gave stranded motorists rides home on his ATV 4 wheeler. Took my husband 3.5 hours to go 15 miles. I was afraid I’d be forced to work a 20 hour shift at the hospital, but was allowed to leave at 7:15pm and by then the traffic was cleared and the roads were mostly deserted and all the local stores and Starbucks and Taco Bells were closed. It was a true Catastrophe!

    Reply
  • Weatherman

    January 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Feel Lucky to have only taken four hours to get home. I am a former northerner, but have lived in Atlanta for 20 years. Never seen anything like it. Still trying to make sure every from my office made it home. Many folks left cars and walked 4 plus miles. Six hour trips to go less than 5 miles were the norm.

    Now just need to wait for the melt.

    Reply
  • Sarah

    January 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I am so sorry, according to one face book friend, there are still folks not home today. We had this almost same thing happen in Raleigh, made the national news. So our snow didn’t start til 5/6 pm, but our large school system was closed all day. Our temps were not as cold so some folks did walk home. We got home at 1am and 3am.

    Reply
  • Heather

    January 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

    It has been insanity for sure! We all made it home safely, but so many people are still out there. I am beyond thankful my kids were on the first bus that left their elementary school and they made it home safely. My husband somehow made it home from Vinings/Smyrna to Johns Creek – I still don’t know how he made it after seeing all the gridlock. So many people we know were stuck in the mess, abandoning cars, told by police they were not allowed to leave their office b/c road blocks etc. Praying for those still out there as this mess isn’t over yet : ( It is unbelievable!

    Reply
  • KarenO

    January 29, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I’m a Texas transplant who’s been in NJ for the past 25 years. Can still remember paralysis in Houston during an ice storm. An NYC traffic person’s favorite saying is “4-wheel drive does not equal 4-wheel stop”. There’s no arguing with ice. Please see a doctor as soon as it’s safe to go out. Whiplash/neck/head inuries are no joke. Not to go all “mom” on you.

    Reply
  • CrystalB

    January 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    My boss is in ATL on business and she said it is chaos. Her boss lives in ATL and it took her 17 hours to get home from the office. I can’t believe kids are just barely getting home. It makes my mama heart hurt to think of littles being stranded.

    I am from Utah and we know snow, so this level of chaos seems ridiculous until I remember that we pre-salt roads before storms, lots of us have all wheel drive, I have snow tires on my car, and we get snow every year so we know how to handle it. Add to the fact that we have a small army of plows and awesome highway patrol and I realize how thankful I am to be prepared for snow. I couldn’t imagine being stuck like y’all.

    Glad you are all home and safe!

    Reply

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