I have lived in the Atlanta area since 1999 and have never seen such a weather traffic nightmare like this. I have been through at least 3 major snow storms since living here but the horror stories were never like this – but there also weren’t social media outlets to share the experiences either. Who knew 2 inches of snow could bring down a city! My small story is nothing compared to what I have read and seen on social media and television.
My Story: At 6am, Tuesday morning I woke up to check and see if my children’s school was closed. NOPE. NOTHING. So my husband got up to get them ready and I took them to school, then headed to work. Around 10am, I looked out of my window and cars were covered with a light dusting of snow. At 10:30am we received an email from our children’s school telling us they are releasing early at 12:45pm. My daughters teacher called me at 11am to tell me I can actually come now to pick my children up. Unfortunately, my job wouldn’t release us until noon. The great thing is that I work a few blocks from their school. I left about 11:50am and was there at 12 o’clock on the dot. After getting my children, we headed to the post office (I had to mail something). I then went around the corner to surprise them with lunch at Moe’s! We got it go, but that’s when our long haul home began!
We were headed home all happy and ready to eat our chips & cheese when all of a sudden, cars started to go slow and then STOP! Snow was coming down fast, the temperature was around 25 and the streets were already covered and starting to freeze. We ended up turning around to head down a busy street. By the time we got to the street that I thought we carry us home – it was a parking lot! I made it off of that street onto another side street and ended up being on that street for over an hour. My kids had to pee and started to cry. Don’t judge me, but I emptied a cup and let them go!
To make my long story short, I finally made it home after 2 1/2 hours after I picked up my children from school. I only live 10 minutes away. There were times where I was very scared and feared running out of gas, being stuck over night and not making it home. I yelled at my kids to “Shut up! Mommy is thinking!” I then flipped it and asked them to pray for me! Pray that we make it home. At one point I started to slip and slide up a hill. I found myself saying loudly, “Jesus take the wheel! Jesus take the wheel!”
When we finally made it on our street, it was like the heavens opened up and I exhaled a big sigh! I pulled in the driveway and my kids jumped out the car to play in the snow. I just sat there for a minute so grateful to be there. I also started to think about all the people who were still on the road and those that might be there for hours.
Again, my story is nothing compared to my news feed. My friend was in her car for 10 hours. I heard the story of a lady giving birth in her car. Kids sleeping at school. Parents stuck on roads trying to get their children. Abandoned cars all over the highways. Over 900 accidents that happened. People sleeping in grocery stores, gas stations and at work! I can’t imagine. My heart goes out to these people. I wish I could do something, but feel helpless.
How could this have been avoided? I really think in terms of my county (which isn’t Atlanta) they should NOT have had school yesterday when the weather man had warned us about the snow storm coming. It also seems like ALL OF THE ATLANTA AREA was released from school, work, or wherever between 11am-1pm which means MILLIONS were on the road AT THE SAME TIME! Which calls for a traffic night mare with snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
Winter is not over. I pray we can make it through the remainder of this season without this happening again.
Are you in the Atlanta area? Were you or a family member stuck in traffic? What’s your story?