In case you haven’t turned on the news at all today, we got a little snow over in the southeast U.S. And it was a big ol’ mess.
Mostly the problem was that it got so bad, so fast:
A little after noon, I went to get some lunch for myself and a co-worker. It was snowing pretty well, but there was no accumulation on the ground yet.
A little before one, my co-worker and I finished our lunch. By now there was over an inch of snow on the ground, and we changed our plans from “work another hour or two” to “finish up and GTFO.”
I left the office around 1:30. I got home about 2:00, for a drive that normally takes less than ten minutes. The roads were covered in packed snow. Traffic was already getting backed up from people unable to make it up inclines, and other people pulling out into intersections when there was no way to exit on the other side. Visibility was poor and getting worse.
My car did perfectly fine, even on the hills. Didn’t hurt that I was driving like a little old granny. On one of our neighborhood roads another driver zoomed past me, honking, because my 20 mph speed wasn’t fast enough for him. I half expected him to slide off the road at the first turn, not that you could really tell where the road was.
And I was lucky, as I didn’t have far to go. Other drivers got stuck in the weather for hours trying to get home. Any place with an incline, like on-ramps to freeways, turned into a bottleneck. People were abandoning their cars, sometimes without even getting them off the road first. Schools, malls, and churches were announcing that people could come there for shelter until the roads were passable. The snowplows were stuck in traffic like everyone else.
As of now the worst of the traffic pileups seem to be cleared. We’re all tucked safely away at home, watching the news coverage. We’re expecting a little more of the same tomorrow, and it probably won’t really start melting away until Saturday.
All my friends in the southeast corridor—stay safe and warm tonight!