Catastrophic

(I will apologize ahead of time, I need to go back and clean this up a little bit, still a little tired from the drive… that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!)

Yesterday I arrived in Florida to some very beautiful weather!  I was exhausted by the drive from Milwaukee, I stopped only twice to take a quick cat nap, each lasting about an hour.  The trip was smooth except for the fact that I didn’t charge any of the video cameras I am using, I was going to record some stuff as I drove, the great insight and pearls of wisdom that I so often share and that most of you are waiting to hear so you can change your life after, with the new profound knowledge.  It was probably going to be me talking about how excited I am to get out of the cold, how I am going to miss my daughter, and how nervous and excited I am to be doing this little adventure.  Like I said the trip was smooth, EXCEPT for the fact that I was racing to get through Atlanta before the Catastrophic storm was going to hit Northern Georgia, well I didn’t know that this storm was going to happen, all I know was that a good friend of mine told me that she was worried because there is supposed to be some storm.  I was like okay, lets make it through Atlanta before so I won’t have to sit in my car all night because Atlanta is ill prepared for what is common from where I live.

My first hour long nap was 45 miles from Chattanooga in the Smokey Mountains, I needed the rest and I figured I could make it to Atlanta right before rush hour so I took the chance, after the nap I got back on the road and cruised down the mountain and I was about 15 miles from Chattanooga, I saw a salt truck out, I chuckled to myself thinking about how much this guy was dumping on the roads, he clearly has no idea what he was doing or so I thought…

I get through Chattanooga and I was kind of getting worried once I saw that truck, as I get into Dalton Georgia it starts snowing, not just a few flakes, I am talking white out conditions!  I check the weather in Atlanta and it says it is raining there (100 miles away)  so I am thinking that it should be okay after al little bit, there isn’t a lot of cars on the road at the time, which was around 5am (Eastern just switched and this was a mistake, I lost that hour taking the nap, needed it to get through Atlanta before rush hour), I figured I knew how to drive in snow I live in Wisconsin (2nd nature in the GREAT state of Wisconsin), slow down and tap my brakes, go about 40MPH.  I was fine for about 5 miles.  Some cars were following me, probably saw the license plates and thought this guy knows what he is doing.  Wrong assumption!   The drivers of the cars got impatient and start passing me, remember this is white out conditions, nothing has been plowed.  About 2 minutes after they start passing me one car starts fish tailing in front of me, I had enough and I was stopping at a Waffle House until the plows came out or the storm blew over.

I am in the Waffle House and I ask the cook how much snow they were suppose to get, he says 1-3 inches today, he says it is really bad and that he should have stayed home, in my head I am all arrogant because I think 1-3 inches is nothing.  Like this guy is going to be impressed that in Wisconsin we don’t keep our kids home for that little dusting.  He tells me that another customer says it isn’t that bad on the roads, I tell the customer that it is, since the plows weren’t out yet.  3 of them were sitting in the Waffle House parking lot.  The customer waves me off like he knows better, I keep thinking listen to me, I am from Wisconsin, I know snow!  Anyway, I eat and contemplate what to do, stay here or chance it and try to get through to Atlanta where it is raining, I was thinking if the plows get out it should be okay.  I see all 3 plows leave the parking lot and go down the on ramp, all 3 where going to plow and salt in my direction!  This is great news and besides these look like 3 brand new trucks and these guys will want to show off and do a great job of plowing.

I pay and leave, the trucks have a 5 minute head start and they will probably plow to where the snow ends so I take off, I go down the on ramp and I see a semi barreling down the road and 5 or 6 cars and a box truck, these cars are doing the speed limit and the freeway doesn’t look plowed, I am yelling at them to slow down, well all of the sudden it is a jail break, cars sliding into ditches, the semi jack knifes cars sliding everywhere, no pile up that I saw and I don’t think anyone was hurt, this all happens while I am on the on ramp and now I am going about 25MPH so they end up a mile from me, I approach the accident and I drive around everything, people were all being helped and some were standing around scratching their heads wondering why that just happened, I would have stopped and told them but since everyone appeared okay and were getting helped, I just keep on going, I needed to get through Atlanta before rush hour.  Well, I was wondering why the roads weren’t plowed, there was a ton of salt on the roads now, 3 times the amount that we put on in Wisconsin, I was able to go at a decent pace with no one around for about 40 miles, I caught up to the plows, their plows were sitting about 8 inches off the ground and the salt dispenser gauge was wide open, I wonder if they were trained on how to lower the plow.  Anyway, about 20 miles from Atlanta, it starts turning rain and it is getting to be 8 am and I am thinking I am screwed, well I get through Atlanta in record time, I thought their rush hour was bad but my memory must be wrong.

I get into Florida and I get a call from my Dad, when I answer he asks where I am and I tell him and he says good you are safe, he explains to me about the storm and that the Governor told everyone to stay home in Atlanta and North Georgia, my dad says it will be catastrophic.

4 thoughts on “Catastrophic

  1. Thank goodness you made it through the mayhem. People just don’t understand…when it’s snowing, you just can’t take Mother Nature for granted! Or any weather, for that matter. I’m sure the road truck drivers were happy to have salt. Last go round was catastrophic. But by late afternoon today, 93,000 residents from Alabama up through No. Carolina (most in Metro Atlanta) were without power. So good that you are in Florida!! Get your video cameras charged … and a good night’s rest! Check on you later.

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