Snowpocalypse, 2014

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Forgive me, but I need to start this post out with a rant.

I went to High School in Atlanta and still have many friends and family who live there. Yesterday they received somewhere around 1-2 inches of snow and ice. Even though there was a forecast for snow, they had not taken precautions. When the snow came, it hit harder and earlier than expected. Thousands of people tried to commute home, only to face endless gridlock traffic. There are hundreds of horror stories, many of which can be found at this Facebook page.

This is ridiculous and unforgiveable. A lot of people make fun of the southeast for closing schools and government buildings when there is merely the threat of snow. This is why. Southeastern cities are simply unprepared for such conditions. The city of Atlanta should be ashamed for how it has handled this crisis.

My Mother was at a luncheon in Atlanta. She left in the midst of the storm at around 12:30pm, about the same time that this above photo was taken (credit James Tobias).

We had texted back and forth. She was telling me how bad it was. Knowing that the system was headed eastward, she warned me to stay off the roads. Even though the forecast showed the snow wouldn’t get to Columbia for an hour or two, I decided not to take chances and went home. I watched the radar as it moved along, and was surprised to see that it split up as it reached the midlands. We had a few instances of sleet in the afternoon, but the big snow would come much later.

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My mother got stuck in the Atlanta traffic for hours and hours. We spoke in the evening, and she had only traveled a few hundred feet in an hour. At 10pm, she was about 3-4 miles away from home. I fell asleep, only to wake up a few hours later to see her text at 2am. She made it to a BP station about a mile from her house, which was as far as she could go. She spent the night there, got about an hour or two of sleep before trying again. She made it to a Starbucks that was literally up the hill from her road, but again, that was as far as she could get. As I’m writing, that’s where she still is, stuck in her car in 14 degree temperatures.

As difficult as it was for my mother, it was far worse for others. Some are still stuck in their cars without food or bathroom facilities. I’m not sure how to put this delicately, but, people have been creative on how to handle their … digestive system.

My mother is going to be okay, even if not entirely comfortable. She’ll probably get a lift home from an all-terrain vehicle at some point. Worst case is that she has to wait a few hours for the sun to come out and melt the ice and snow. She has been able to eat and drink.

Edit: she finally found a Good Samaritan to give her a ride home around 9am. Phew!

Back to me. Remember that I have surgery scheduled for Friday? My concern is that the appointment could be in jeopardy.

We got about three inches here overnight, with a base layer of ice, maybe a quarter of an inch or so. I can tell by looking outside that there will be no driving to work or anywhere else. Temperatures will barely exceed freezing today, so that ice is most likely not going to melt much, if at all. Tomorrow promises to be a little warmer, not much. Some news anchors have speculated that the snow will not be melted completely until Friday afternoon.

That’s my worry. If road conditions have not improved in the next 24 hours, my surgery could be canceled or at least postponed. I’m crossing my fingers. If it is postponed, then it’ll have to wait at least a few weeks. We have some plans in mid-February that we cannot get out of. It would have been a struggle in my 3rd week of recovery, but manageable. It would be impossible in my 2nd week of recovery. The worst case scenario is that my surgery takes place in late February.

So for now, I’m just going to enjoy the day, maybe two, and hope for the best.

For all my friends and readers in the southeast, I implore you to stay indoors, be careful and not take any chances. There may not be a lot of snow on the ground, but from what I can tell, driving is dangerous.


10 responses to “Snowpocalypse, 2014

  • Wayne Wells

    Don’t forget that probably no surgeries are getting done today or tomorrow, excluding folks that are already inpatient. Those that get missed today and tomorrow may be of a nature that they will take precedence, sliding everyone back. Just a thought.

    • aaronwest

      That’s a possibility. If they only bump me to early next week, then I can probably go through with it. They probably won’t open until tomorrow at earliest, maybe not even until Friday, so I won’t know for a little while.

  • Wayne Wells

    Roads are clearing up pretty quickly. Ran several errands around NE Cola. My guess, business as usual tomorrow.

    • aaronwest

      Yeah, I got out this afternoon and the roads were fine. I think there was more melt today than people expected. Probably will be some rough patches in the morning after the refreeze, but I think (hope) the surgeons can get back to work.

      • Wayne Wells

        Good luck on the surgery, BTW.
        Any surgery is a big deal, but my advice is to get it done and not worry too much.
        Took my bike by Summit yesterday to get it tuned up. I’m hitting the pavement this year for sure. The bulk of my issues are behind me and I’m feeling good.
        Taking the bike to the Keys for my annual trek to the Miami Boat Show, to get a jump on this cold weather.
        2013 was a bust as far as riding and my waist reflects that fact.
        Once you start in on rehab, just ease your way in to it, and don’t push too hard and reinjure yourself, but do push.
        Remember what I said a year or so ago about smelling the roses. It will come.
        My retired ex-supervisor got hit riding his bike about 3 weeks ago. That makes two folks I know personally that have been hit by vehicles in this state.
        Considering the relatively small cycling fraternity in SC, that is a terrible statistic.
        My new department manager is a transplant from AL, and a cyclist. My first words to him in regards to riding were to be careful, because motorists have a proclivity for hitting cyclists in SC.

  • aaronwest

    Wayne, that’s great to hear that you’re getting back on the bike. Be careful in Miami. There are a lot of cyclists there, which is great, but the drivers are atrocious. Key Biscayne seemed like a safe, pleasant route.

    Agreed that SC is unsafe for cyclists. We’ve made attempts to raise awareness, but we are but guppies in a large pond. That was good advice to your co-worker. I’d also tell him to find a safe place to ride (like the fort) solo, and ride with groups if he goes anywhere else.

  • Wayne Wells

    I’ll be camping at the Flamingo Campground in Everglades NP. Minimal traffic, great scenery, law enforcement that seriously enforces speed limit laws.
    37 miles from the gate to the campground. On a par with the Fort, but flat.
    Need to get back to being able to ride up Mt. Mitchell with minimal agony.

  • Matt P

    Hope things are still on tap for your procedure tomorrow. Will lift you up in prayer, and look forward to your update and findings!

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