It was a scene right out of the Walking Dead.
All the major highways in Atlanta on gridlock, people abandoning their cars, milk and bread flying off the shelves. But the zombies weren’t overrunning the ATL. It was just a little bit of snowpocalypse down South.
One of the first stories we heard about the major differences between the North and the South was about the snow. Our bosses at NCAA.com loved to tell the story about how in 2011, two inches of snow shut down the whole city for two days. We laughed. Two inches? Just throw down a little salt, plow the road once, and you’re solid! But this is Georgia. They don’t own salt or plows or know how to drive in these conditions.
So Monday morning, after 75-degree weather just days before, when we heard there was a chance of snow, there was a mad rush to Publix to stock up on essentials. I laughed, knowing I’d probably be fine, and everyone was overreacting. I joked with my mom that I’d probably get two work-from-home snow days. I was even tempted to wear my pajamas instead out. But just like every other schoolchild’s superstitions, I didn’t ever think it’d actually happen, so I was still a little surprised to get the text to not drive into the office on Tuesday.
When I ventured out into the snow Tuesday afternoon to walk to the mailbox, it was all I could do to laugh. The roads were wet but not the least bit icy, and the snow was the fine stuff any northeastern kid knows you can’t build a snowman with. But schools had let out early, offices had shut down, and Atlanta was panicking.
It took one of my friends nearly four hours to go ten miles, another was forced to spend the night in a CVS, another was forced to spend the night in his car on the highway. The roads were so gridlocked and icy, people couldn’t move. With everyone deciding to get on the roads at the same time on Tuesday, it took only 20min for the roads to all but shut down. Wednesday was spent trying to get everyone stranded home and people were instructed to retrieve their stranded cars on Thursday.
As a result, I’ve had three work-at-home snow days, which has meant lots of Netflix, lots of cookie dough, lots of crossword puzzles…and a hint of cabin fever. While it’s been nice to relax on the couch for a few days, I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to the office and seeing all my friends.
All my friends and family have been laughing at the fact that two inches of snow created such a mess–it still dumbfounds me a little bit, too–but it truly was a perfect storm. The city wasn’t prepared, the people didn’t know how to react, and it all added up. Thankfully, everyone was safe and everything is getting back to normal…albeit slowly. It’ll certainly be fun trading survival stories in the office tomorrow!
But only in Atlanta could you claim to survive a snowpocalypse and be back to enjoying the 65-degree weather in the same week…bring on the heat!