I woke up Tuesday morning and heard there was a chance of snow…I thought to myself, “You should really work from home, Alabama is not equipped to handle snow.” Unfortunately, I am not very good at taking my own advice and so I hopped in my car and drove to work.
When people first started talking about the snow, it was barely visible to the naked eye….these weren’t flurries….they were water droplets that happened to freeze sporadically. I continued to work and it wasn’t until about 1030 when I looked up and saw it was a full blown winter storm with New York size snowflakes. There was no doubt in my mind that I was leaving early.
13 hours in the car from 11AM-midnight! Took me 3 hours to get the exit for the 280, which is when Jake and I decided it would be better for me to just park and wait for him in his truck (thankfully he had placed about 1000 pounds of cement in the bed before he came to get me).
It took him about 3 hours to come and get me from his work and then we had to drive all the way back to Pell City….on the backroads….we hugged cliffs, drove though obstacle courses of cars, helped people get out of ditches, narrowly missed an armored vehicle sliding towards us, helped a tow truck out of a ditch, and then….we arrived at home!
I lived in upstate New York for over 30 years (we won’t discuss how many over 30) and I have never ever seen anything like this. There were times we were without power for weeks, had to have the fire trucks come to our house and dig us out because our front and back doors were covered in snow, had ice storms that crippled entire forests, but never have I seen anything like that.
I stopped at Target to get a charger for my phone that was dying due to my texting and there were people camped out in the lobby, buying snacks, water and kitty litter…FYI, I used to keep kitty litter in my car in NY….best thing out there if you ever need to get yourself going again.
Cars everywhere! Abandoned! People covered in whatever they could find, once they realized they would be sending the night in their cars. Others walking up and down major highways….I mean come on, do you think those people woke up that morning and said I am going to take a stroll on the 280 today?
Out of all of this though, the kindness, generosity and true southern hospitality came out. We spoke to people on 4 wheelers that found a man who had broken his leg and was literally dragging himself home and they picked him up and took him to the paramedics. Others were coming out of their homes either offering a place to stay or helping get people out of ditches. There were people holding signs in front of their homes that read “Free hot coffee and heat!”, “Shelter 2.5 mi this way”, etc. it was simply amazing.
Not for nothing, I did not sign up for Winter storms when I decided to move to Alabama….the north can KEEP THEM!
Almost forgot to mention….no cell service….that right there had a crippling effect on us all!