Now that you know the story of what happened to most Alabamians (and Georgians), let me tell you what happened to me.
Like I had mentioned, my place of work did not let us leave when most places did. If you’ve ever worked in transportation, you know that it stops for no one. Or no weather.
It was around three in the afternoon when everyone decided that, well, maybe we should let these people leave. By now, the roads were completely iced; people had started leaving their vehicles on the side of the road, and in some cases in the middle of the road.
I convinced Britney to come to my house that night, as she lives farther away than me, and to be honest, I did not want to do this alone.
We get about two miles down I65 and come to a sudden dead stop. And there we sat for three hours! We sat on a highway for three hours and went no more than two miles. I am not joking about this. By some grace of God (and trucker Heaven), there was an eighteen-wheeler letting people in front of him to get off the interstate.
Britney and I had conceded that we were not sleeping in a warm bed that night; instead, we would be sharing the lovely, hard, cold floor of our work building. It took us a bit to get through downtown, as it was also completely covered in ice. I did get to run red lights, because, well why not?
Luckily for us, there is a huge truck stop right down from where we work. We were able to pick up some essentials (i.e., Blue Moon and toothbrush), and head back to the office, where we proceeded to watch non-stop coverage of Winter Storm Leon.
|The view from I65 where we sat for three hours.|
|Drinking at work –because, well, it was after hours.|
|My pillow for the evening.|
Needless to say, we slept like hell that night. We woke up around three in the morning, and went back out to watch some more coverage. That day, we were the only people in the office. Well, the downstairs portion of it.
One of our safety guys braved the elements and headed to Wal-Mart, where he got some supplies to feed us breakfast and lunch.
|The best scrambled eggs in the world and some sausage. Delish.|
It became apparent to Britney and I around noon, that we were also not going to be able to make it home a second night. The secondary roads were still treacherous, and the traffic was still horrible. I was determined to not become one of these people that sat in their car for nine hours.
I also hate getting gas, and I would have had to do so if I was planning on being in my car for that long. The temperature did not get above freezing on Wednesday, so we spent another night at work.
Luckily for us, our orientation guy jimmied the lock to the shop and found us two brand new sleeper mattresses, and we got those for the night. We also discovered that the room we had frozen in the night before, did in fact, have its own thermometer. We cranked it up, got under a big furry blanket and slept till about seven the next morning.
By then, most people had been able to make it into work, and Britney and I got to leave around ten.
On the way home, I did snap a few pictures of the carnage still left on I65 South.
Yes, those are cars that had been abandoned by their owners.
It was definitely a crazy two days. But hey, at least I’ve got some stories and a myriad of inside jokes, right?