if you’re already sick of hearing about the south’s icy disaster last week, then stop reading. no hard feelings.
normally, the entire city of birmingham shuts down at the slightest possibility of icy conditions, and normally people roll their eyes and think it’s an overreaction, especially if nothings happens. well, something did happen last week that should make it abundantly clear why shutting down the city is not an overreaction.
*click here to see a gallery of pictures submitted to james spann by people all over the south*
tuesday was a
hot cold mess. the forecast called for a “light dusting” of snow, which happened for about 15 minutes, but it quickly became clear that this was going to be a heavy dusting plus lot of ice. most businesses and schools closed around 11:00, which meant everyone was attempting to get home at the same time after the roads were iced over. my co-workers and i watched people attempt to drive through an intersection across the street and they were slipping and sliding and couldn’t even make it up the slightest incline. i knew i’d have to be a fool to even try getting home. it was taking people 4 hours to drive 2 miles only to have to abandon their cars and walk back to work, or home, or to the nearest place to seek shelter. kids spent the night at their schools, babies spent the night in day cares, adults spent the night in their offices, and worst of all people of all ages had to spend the night in their cars trapped on interstates and highways. diabetics were trapped without enough insulin to get them to the next day. people with low blood sugar were trapped without food. cancer patients were trapped without necessary medicine. at least two babies were born in cars. thank God there are good people in the world, because those that could, organized and went on missions to rescue the people that needed rescuing.
our experience was not nearly as bad as most people’s. casey and i stuck around work until around 5:00, then had to decide what to do. i really, really wanted to go home. driving wasn’t an option, but i didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t walk home. yeah, it was freezing and the roads were iced over, but it was only 6 miles and if we didn’t walk home then, we’d have to walk home the next day in the same conditions AND have to clean up dog mess. i presented my case to casey and my points were all valid so he agreed and off we went, but not before stopping at ashley’s apartment to get rain boots, a scarf, and plastic bags to put on our feet.
the walk really wasn’t bad at all…it was kind of fun. our feet stayed warm the whole time and my hands stayed warm most of the way. our thighs were really the only body part that was pretty cold the whole way. on our walk we saw several abandoned, wrecked cars, and we saw a few people who were still trying to drive! one truck slide off to the side of the road almost hitting a parked car and two other cars were stuck just burning rubber trying to move. other than that, our walk was really quiet and well lit, which made everything seem peaceful and look so pretty and sparkly, but also eerie because it seemed like we were walking through a ghost town.
when we made it to the giant hill that leads to our street, we weren’t surprised that it was closed and blocked off with caution tape.
walking up the hill almost made me break out in sweat, but it was awesome to get to the top because that meant we were on our street!
when i got to the front door my hands were useless. they were so cold it took me several attempts to get the key in the key hole and when i finally did, i couldn’t pinch the key to turn it. i sort of freaked out for a second and screamed at casey to come unlock the door because he was just hanging out in the middle street messing with his camera.
i don’t know if i’ve ever been more glad to walk into our house. bella and ellie greeted us like normal, totally oblivious to the world. we let them outside to run around for a bit while we changed into warm, comfortable clothes. i spent the next 20 minutes holding my hands over a floor vent until they were able to function again.
we spent all of wednesday in the house. casey took advantage of the time and cleaned out a bunch of his stuff from our closets. we played outside, too.
on thursday, casey had to go to work at 1:00, so his co-worker who lives near us picked us up. i got dropped off at my car so i could drive home. there was still a lot of ice on the roads, especially in the shaded areas, and still so many abandoned cars. the caution tape had been removed from our hill, but it was still completely iced over. i watched a truck slide down it sideways and then flash its lights at the person who was about to attempt to drive up it. needless to say, i went home the back way. by friday most of the ice was melted and things went back to normal.
like outkast said, “you could plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.”