Icepocalypse Now

Made it to work ok.

Over the past two days, most of Atlanta was shut down over fears of nasty road conditions. The streets were repaved with ice, doom and gloom, etc. After two days, businesses that had kindly told their employees to stay home couldn’t take it anymore and opened their offices. Bad timing on their part.

The roads are said to be even worse than they had been for the past two days. GDOT released a statement saying they’re not happy with the way their plans turned out. There’s precious little salt on the roads anywhere (there’s a stretch of Georgia 400 that’s beautifully, perfectly salted… it’s about 200 yards long and then it’s back to the mess). The connector is covered in ice that’s jagged and pitted like a little mountain range. Driving over it is like offroading: it feels like you’re jumping curb after curb getting over it. In spite of it being so icy, those bits actually get you decent traction given how lumpy it is.

The AJC’s traffic Twitter said there were three times as many cars out today than the past two days. It’s a horrible mess. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get home.

I’m glad to have made it ok, and quite happy to have more experience in driving in such shitty conditions, but it was nerve-wracking stuff. I’m a mess of exhaustion and adrenaline. I’m also one of very few people in the office… the whole of our first floor cube farm is now my personal office.

A few memories stand out of the journey, which I’m recording here to remind myself in the future. The ice on that bridge just south of those damned Airtran/Delta billboards. The ice on the on-ramp from 19/41 to I-75. The lady in the Suburban with educator tags weaving in and out of her lane to try to pass someone, while on her cell phone. ┬áThe way that the cleared lanes on the interstate would weave… sometimes the right lanes were clear, sometimes one right lane and one left, etc. For some reason, there’s a stretch on Georgia 400 a bit before the tolls that stands out in my mind, just about the time the sun came up. It wasn’t any scarier than the rest of it, but there you go.

Anyway. It was ugly. It’ll continue to be ugly. As a kid I always used to notice the little salt-dome enclosures they had everywhere up in Chicago (thought they were Indian Teepees as a tyke) and took them for granted. I really, really miss them now.