It was a day when a 10-mile commute could take you at least six hours. For those heading from downtown to the burbs, it was even worse.
The interstates were a gridlocked mess long before the snow finished falling Tuesday. And side streets? Even worse. Some people ditched their vehicles and set out on foot. Others tried to help stranded strangers. And many persevered, moving a few inches an hour toward home.
Here are some of the stories from those on the roads:
“This was, hands down, the worst day of my life,” Evan McLean of Canton said around 9 p.m. McLean got on I-285 near Perimeter Mall shortly after noon. He thought it was early enough to miss the traffic jam. He was wrong. McLean said he thought he’d try back roads and get off the interstate. Again, not a great idea. “I was literally stranded on Canton Road for two and a half hours without moving an inch.”
Both Alicia Jones and her 2-year-old daughter were in tears late Tuesday while trying to reach their south Fulton County home off Langford Parkway. “We’ve been on the same road for seven hours,” Jones said around 9:30 p.m. “People are stalling, no one has gas, trucks are jack-knifed.” Jones, who is eight months pregnant, said she felt contractions and was trying to stay calm.
“It’s been kinda crazy,” Andrea Duke said. “I have been in the car for eight hours.” Duke left work in Kennesaw and headed toward her Vinings apartment, but hours later, was still driving. A few miles from home, she remembered what was in her trunk: cat litter purchased the night before. She used it help other drivers on South Cobb Drive.
A Facebook page called “SnowedOutAtlanta” served as an outlet for stranded commuters and those wanting to help. “Unfortunately, many are stranded where there is NO exit, NO help — my husband being one — please keep all those folks in your prayers,” one person posted.
Kyle Gibson, an insurance agent, and his cousin traveled from Gwinnett County to Cobb County for an exam Tuesday morning. It took them more than eight hours to get back to the office. “At one point, around 6:45, 285 was like a bumper pool table with abandoned cars and stuck 18-wheelers stopping up the highway,” Gibson said. “It was crazy!”