January 30, 2014

Well this sure has been an interesting week down here in the South.  Monday night I was checking the forecast, which is odd because I never check the news, and saw that most of Alabama from Tuscaloosa down was going to be getting snow.  Tuscaloosa is just about an hour southwest of us, so I didn't think another thought about it.

Getting in the car on Tuesday, I thought the sky looked snowy, but then again we never get snow, so I kept on trucking into work like any other day.  By 10:45 I was getting calls from Ben, my BFF, my parents, and my grandfather asking me if I was leaving work.  Ben had been sent home and said the roads were really bad.  We still had patients in the office, so we just kept working, really not thinking that much of it.  By noon, Ben still hadn't made it home from his office, which is about 10 minutes away from our house.  He still wasn't home at 1:00... He was stuck in traffic which was being held up by the massive amount of ice accumulating on the roadways at an alarming rate.  Thank goodness he works so close.  People were trapped in their cars, inching their way towards home all across Birmingham, for 3,5,6,13 hours.  I say 13 hours because that's how long it took Ben's brother to get almost to his house just to be turned around by the national guard and drive another hour here to our house.  An hour that would usually take about 7-10 minutes on a normal day.  It was truly madness.

While all of this was going on, my coworkers and I had come to the conclusion that we were stuck at the hospital for the night.  It was interesting, to say the least.  I have to admit, I'm blessed to work with the people and doctors that I do.  They aren't the worst group of people to be stuck with.  :)  Several trips were made to the gas station next to the hospital for wine, beer and more wine.  Sadly, I could not partake due to surgery, but they sure were fun to watch.

The next day they were telling people to stay off the roads, but I made the trip home around noon.  It truly was long and treacherous.  Thousands (yes, thousands) of people had abandoned their cars all around Birmingham (my best friend included) and started to walk home.  Or to shelters, churches, warming stations, etc... throughout the city.  Kids were trapped in cars with their parents, at schools with teachers, and unfortunately some on buses that got stuck on the roads.  I even saw cars overturned, a school bus overturned, and cars that had slid right down into the Cahaba River.

ALL of these cars were abandoned.  the tiny bit of gold bumper you can see in front of me is the only line of cars that were actually moving.

Needless to say, the "light dusting" that we were expected to get very quickly turned into a state of emergency.  The sanding trucks had already been sent far South of us, as they were expected to get hit the hardest.  By the time they realized they needed to send them back up, the interstates and roadways were so jammed with wrecks and abandoned vehicles that the sand trucks couldn't even get to the roads to cover the ice.  Not to be dramatic, and I think a lot of people would agree with me, but this is by far the craziest thing I've seen or experienced in my lifetime.  I spent so much time just praying for people trapped and Thanking God that my loved ones were safe and warm- if not at home, then at least somewhere out of the cold.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The South may not know how to handle snow and ice very well, but the kindness of people on Facebook and out in the city made my heart fill with pure joy.  I saw so many people on Facebook say that they had 4x4 trucks, four-wheel drive, etc... and would be willing to go wherever someone needed them to in order to help them.  People got out and skated on ice to help push cars out of the way.  Someone, I have no idea who, but a stranger, stopped and took my best friend to a church nearby after my best friend walked four miles through snow and ice in an attempt to get home, which was still about seven miles away.  I'm proud to be a Southerner, especially in times like these, when our Southern hospitality really shines.

Ben and I were both told to stay home today.  Ben's working from home and from what I can gather, the hospital shut down as much as it possibly could.  According to my office manager, they weren't even opening up the parking decks to let anyone in.  So as I watch the sun finally shine and some ice melt from the roof, I'm going to do school work with a more thankful heart than usual and hope that the normalcy of every day life resumes soon.  Hoping my friends all over the city, the web, the wherever, are safe and sound somewhere today.


  1. It truly has been a crazy last 36 hours! I am so proud to say that I live here in Alabama where strangers help strangers in time of need. Glad you and Ben are home safe!!

  2. This definitely tops the Blizzard of 93. So happy you and Ben are safe and warm. Please be careful!