Thursday, January 30, 2014

What happened in Birmingham?

I thought I would share my adventures in the ice-disaster that was Birmingham on Tuesday, January 28th.

It started Monday morning. Hubby left for the airport at 4:20 for a flight to New Orleans. He called me later that day to say his appointments for Tuesday and Wednesday were cancelled due to weather, and I told him to rent a car and come back.

Hubby left New Orleans at 5:00 am on Tuesday and then drove through sleet, freezing rain, snow, and a blizzard in Tuscaloosa. He finally made it home, well almost. His rental car could not get up the snow and ice-covered hill in front of our drive way.
The hill hubby could not drive up

Meanwhile, I got up Tuesday morning, took care of the dogs, dropped the dogs off at day care and went to work. My thoughts: oh it will snow a little, but it won't be bad. One of the girls left work at 10:15 to pick her kid up from day care which was closing at 11. The rest of us watched the snow come down and thought UAB would close soon. They finally made the announcement at 11 that they would be closing at 12, but it was too late. The road conditions rapidly deteriorated

What the roads rapidly turned into: ice!
Initially, I decided to wait-let everyone else leave, and then I would head out. Around 2 pm, I started realizing I wasn't going to make it home. The roads had iced over very quickly and everyone was trying to get home. Cars slid. Trucks jack-knifed. People couldn't make it up hills. And boy, does Birmingham have a lot of hills. The end result: everyone was stuck.

2 pm. Gridlock of people trying to leave Birmingham
Fortunately, I have some friends that live within walking distance of UAB, and I made my way to their place along with two other friends. We spent the night with them, and watched in horror the number of people that were stranded in vehicles on the interstates. People abandoned their cars and walked miles to shelter in below freezing temperatures.

Abandoned cars that could not make it up the hill in front of our neighborhood

More abandoned cars in front of our neighborhood and lots of ice

Someone slid into our neighbor's yard
Wednesday morning we got up and watched the news. The roads were still bad! Not only was there ice, but abandoned cars were blocking traffic everywhere. Again, we realized we were not making it home safely. The ice did thaw towards the end of the day and it helped a little. We got up Thursday morning and saw that the roads were mostly clear. We walked back to our cars, and then I picked the dogs up from day care and finally made my way back home. I was amazed at the number of cars that still littered the roads!

Our dogs were happy to be home and enjoyed the snow today :)

I'll be happy if I don't see snow for a very long time!

A big thanks goes out to my friends for letting us stay with them!


Brigitte said...

OH my, this looks really scary. You were very lucky that you could spend the night at your friends' home. We often have snow covered roads during the winter but not that much ice.

Chris said...

What a horrible storm. So glad that you found a place to spend the night. I hope that things have melted and are starting to return to normal.
Have a great weekend!

Mii Stitch said...

This is exactly why I don't like snow!!! It's fine if you're comfy at home & have nowhere to go... otherwise it cause chaos. Glad you had a place to stay, your friends are precious x

Le trame della Galaverna said...

The snow is beautiful, but only when we are on holiday ... :-)
otherwise it is difficult to get to work on snowy and icy roads
every time it snows I shovel a lot of snow :-(

ciao Giovanna