FROZEN IN PLACE--In this aerial photo, abandoned cars at I-75 headed northbound near the Chattahoochee River overpass are piled up in the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Traffic was grid locked on the connector Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014 as many employers let their employees off all at the same time. The winter storm that paralyzed metro Atlanta and other parts of Georgia prompted Gov. Nathan Deal to declare a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon, Jan.28, 2014 for all 159 counties. In a matter of hours, snow blanketed the area. But any hopes of a winter wonderland were dashed by a more miserable reality. Take rush-hour traffic in Atlanta, add inches of slushy, slick mess and the result is gridlock on interstates in all directions. For hours, roads and interstates have remained jammed stranding some drivers, and there were too many wrecks to count Tuesday afternoon as a winter storm continued to dump snow across metro Atlanta. Many school systems dismissed early, sending some parents scrambling home. Others seemed to hit the roads, too. But it was anything but a typical commute, even by Atlanta standards. Drivers reported commutes of more than three hours. Some school buses couldn’t run routes and were forced to return to schools. And teachers and students were faced Tuesday afternoon with the real possibility of spending the night in the classroom. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
A week after the two-inch blizzard that paralyzed Atlanta and gave late-night comics plenty of great material, I'm still hearing from people having a hard time emotionally.
"This is suprising for me as I am typically strong," said a Brookhaven resident named Maria. She didn't want her full name used.
"Sunday, I was still traumatized," Maria said. "Crying occurred out of nowhere. Now that I am back to work I have no drive. I wish I could just stay home. The news likes to say there were lots of 'great things' that happened. They are just downplaying the terror that so many faced. On Facebook I commented that I think I have PTSD, and when a few friends bragged about how great they did, I came unhinged. I would never have belived PTSD was true - were I not experiencing it."
I can empathize. It took us 13 hours to drive from the AJC's Perimeter Center office to our Marietta home Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
Since then, I've been getting a steady stream of reader response. "I sat down to read the paper today and found myself sobbing uncontrollably," Linda Frakes wrote on Saturday, the day the snow-PTSD article ran. She shared details of her long, frustrating journey home and added, "I guess I am writing to you partially because it is somewhat cathartic, but mostly because I am appalled at the complete lack of responsiveness, communication, coordination and concern that seemed all pervasive in this situation, apparently all over the city. I am a business owner who is accustom to taking charge in situations like this....and I don't think I have ever felt so powerless and alone as I did Tuesday night into Wednesday morning The situation kept getting worse, we were all calling for help, and no one was coming."
"I laughed, I cried and sympathized," wrote Diane Owenby Conley.
"You and I must have been within a few car lengths of each other for a lot of hours," wrote Oliver Halle.
And blog commenter J. Massara posted, " I have to admit that I've been both rattled and irritable, and not snapping back as quickly as either I or some of my less empathetic colleagues would hope," following his 22-hour ride from Atlanta to Peachtree City. "I'm guessing that in a day or two I'll be back to normal, but for now I still feel as if I were run over by a truck - something that very nearly happened a few times!"
Anyone else having trouble getting back into the groove?