The great ice storm of 2014…

Another winter storm hit Atlanta this week – I decided to blog my way through it for you guys (without leaving the house this time – we all know what happened last time I ventured out!) and work out whether all the hype was justified or not.

Monday:

So, just 2 weeks ago Atlanta was left crippled when Snowmageddon hit. Thousands were stranded, either in their vehicles, with friends, at school and even in grocery stores overnight as the city struggled to deal with just 2 inches of snow.

And now, 2 weeks on, another winter storm is on the horizon and all eyes are on Atlanta and it’s authorities to see if the same happens again. Today is Monday, the storm is expected to hit on Tuesday, with the worst of it on Wednesday, when the streets are expected to be covered in ice.

Already, the authorities have declared a State of Emergency in over 40 counties, and after school activities were cancelled first thing this morning, Atlanta Public Schools have already said schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. A State of emergency operations center opened at 3pm. People have been asked to leave work as early as they can today so snow ploughs can start treating the roads from 6pm. Extra trucks have also been brought in from southern Georgia, an area that’s not expected to be hit by the bad weather.The Mayor, Kasim Reed, has already said that shelters will be available for people who get stranded. Oh and we can’t forget the panic buying at the supermarket! This one always surprises me – do people really not have enough food in their homes for 2 days?

But, is it all an over exaggeration? Will the weather be as bad as it was 2 weeks ago or are authorities jumping the gun to save their butts from more embarrassment?

Tuesday:

The storm is apparently hitting us right now, but, as I look out of the window it looks pretty normal, it’s raining with a little bit of sleet mixed in. So far, so good. But, according to the news, tomorrow will be the worst day – that’s when icepocalypse hits! Yep, we’re expecting an ice storm. It will rain and immediately turn to ice, this could mean power lines go out and we’re literally stranded in our homes as roads turn into ice. Fine by me, I’m not leaving this time!

But, you would think the world is going to end! This time, the whole city has shut down, already, in preparation for the storm. Supermarkets were, last night, rammed and shelves were emptied of bread and milk:

Oh and not forgetting the looooong queues at gas stations because we all need a full tank of petrol when we’re being told to stay at home!

One news station described it as a ‘catastrophic event.’ Now, I’m not being funny, but I don’t class some bad weather as a ‘catastrophic event!’ To me, a catastrophic event is more like a tsunami or an earthquake, a terrorist attack or a mass shooting, not an ice storm! The advice is to make sure you have batteries for flashlights (I don’t think we even possess a flashlight but we do have candles!) to keep your cell phones and electrical devices charged (mine are both charging right now but that’s more because they were dying!) to have food that you can eat from a can without heating it up (I think I could manage that!) and to keep your taps dripping so pipes don’t freeze.

The German escaped the weather this morning and caught a flight to Chicago – he’s supposed to be back on Wednesday but we’ll see about that! With the ice storm expected to hit tomorrow I told him to take extra undies with him just in case!! And it seems I was right – seconds after writing this he sent me a text to say his flight has already been cancelled and he’s coming back on Thursday, via Detroit! Excellent. I don’t think we’ll ever have snow days where both of us are at home!

Anyway, I’ve just been to the local supermarket to get some supplies – everything is still a-ok out there boys and girls! Sadly, I didn’t see scenes of queues a mile long (I was actually hoping for it for blog pictures!) but there wasn’t much bread left:

Ice 1

And they’re all out of firewood:

Ice 2
Good job I stocked up on that one at the weekend even though I’ve never actually started a fire in my life and have no idea how to do so! Ah well, I’m sure if it came to it I’d get through it! I did, however, stock up on some essential supplies:

Ice 3
Pizza, a sub, salad and sushi – all the essentials! Ice storm…I’m ready for you!

Wednesday

Now this is more like an ice storm! I woke up this morning, looked out of the window and saw this:

Ice 5
Yep, the street, cars, everything is covered in a layer of ice and as the day continues, this thing is getting worse! At the moment it’s raining – freezing rain it’s called. It looks like the really fine stuff that gets you really wet but as soon as it hits the ground it freezes over and leaves another layer of ice. I really want to venture outside and take some pictures for you guys but I don’t want to get wet/iced up and with the German in Chicago I’m here on my own! I’d only end up falling arse over tit as we say back in England (imagine this little Brit doing some bad attempt at figure skating before her legs fly in the air and she lands on her butt with a great big thump!) and that’s not the best way to spend an ice storm day! So, instead I’m having one of these:

Ice 6
Yep, it’s a pyjama day in this Brits house! Yay! Maybe I’ll venture out in the morning to snap some pictures before it all melts away! Things are supposed to get better tomorrow – they better do, that German of mine is supposed to be coming home and I haven’t had any face to face human contact for nearly 2 days now!! He had better be prepared for a very excitable wife when he gets back!

So, right now I’m hoping the power doesn’t go out. Things are looking pretty bad over the rest of Atlanta – I’ve found some pics on Twitter for you guys and snapped some pics of the TV – I may not be venturing out but you still need to see these things!

By 11:30am this morning more than 100,000 people in Atlanta were without power. That rose to nearly 200,000 by 1:30pm. Things are still looking good here although the big trees outside our apartment are swaying pretty well today! Eeeek!

The rain’s just got a little heavier here in Sandy Springs…it’s mad watching it fall as rain but the ground is solid ice that just keeps getting thicker! I can only imagine what it will be like by the end of the day!

Thursday

Yaaaay! I survived the great ice storm of 2014! Phew!! The power stayed on and everything! Cabin fever well and truly set in last night though – jeez I was so fed up of seeing the same 4 walls! I even got fed up ofwatching Gossip Girl and I’m only on season 1! I figured I had to start something new – the constant coverage of the storm on nearly every channel was really starting to annoy me! But I woke up this morning to a layer of snow on top of the ice making the place look really beautiful!

Thankfully it’s not sticking around though and the great thaw of 2014 is now underway! But I have been out and taken some pictures for you, just before things really start to melt away!! Plus, I NEEDED to get out of this apartment!

The sun is out now and the ice and snow is slowly disappearing! All you can hear is water trickling as it thaws out from the roofs! If you walk under a tree it’s like being in a rain shower as the ice melts from the branches and when the wind blew the ice flew off the trees! It’s pretty but I’m soooooo glad it’s disappearing! I need to get out of the house and get a sense of normality back!! This ice storm has done nothing for my wedding diet and trips to the gym! The German is supposed to be coming home today – he’s about to leave Chicago for Detroit and then land in Atlanta this evening! Fingers crossed he makes it ok! Things should be a lot better by this evening as temperatures rise and more of the ice melts away so he should get back safely and in one piece! I need some face to face human contact!!! There’s gonna be one excited wife when he arrives home!

So that was the great ice storm of 2014 and it seems this storm was a pretty bad one. I think authorities were right to make sure everyone was home! Personally though, I think they did over-react a little bit on Tuesday – there wasn’t any ice on the roads and things were just like any other day. Forecasters were even telling you that it was safe to be on the roads until midnight! But, Wednesday was a completely different story – if anybody woke up that morning and attempted to venture out in their cars they were idiots who were asking for trouble if you ask me! It was treacherous out there but thankfully this time we didn’t see pictures of gridlocked roads with people sleeping in their cars overnight, people seemed to listen to the warnings and stayed indoors! That, I am not surprised about after Snowmageddon! Big up to the authorities for that one! I think they gave everybody enough warning that this beast was coming so people were prepared.

And the good news – according to my friend I am now a true Atlantan – I’ve survived my first ice storm!!

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7 thoughts on “The great ice storm of 2014…

  1. American’s certainly have a way of dealing with the snow don’t they?! I mean even up here in Michigan where snow is somewhat the norm in winter months, first hint of snow and everyone charges to the stores and whips out everything. Then again if even half this snow or ice had landed in the UK I think the country might have shut down!

    • They definitely do! It was pretty unbelievable down here – the way the stores were cleared of bread and milk! Do people really not have enough food at home to survive for 2 days?? And yep, the UK would have, without a doubt, shut down with the amount of snow we had never mind what you get up there! I remember it once taking me 5 hours to get to Leeds because of the snow and then I dumped my car and walked the rest of the way! It should have taken me half an hour! Gotta love the Brits and how they deal with a little bit of the white stuff!

  2. Glad you survived! Here in New Jersey, we’re more used to winter weather, and it’s a good thing, too – we really are having a bad winter up here. We got 11 inches of snow this morning on top of what was already on the ground, which was quite a bit. We’re in a break right now, but this evening will bring another 4-8 inches, and there is more forecast for Saturday.

    In answer to your questions about why people stock up, and get gas, the short answer would be power outages. When Hurricane Sandy struck up here, many places were without power for 8-10 days or more. No power means no gas being pumped! If you are expected to go to work or just be able to move around, you don’t want to be waiting in line for 2-3 hours at a station that can still pump gas. Also, if the roads are closed, resupply to stores may be a little spotty, and again, depending on if the store has power, it can take a while to check out. If you have food in your home, you don’t have to deal with that.

    Keep in mind too, that Atlanta is a Southern city. Not much experience with winter storms, don’t really have the infrastructure to deal with it. While we won’t usually close everything the day before a storm, preparation begins as soon as possible. Trucks were out yesterday pre-treating our roads, brining and laying down a layer of salt. When I woke up this morning, my street was plowed and passable, and right now, we are plowed down to blacktop. While schools and State offices are closed, most stores are open, so life goes on, even with 11 inches of snow.

    • 11 inches of snow?! Wow! I don’t think I could deal with a winter like that! I love the sunshine and warm weather too much! Already I don’t know how I lived with the winters in England for so long – I’m craving the sunshine and hot weather already here and it’s only been a few months! Hope you’re keeping safe and warm!
      Thanks for the help with the storm stuff! It’s nice to get feedback from natives who know why these things happen! You can really tell Atlanta is a city with not much experience of winter storms – especially by the way people drive in icy conditions! Way too fast!

  3. Hi Rachel! So glad you linked up and followed me. We have some definite similarities. 🙂 I really can’t believe how hard the US was hit with snow this year and yet, here in Germany where I love we had none! Look forward to reading more.

    • Hey! Thanks for the comment! Yep, our German husbands and hausfrau attempts are definitely similar!! The snow here in Georgia was just mad!! Add to that the fact that people here just don’t know how to deal with it and it gets ten times worse!! The UK is the same with the lack of snow – they’re just flooded with rain instead! Just weird!! Hope you like the blog!

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