The Silver Lining Of Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse 2014

Atlanta’s politicians, infrastructure, public transit, and winter preparedness may be epic failures, but our people are anything but.

Instant chaos

For those stunned by the fact that “two inches of snow shut down Atlanta,” here’s an explanation: Schools and businesses, which normally close at the mere threat of snow, remained open until the first flakes began falling around noon, at which point everything shut down at once. Thousands upon thousands of drivers flooded the highways (Atlanta’s public transit is…inadequate to say the least) at the same time, trying to pick up kids from school or get home from work. The gridlock prevented salt trucks and plows from accessing the roads. The snow turned to ice. Vehicles were unable to get up hills due to the ice. Hundreds of accidents blocked lanes, worsening gridlock. Hours later, cars began running out of gas. It was a horrible ripple effect. These traffic maps, provided by Twitter user @a23kiki23 (Kevin O) show just how quickly things got out of hand. Twitter: @a23kiki23 / Via Twitter: @a23kiki23

Atlanta closely resembled the opening shot of “The Walking Dead,” as evidenced by this side-by-side image tweeted by @BeMeyer. pbs.twimg.com / Via Twitter: @BeMeyer

Stranded

People spent the night in their cars. In 12 degree cold. Children were trapped on buses and at schools. Pregnant and elderly people were left stranded without medication or help. A baby was born on I-285. Police stopped responding to calls about accidents. The highways are littered with cars abandoned after they ran out of gas or drivers decided to walk after not moving for five or more hours. ajc.com / Via ajc.com

SnowedOutAtlanta

Then something amazing happened… More than 46,900 Atlantans (and counting) joined the Facebook group SnowedOutAtlanta, which was created to provide info and resources to those who needed help. A map was created so that people could add their homes and show where stranded motorists could get shelter and supplies. Via Facebook: 397839673695382

Southern Hospitality (aka How To Restore Your Faith In Humanity With Eight Simple Photos)

Atlantans were soon mobilizing—delivering supplies, rescuing trapped drivers with 4WD vehicles, opening their homes to provide shelters, sharing information, and generally being absolute champions to one another during the crisis, which continues even now. I’ve been truly shocked by the goodness in people and though it’s obvious we’re not great at winter weather, I’ve never been prouder to be an Atlantan. fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net / Via facebook.com

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