A Preview of What Will Come

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Downtown Raleigh

Today should be a wake up call for people in North Carolina. Our state government’s solution to an impending snow and ice storm was to brine the roads. Unfortunately, the brine only melted the snow which quickly turned to ice covered by snow. Within one hour, I-40 in Raleigh was covered by snow. And not one snowplow was seen even though traffic was moving about 20 mph at that time. My normal 15 minute commute took 2-1/4 hours. Once the exit ramps closed due to accidents and abandoned cars, the main arteries were doomed.

Observations:

1. No one could have foreseen the rapid accumulation of snow in a two hour period. But snow plows should have been out on I-40 and US 1.

2. The police had no communication with the DOT. I was within 1 mile of my house when abandoned cars and accidents blocked the bridge ahead. I turned around to backtrack and saw a sheriff’s car sitting in the same lane from which I had just turned. I stopped and asked him if the bridge ahead would be cleared. He did not know that the bridge was closed due to accidents and abandoned cars. I assume that he turned around at some point.

3. My local talk radio station continued to play Rush Limbaugh instead of issuing traffic reports. I did not hear one traffic report during my “commute” home.

4. As in the ice storm ten years ago, cell phone communication was quickly overloaded. I could not communicate or coordinate with my family.

5. Once I got home, my son told me that his car was parked at a gas station 5 miles away and his family car was abandoned halfway up a hill about 2 miles away. Someone had given him and his family a ride to our house. We went out to get his car with my four wheel drive. This is when I realized that this was just a preview of our future.

a. The Good: people were out helping cars up hills and pulling them out of ditches.

b. The Bad: I was actually warned by a women driving in another direction to not continue down Penny Road in Raleigh. Her warning was not about road conditions but the people. When were you ever warned to stay away from people for you own safety?

In our subdivision, traffic was stopped by two trucks going in opposite directions for over five minutes  as the drivers had a conversation. A man in back of me walked up to them to have one move to allow traffic to continue and they did not listen. I walked up and asked what the problem was. Which brought about an angry response by the one driver (both were outside standing in between their cars). I asked again what the problem was and want kind of help did they need. At that point, the other man got into his truck and left. As the line of cars passed the still stopped truck, I stopped and told him to follow me to my house and I would help him.

His problem was that he lived about five miles away and did not know how to get home. He had no maps and did not know any alternate routes to his house. I gave him directions as his wife, baby and dog stayed in the car. But the truly scary part was the expression on his face. Once he realized that he had no idea how to get home (solve a problem), his mind stopped working. I had to repeat simple directions in order for him to comprehend them. And I do mean simple directions.

What will happen when this man has no food and his family is starving?

David DeGerolamo

      
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4 Responses to A Preview of What Will Come

  1. Harpo Marx says:

    Selco at shtfschool.com discusses this thing. The guy you were talking to had blown a mental fuse. Not a good thing when times get tough and a bit of ice and snow on the roads isn’t what I would call tough. Inconvenient, yes, tough? Wait until it snows enough that it takes hours to dig out of your parking spot. My wife moved a ton of snow when I was traveling and she’s 60. We’re soft. Creep down the road, don’t try doing the speed limit and plan way ahead for stops so you don’t need to slam on the (non working) brakes. For a change be a little polite (a totally alien concept to many NC drivers). Driving like a BOOH only either has you wrecking your car or someone else’s car. Tail gating is a big no-no too (see above reference to being a bit more polite).

    Would say stay home where it is warm and dry. Eat the food you have on hand (menus might be a little strange, but food is food). Relax. Avoid getting drunk or stoned. You might have to use the mush that resides in your head. When walking go slow and avoid hills. Walk flat footed so your whole foot comes straight down (avoids slipping). Stay dry. Get wet (regardless of the source sweat makes you wet too) and you chill much, much faster. Exercise outdoors and you might consider just wearing gloves and a hat while carrying your coat. Keeps you from getting your coat sweat soaked.

    Don’t bring the BBQ grill into the house for heating. You will kill everyone in the house with carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t crank up your generator where the exhaust drifts into the house. It will kill everyone in the house. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Everyone has a splitting headache and the canary died? Get everyone out into the fresh air. You will have a headache that lasts for nearly a day, but you will be alive.

    • David says:

      I am familiar with Selco’s stories. I do not see the morality in people necessary to survive stressful conditions in the future. Especially after yesterday. I heard a story about law enforcement second hand concerning the conditions in Raleigh this morning that reinforced the concept that power corrupts absolutely.

      • Harpo Marx says:

        Absolute power corrupts absolutely. True. If/when things get really, really bad keep your head down and be aware of the situation going on around you. Cops don’t know it all even though they may think they do.

  2. tmedlin says:

    my husband and his carpooling buddy were following a snow plow that turned off 401 onto Old Stage, because 401 was shut down (unbeknownst to them). When the plow stopped on Old Stage and the driver was talking to LEO, hubby and buddy got out to ask what was happening. This was about 3:30 am -- no one else was on the road -- no big deal to ask LEO where they were directing them…right? WRONG! LEO screamed at hubby and friend -“Get back in your car NOW! Follow the snow plow! Get back in your car!” Could have easily said,” Sir, 401 is closed. You are being re-directed to 1010 via Old Stage”. No harm, no foul. But no, he had to act like a jackwagon!

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