Greetings From: Atlanta, Georgia

A convoy of bucket trucks takes up most of a rest area’s parking lot while headed to deal with an ice storm in Atlanta.

By Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

We were glad to be back on the road.

We had gone home for Christmas. We’d left Savannah, Georgia, dropped our RV off at friends near Albany, Georgia, and headed for Michigan. 

In Kentucky, we’d been knocked off the road by a distracted driver. A shop band-aided our truck back together enough to limp home.

A three-day visit had turned into two weeks while we waited for the bodyshop to finish the repairs.

And now we were driving south on a tight schedule to get back to Atlanta. We had a training business and had scheduled a class there. 

Some students were local, but we also had people flying in from other states and other countries.

Then we started passing them.

Bucket trucks.

A brigade of them.

We’d only been on the road a couple of months, but the sight was unusual. I got curious. While taking a break at a rest area I grabbed my phone and started nosing around.

Checking the weather provided the answer.

Atlanta was expecting a heavy ice storm. 

Those trucks were carrying a portent of powerline workers.

A minivan is stranded in an ice-over parking lot in Atlanta, Georgia.

Comparing the storm’s pace to ours, if we pulled a long driving day we could get to Atlanta before it did. I got us back on the highway while MsBoyink called ahead and added a night to our hotel stay.

We arrived late, unloaded, and tucked the truck down in the parking garage.

And waited.

How often have you heard predictions for bad weather that don’t come true?

This one came true.

Freezing rain became snow became more freezing rain became two inches of ice.

Atlanta was paralyzed. 

People were stranded. Restaurants were closed. Streets were nearly empty.

Attempting to walk the streets of Atlanta after a heavy ice storm.

And shelves started clearing out at the store. 

Between our accident, extended holiday in Michigan, and yet being back in our RV, we didn’t have much for food. The ice storm had changed our plans to eat out.

My son and I went to the grocery store next to the hotel. 

And found a new dilemma. 

On the one hand, we needed food. I felt the responsibility of feeding my family weigh heavy on my shoulders. Survival mode was kicking in.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to get caught up in the hysteria. We considered ourselves Christian, with faith in God’s provision for our lives. 

But we realized just how easy that is to do when the store shelves are full.

I bought what I hoped was enough food to last until then.

And hoped I’d never be in that situation again.

They updated the forecast in Atlanta. A thaw was coming.

Until then, we made do. We visited a (big) local church. We found an open store and bought some games. We (finally) found an open restaurant. 

A couple of students had also made it in before the storm. The hotel let us do our training in their conference room at no cost.

The thaw came. People chiseled out. The hotel got the ramp out of the parking garage cleared. After 10 days with four of us in one hotel room, we were able to fetch our RV and continue traveling.

I know. 

The coronavirus isn’t just a spring ice storm. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

But we are strong.

And our God is in control.

We’ll get through this.

Together.

If you get directions to an address on “Peachtree” in Atlanta, double check your GPS. the city has 71 streets with “Peachtree” in the name. Learn other fun facts about Atlanta at atlanta.net.