Local reaction to Deep South winter nightmare


by Michelle Arnold


Posted on January 29, 2014 at 6:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For those of us north of the Deep South, what happened on Tuesday, Jan. 28, seems tough to fathom.

"We made a joke on the way down; I said 'look at this white stuff on the road.  These Atlanta people aren't going to know what to do about it,'“Michael Brown said.

Louisvillian Michael Brown was absolutely right--they didn't.

"It got to not be a joke in a hurry because it froze over and these people don't know how to drive it. They have no snow removal equipment," Brown said.

Brown and two of his co-workers were headed to Atlanta after a work meeting in Marietta, Ga. They went from coasting on Interstate 275 to a standstill.

"From 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. we did not move. The vehicle didn't move," Brown said.
Brown says the car was very cold, around 20 degrees. They would start the car only when absolutely necessary.

"If you ran out of fuel you're done," Brown said.

Many drivers were done; Brown saw thousands of abandoned cars and no relief.

"We didn't see a single snow plow; we didn't see any snow trucks--nothing," Brown said.

"There were school busloads of kids stuck on the highway and everything. It was bad," Todd French said.

Truck driver Todd French said the same. Because of his profession, the Indiana man was ready for this traffic disaster.

"Fortunately, I have a fridge in my truck so I was able to keep cold bottles of waters and stuff in here," French said.
French gave water to those around him and listened to the radio while he sat in his truck for 24 hours. He heard lots of stories.

"There was a lady that had a newborn baby out there because they couldn't get to the hospital. It was pretty bad," French said.

French said a state trooper and the father delivered the baby. Now French and Brown are both glad the ordeal is over.

"We never imagined we would get stuck for 16 hours on a four lane interstate," Brown said.