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Snow Gridlock Reminiscient of 2009 Storm

A week before Christmas in 2009, I-26 for miles was a parking lot filled with gridlocked drivers stuck in a huge winter storm.  The unforgettable storm gripped virtually anyone venturing out onto local interstates where drivers were forced to abandon their cars and walk to shelter. The national guard was called out to help.

Now locals from around Asheville have found themselves in the middle of Atlanta's gridlocked mess.

News 13 spoke by with Miriam Matz who moved from Hendersonville to Atlanta.  She described what it was like sitting more than eight hours in the snow and ice back-up.

"It was tiring and dark," said Matz. There were tons of people just sitting next to me, rows and rows of traffic, and I wasn't even on a main interstate.

"My phone was almost dead," she said. "Crews here in Hendersonville even did a much better job than in Georgia."

"My daughter lives in Hendersonville and she had been snowed in overnight at a friends' house.  She had maybe half-a-mile to go to get home. But the roads had been plowed.  Road crews out there they had done preventative work.  None of that happened in Atlanta."

While sitting in her car for hours Miriam got emotional. She said one thing helped her make it through.

"I was actually listening to the local Christian radio station. They did a forceful effort of making the radio station's seem incredibly positive and only people that were calling in were talking about snow heroes and people who were bringing food and water to abandoned motorists."

Vance McGraw of Bat Cave was driving to Atlanta for business. He had been paying close attention to storm warnings and abandoned his business call making the wise decision to stayed overnight in Macon.

"These people down here don't know how to drive. There were people off in ditches," said McGraw.

Vance called his business associates back in Asheville.

"I wanted to let them know I'm not going to be able to get there tomorrow. I was stuck here," said McGraw. "They are completely understanding. They're just glad I'm in a safe spot in a hotel. I'm fortunate I'm not in my car."

by Kimberly King

Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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