48 hours - Atlanta's Long Bitter Winter

For immediate release:Southern City in Recovery Mode

(ACPA-Atlanta) Atlanta is slowly getting back to normal following one of its worst winters in recent memory. It happened quickly with an intense dusting of at least half an inch of snow. With only 48 hours advance warning, there was little anyone could do to prepare. Temperatures plunged below freezing point and the South East had been thrown into its worst disaster since Hurricane Katrina.

 this is actually from Southern Brazil,

it was way too cold to take a picture in atlanta. photo by Mauricio Mercer Actions stations were called in our home that morning. Hot old-fashioned Oatflakes were prepared for the first time in 15 years and Lord knows that stuff is just not easy to make. After a frantic search, I finally found my Weather Emergency Kit and broke out the thick coat, scarf and hand warming thingies.

Nature's Wrath

After an emotional extended hug with my wife and kids, they rushed back upstairs under the covers, while I made a dash for the car. Once securely inside, I pressed the seat warming button - thankfully it worked. Nervously, I pressed the garage door opener then inched slowly outward to face nature's wrath.

It was tough out there. Experts on the radio were warning us not to roll down windows, advising that in these temperatures you could catch a nasty cold in as little as 30 minutes.

And that long 20 yard trek across the car park to the office, I will never forget it. I thought of Captain Scott and the doomed polar explorers leaving base camp and never returning. Would I make it?

I was glad I had read the instructions for my scarf.

Traumatic Images

Oh, but the pitiful site of Atlantans in those hats, coats and scarves, those deformed images will remain with me forever. An ordinary people suddenly snapped up into an onslaught from Mother Nature - the extent of the disaster becoming clearer as folks in hushed voices called loved ones and friends to cancel weekend barbecue plans.

The terror went on for 2 long days and nights. Finally, we crawled above freezing, and by the fourth day it was sunny and warm again. But the damage had been done. Scores were suffering from scarf burn; others had heat exhaustion from leaving coats and hats on for too long. The long winter was over but the disaster will forever be etched in the collective consciousness of a traumatized Atlanta.

It's at times such as this that we are at one with our northern brothers and sisters, those in Indiana, Illinois and other godforsaken places that we could never live in. Indeed, as the cards and letters of support from my friends up there start to arrive next week, I will read each poignant missive with a tear in my eye; the tossed aside hand warming thingie serving as a reminder of the bitter times we endured in Atlanta

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