Real cold weather and closed bridges are something you don’t see often in Florida.
When I lived in Carrollton, Georgia I saw this happen a lot and thought I had left this type of weather back there.
They are a little better prepared for cold weather with salt trucks now, but when I lived there they hadn’t quite caught on to the need to salt the roads, especially the bridges.
Back then it brought everything to a standstill until the weather broke and things started to thaw out.
Once it snowed, followed by an ice storm with the temperature not getting above 25 degrees for three days.
We could not leave the apartment complex where I lived for two days.
Thankfully, the cable worked and so did the heat.
There were several hundred homes, however, that had no electricity because the power lines had been covered in snow when the ice storm came through and ice built up until the lines collapsed.
It was very similar to what went on last week in Atlanta.
It was then that I learned about the dreaded words, “Black Ice.”
Black ice occurs when the water on a black top road freezes. What makes it so dangerous is you don’t see it at night. It just looks like a wet road. But, it does not drive like one.
It usually happens about dark when the temperatures drop, and I saw it a lot when I lived in Carrollton.
Your vehicle acts a lot like it does when you lose control on a real muddy road.
The worst thing you can do is panic, which causes you to do such things as slam on the brakes and oversteer.
I saw a lot of that in front of the store I owned, which was on a major four-laned highway.
It was not uncommon to see a car going sideways down the street at 40 to 45 miles per hour during some of those ice storms.
They would end up in the ditch or, on a few occasions, hitting someone head on. Several people died along that stretch of the highway during those storms, by the way.
It is dangerous and best to not even get on the road unless it is a life or death situation.
I don’t like to drive in those conditions and avoid them as best I can.
The worst one I have experienced was a couple of years ago when my daughter Cindy and I drove from Chicago to Detroit in a drizzling rain that turned to ice.
Cindy drove and I sat in the passenger seat watching the ice build up on the side of the road like the old refrigerators used to do if you left the freezer door open.
Traffic moved slow, and occasionally there was a salt truck that would pass us on the edge of the road slinging salt.
By the time we got back to Detroit it was coming down pretty heavy and between the ice and road mist I couldn’t see 20 feet in front of the car (good thing she was driving). And, of course, there would be that one person who would pass us doing twice the speed limit, it seemed.
Personally, I don’t like real cold weather and I don’t like to drive when there is the potential for black ice on the road.
The best thing to do in this type of weather, I’ve learned, is to stay home if you can, read a good book and keep warm.