Thursday, August 23, 2012

Carmageddon

It should have been obvious to me, after the lousy night's sleep i had, that the day was going to be trouble.

For some reason, it did not register.

Thus i went ahead with my plan to go get my oil changed before the flashing light telling me it was past time decided to morph into something more dangerous, like an inability to move the vehicle.

It was an error i would regret for the next few hours.

Getting where i wanted to go was very easy, and only took about the usual amount of time.

Going back home would be much trickier, due to the accident.  The accident on the interstate.  The accident i didn't know about when i left the house.

One tanker truck, carrying isobutane.  One car rear ends it in every early morning traffic, shearing off the valves that are used to get the inflammable liquid into and out of the tanker -- because it was built over 40 years ago, before a crash guard was required that protects the valves.  Thus there is no way to empty this thing, and it is a huge bomb sitting on the interstate.

That means the interstate is shut in both directions, for the entire day.

Thus, Carmageddon.  Traffic in proportions not seen since Hurricane Gustav.  Every side street bleeding off of that portion of the interstate stopped dead.

What would usually be a ten minute drive home turned into a two and a half hour ordeal, in which i had to circle around most of the city.

During my time out, i called the children's teacher and told her that they would not be coming back to school until the interstate was cleared.  She understood.  After all, it would only take me the normal time to get them out there, but i would probably not get back home before time to turn around and go get them.  She gave me their assignments over the phone, and knows they will be back when i can get them there.

Bigger Girl and i also discussed her getting to class.  It was very simple, i told her, she would have to take her lunch and dinner with her, and any snacks she might want, head down there to get her books, and then stay until her last evening class was over.  Complicating this was the fact that her phone up and quit working two days ago, but since i haven't been able to get her another, she would just have to do what we did before mobile phones and wing it on the way home.  Getting there wouldn't be a problem, it was early and that direction wasn't too crowded yet.  The return trip, since it's straight down that same one road,  would involve just sitting in traffic, depending on how the day went.


By the time i got home, i was so glad i didn't want to leave the house again, and kept fielding calls from Sweetie about how he would get home in the evening.  Turned out to be easy, he got off work early, because the State Police were asking people to get off the roads and home as fast as possible, and stay there.  His boss actually let them all get out early, which is a miracle when you consider that the last two hurricanes, he required them to go to work even though the State Police had shut down the University.

Unfortunately, about halfway through the afternoon, i remembered that i am assisting the shelter caretaker on Wednesdays until another assistant can be found.  Fortunately, they allowed me to go in very early, i took Little Girl and #2 Son, we worked so fast we were done in under 45 minutes, and i was able to access a part of the interstate that was flowing during that time but which would be awful later on.

We were gone about an hour, and i pray i don't have to leave until the ordeal is over.  As i like to tell people, i am a teetotaler, but bad traffic like this is the one thing that can turn me into a drinking woman.

After consultation with every expert around the country they could talk to, who all scratched their heads and had no clue what else to do since you can't offload the thing, it was decided to evacuate homes within a certain distance and try to do a controlled vent and burn.

All i know is, it's going to be a long night for a lot of people. 

Edited this morning to add:  the evacuation didn't extend quite to us.  They got people out who live within 500 yards of the accident, we are about 1,000 yards from there.  We had permission to take our bottle kittens to the cat shelter and spend the night there if we needed to.

The thing was blown just before midnight.  #2 Son has pictures of the flames, taller that the buildings on the other side of the creek and pond.  They expect the interstates to be open again later in the morning.


Today is

Black Ribbon Day -- Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania

European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism -- European Union

Flag Day -- Ukraine

Great Feast of the Netjeru (all gods and goddesses) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Hotter 'n H*ll Hundred Bike Race -- Wichita Falls, TX, US (cyclists of all ages in the largest sanctioned century ride in the US, in the Texas summer heat; through Sunday)

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

National Spongecake Day

Nemeseia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (local festival to the goddess Nemesis, date approximate)

Prairie Village Jamboree -- Prairie Village, Madison, SD, US (keeping the old prairie life heritage alive for new generations; through Sunday)

Qi Xi -- China (Double Seven or Chinese Valentine's Day, the 7th day of the 7th moon, the day all the magpies in the world form a bridge so the cowherd and the weaver can meet across the Milky Way, which separates them.)

Ride the Wind Day -- internet generated, a day to get out and ride with the wind in your hair, in whatever transport you choose, or fly a kite

Sento Kuyo -- Nenbutsu-Ji Temple, Adashino, Kyoto, Japan (memorial service for graves that no longer have families to tend them; through tomorrow)

St. Eoghan's Day (Patron of Derry, Ireland)

St. Rose of Lima's Day (Patron of embroiderers, florists, gardeners, needle workers, people ridiculed for piety; The Americas/The New World, especially Central and South America, Latin America, Peru, and the West Indies; Lima, Peru; Philippines, Santa Rosa, CA, US; Villareal Samar, Philippines; against vanity)

Valentino Memorial Service -- Hollywood Cathedral Museum, Hollywood Forever Cemetary, Los Angeles, CA, US (annually since 1927, a memorial service celebrating Rudolph Valentino on the anniversary of his death)

Vertumnalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (in honor of Vertumnus and Pomona)

Vulcanalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival to the god of fire)

Watermelon Festival -- Winterville, NC, US (sticky fun; through Saturday)

Zucchini Festival -- Obetz, OH, US (family fun and zucchini; through Sunday)


Birthdays Today:

Kobe Bryant, 1978
River Phoenix, 1970
Queen Noor of Jordan, 1951
Shelley Long, 1949
Barbara Eden, 1934
Mark Russel, 1932
Vera Miles, 1930
Gene Kelly, 1912
Louis XVI, 1754


Today in History:

On the feast of Vulcan, Roman god of fire, Mt. Vesuvius begins to rumble, 79
Visigoths storm Rome, 410
Edward I executes William Wallace, Scottish patriot, for high treason, 1305
French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada, 1541
Rabbi Joseph Caro completes his commentary of Tur Code, 1542
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots in Paris begins, 1572
The first one-way streets open in London, 1617
Steamship service begins on the Great Lakes, 1818
Great Britain abolishes slavery in the colonies, 700,000 slaves are freed, 1833
Automobile tire chain is patented, 1904
The World Council of Churches is formed, 1948
Lunar Orbiter I takes the first picture of Earth from the Moon's orbit, 1966
Bryan Allan, in a Gossamer Condor, completes the first man-powered flight of one mile, 1977
Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defects to the US, 1979
Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defects to East Germany, 1985
Hungary opens the Iron Curtain and allows thousands of East Germans through to West Germany, 1989
West Germany and East Germany announce that they will unite on Oct. 3, 1990
The remains of Anastasia and Alexei, rumored to have survived the 1917 assassination of the Russian Czar and his family, are found, 2007
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown, 2011

3 comments:

  1. Too close for comfort. I'm glad you're okay. I'll be thinking about you today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds nasty, for sure. I believe that I just read about that same accident on another blog located in your area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Stephen and Hilary, it did all work out. They got it blasted and removed, and we are back to business as usual.

    ReplyDelete