Thursday, January 30, 2014

Destin Iced Over

It does not happen often but it happened this week. Destin and the panhandle froze over. It started on Tuesday with daytime temps that stayed just above freezing all day while it rained on and off. We actually got a break because if it was a couple of degrees cooler we would have iced over with a lot of folks on the road. The rain did stop in the evening and as I went to sleep it was drying out due to a strong northern wind that was blowing.

How will we survive?

The reports were for more rain and possibly snow overnight with dangerous road conditions Wednesday morning. I was awaken about 1 am with the sound of a strong rain storm…or it might have been sleet…I rolled over and went back to sleep figuring I would see when I got up for work.

It will be weeks before we get out!

I leave for work at 6 am. As I stepped outside the temp was 25 degrees and the driveway was a sheet of ice. I walked to the street in front of the house. It was iced over but it was very thin. I decided to take off and see what it was like. The backroads I have to take had some ice but also some puddles that were not frozen. I got up to Hwy. 98 without seeing another car on the road. As I turned onto 98 the road was a thick sheet of ice. I immediately started sliding around. I had the local radio station on and the DJ’s were relating their trip into the studio. Both bridges I have to take were open but very dangerous. The wind was howling and on the island the wind would break the car loose. I have 15 miles to go to work. I turned around and went back home. My plan was to wait till it warmed up and the streets thawed a little.

The horror of it all...

It was a good plan but we never warmed up all day. The highest it got to was 29 late in the afternoon. By 9:30 am all the bridges were closed. I could not go anywhere if I wanted to. Destin was cut off. We were really an island now. Same thing with Okaloosa Island. They were even cut off more as they are so small. The Ramada Inn bar was open as staff from Tuesday didn’t go home so they were there to keep the bar and restaurant open on Wednesday. The place was packed as no one had anywhere else to go. 

Sledding down the Destin Bridge (From Destin Log FB page)

As the afternoon wore on, video’s and pictures started showing up on FB of people sledding down both the Destin and Brooks bridges. They were using boogie boards, lids from containers and even coolers…anything they could find. I have to hand it to Destin folks, we can make a party out of anything!

I know the people up in Atlanta had a horrific time with the storm. I have many friends up there and some were stranded on the highway’s all night. Luckily we were not that bad. Most everyone was shut down. Very few people were on the road. Some got stranded on one side of the bridge but that was about it. We had many fender benders but nothing serious. With so many roads closed including a stretch of Interstate 10 from the Alabama line eastward for about 100 miles, the authorities handled this very well. My hat’s off to them.

Fun at the Destin Bridge (From Destin Log FB page)

The ice should be gone today. We will get to almost 50 today and will be in the mid 60’s by Saturday. Everything will be back to normal as we will complain about the snowbirds driving slow in the left lane with their turn signal on! (Except for Alan!)

One last item…Sunshine Cindy and I went to Landshark Pizza on Monday. We were stopping in for a quick bite to eat but found the place to be packed. Turns out a birthday party for a local was going on. They then had Music Bingo from 7-9 pm. We stayed and enjoyed the fun. I had not done that before but it was a blast.

Okay, Super Bowl Sunday. Everyone have a good time. We will be at Sago Sports Bar to watch the game. See ya Monday!!!

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