Brookhaven, GA – Tuesday’s winter storm wreaked havoc on travel. Headlines throughout the metro-area looking for the reductionist nugget of what caused the gridlock abound. But there’s another story within the debacle.
Many Brookhaven locals were out in the neighborhoods helping neighbors and motorists get through it all and make their way home.
Along Johnson Ferry Rd. good samaritans armed with cat litter, shovels, push-brooms, and strong backs helped hundreds of travelers up the slick hills. More than 200 vehicles were helped along as they crested the hilltops.
At the Valero gas station at the intersection of Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry, one employee stayed the night – keeping the coffee pots full and providing a spot to warm up and gas up before venturing back out.
Many drivers tried to cut through the Brookhaven Fields community in an effort to avoid North Druid Hills Road and Dresden Drive, which were both gridlocked by 6PM. The weary drivers just wanted to get home, but as nightfall approached, many ended up spinning their tires on some of the steep, icy roads in Brookhaven Fields that had not been treated with salt.
Brookhaven Fields neighbors did what good neighbors do, they banded together to help stuck motorists. The Post witnessed community members push several vehicles around and back down treacherous roads. As more drivers approached, neighbors warned them to avoid the impassable roads, especially steep ones like Coosawattee Drive and Briarwood Road at Buford Highway.
By Tuesday morning, the South Brookhaven area looked more like a “walkable” community than ever before. Even though sidewalks and roads were still one big ice skating rink, residents carefully ventured out, and gathered in the few places that were open, like Savi Provisions, Waffle House and Dunkin Donuts. Along their journeys, most took a moment to stop, say hello, and share their experience over the previous 24 hours.
Residents also used technology and social media to reach out to one another. Emails were sent to remind folks to check on the elderly or those that might need assistance. Some used the SnowedOut Atlanta Facebook Group to connect stranded friends and family with complete strangers that offered rides, food, and shelter.
Neighborhood kids found the silver lining in the ice and snow. Hockey games broke out, sledding, and building snow men were just a few of the fun activities that brought families together.
Without the efforts of these extraordinary folks, many more people could have been stranded.
A huge THANK YOU to all who pitched in!