Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Snow Blizzard

We left Wauregan, Connecticut late Thursday night, drove to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts to pick up a relay load of paper rolls at Flynn's Drop Yard, then unloaded at Jerich USA in Dayton, New Jersey Friday morning at 6:00 AM EST. We were dispatched to a Procter & Gamble plant in Avenel, New Jersey at 11:00 AM to take on 49 drums of various oils used in the production of their scented products. P&G detained us over two hours beyond my legal 14-hour workday for loading.

We found the nearest "safe harbor" (a trucking term which means the closest place to park after exceeding legal work hours) - the Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza near Cranbury, off the New Jersey Turnpike - and retired until Midnight Friday to start our journey toward Procter & Gamble in Browns Summit, North Carolina. The Mid-Atlantic snow blizzard hit Friday night. There was no chance of safely driving in this storm, so I rolled over in the tractor bunk to sleep until daybreak and check conditions at that time. The photo is of D-Rod Saturday morning after over two feet of wet snow had already accumulated overnight. It kept snowing all day Saturday, and the wind began to howl.

Finally, after 10:00 PM Saturday night, the blizzard subsided and we started on our way toward North Carolina. It took nearly 11 hours to drive 463 miles; definitely not a good MPH average. But all's well that ends well. We made safe delivery in Browns Summit this morning around 10:00 AM. We had to wait outside over an hour - with P&G employees - for unload; the Greensboro Fire Department was on site to deal with a small disturbance in one of the warehouses.

Summary of road conditions along I-95 corridor and south: Wilmington, Delaware (not good); Baltimore, Maryland (a little better); Washington, D.C. (2-3' of snow on the ground; dozens of stuck tractor-trailers); Southern Virginia (ice everywhere; 31,000 homes without electricity); Northern North Carolina (sunny, but cold, with piles of recent snow stacked everywhere).

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