Doesn't look like it's snowing, does it? But anyone who pays much attention to the weather knows that in the Northeast we are getting hit with a huge snowstorm. A blizzard warning has been issued for some counties in the state, and in central Maine we are expecting 8-20 inches. (That's pretty broad, isn't it?)
We had a storm earlier this week on Wednesday. It was only a couple of inches, but it was enough to make for terrible driving conditions. When I went to work that morning, the interstate hadn't been plowed completely, so only one lane was mostly clear. Right before I got to Augusta, I was concentrating so hard on staying in my lane that I missed the fact that traffic had come to a complete stop on the interstate, probably from an accident up ahead. By the time I realized it, it was too late. I slammed on the brakes, but I wasn't aware that the car even slowed down. I knew if I crashed into the cars a lot of people would be hurt, so I steered the car off the road into a ditch. When I left the highway I was driving close to 50 mph.
It was a wild ride as I drove down the embankment, into a ditch filled with muddy water and cattails, out the other side of the ditch into a field, and then back into the ditch, where I came to rest. Other than scaring myself half to death, I was absolutely fine, and my car was fine too. Two other cars behind me also went off the road into the ditch, and two or three cars behind us crashed into each other on the interstate. It was a mess! I discovered there was a tow truck coming right up the shoulder--I'm guessing he must have been pulling people out all morning--and he hauled all three of us out of the ditch too. By the time I got back on the road again, I was shaking so hard I could hardly drive. I was foolish to drive that fast, given the road conditions, but it is a lesson I only need to learn once.
Needless to say, when I came home from work this afternoon in the middle of the snowstorm, I drove at a comfortable 35 mph, which was well below the posted speed. A long train of cars formed behind me, and most were content to follow the leader. At one point a tractor trailor zoomed by me at about 65 mph, and less than two miles down the highway the driver went off the road into the trees. I hope he was alright. My son, who was also working today and drove home from Lewiston in near blizzard conditions, also got home okay. We're in for the night!