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  • Andrew Pritchard

Narrowly Escaping Nashville

That has to have been the most not in control I've ever felt in a weather situation. I thought we'd left early enough to beat the worst impacts, but hit the heaviest snowfall rates I've seen in some time in Nashville instead.

On Interstate 24 I watched as several vehicles slid off the road, and then a cargo van directly in front of us lost it and did a lil' swerving before hitting the median wall and coming to a stop. We continued on slowly.

I-24 came to a stop at the 24/40/65 junction entering downtown Nashville. I sat there and stared at the Hermitage exit two lanes to my right. Last exit before the Cumberland River bridge.

The recent I-95 disaster fresh in my mind, my heart was pounding. No part of me wanted my family stranded on the interstate indefinitely in a winter storm. I exited. I'd rather take my chances downtown where at least I have options vs risking another interstate shutdown. Passing under I-24 I passed under the wreck that had the bridge completely blocked. Those folks were going nowhere.

We rejoined 24 north of Nashville. South of Clarksville brake lights and stopped traffic ahead. Again, I have an exit and I take it. At the top of the bridge deputies have the on-ramp blocked, and passing over 24 I see it's a stand still again with folks standing around outside their vehicles.

I pieced together smaller highways into Clarksville and we came to a stop to kiss the ground and grab a warm lunch. Kentucky was a slushy mess, and Illinois was completely snow free (our car completely caked in snow/ice stands out, for sure). We arrived home around 3.5 hours later than our original ETA with a 7.5 hour drive taking 11 hours instead, but that is NOTHING compared to the alternate universe where we are still in freaking Tennessee right now. There was a time where I thought our best case scenario was going to be miraculously getting to a hotel in Nashville and sleeping off the storm. Shoot, they are STILL advising no travel in Nashville as most roads are still entirely snow/ice covered.

Anyway. Just some insane luck with timely exits and my eternal hatred for interstates in snow coming through.



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SKYDRAMA | Meteorologist & Atmospheric Photographer Andrew Pritchard

I'm a meteorologist born and raised in the American Midwest passionate about forecasting and observing severe storms.

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