VIDEO: Reporter perspective, timeline of icy gridlock - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

VIDEO: Reporter perspective, timeline of icy gridlock

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - The snow fell heavier and faster than expected Tuesday, catching thousands of motorists, like myself, off guard.

When I was heading to Hoover at 10:32 am, Interstate 459 South near the Galleria looked generally clear, with snow blowing around like white sand.

Within minutes, the conditions worsened.

By 11:15, the snow began to blanket Hoover's Highway 150.

When I jumped back on I-459 to return to the TV Station, I quickly discovered my icy drive was only just beginning.

Northbound traffic crept along between Highway 280 and Grants Mill
Road, often stopping completely.

Forty minutes later, I found out why.

A tractor trailer was stuck in the two left lanes and a Good Samaritan was trying to free the 18-wheeler with little success.

I continued on I-459 until I reached Interstate 59 and headed south.

Then at 2:14, traveling in light traffic near Tallapoosa Street, I hit some ice.

After spinning 180 degrees, I came to a stop within feet of the concrete barrier on the right shoulder, facing oncoming traffic.     

I safely straightened up, though, and safely navigated my way onto the Red Mountain Expressway.

There I witnessed nearly twenty abandoned vehicles.

Finally, at 4:03 pm nearly five hours after I left Hoover, I hiked up the snow-covered Valley View Drive and arrived safely at Alabama's 13, counting my blessings.

It took five hours to make a trip I typically could do in twenty minutes.

Trust me and the thousands others who endured the icy gridlock when we say stay off the roads and stay home.

You will be glad you did.
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