Woman stuck in snow traffic for 17 hours

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 23:20:45-05

CINCINNATI – The drive from Georgia to Cincinnati got 17 hours longer for Kate Anthony, who was one of the hundreds of drivers who got stuck on the I-75 in the snow.

Anthony, a Cincinnati native who now lives in Georgia, and her partner, Jamie, were about 5 miles outside of London, Kentucky when they came to a spot where the traffic on the highway wasn’t moving.

“All of a sudden there’s all this traffic stopped in front of you, and there’s nothing you could do,” Anthony said. “[There were] miles of trucks and cars in front of you, and all these people pulling in behind you, and nowhere to go, and not a thing you can do at that point.”

They got stuck at about 2:45 p.m. Friday. It was 25 degrees out then.

“At first, it was just kind of frustrating and a little boring,” she said.

At about 5 p.m., some police officers came by and helped everyone move into the right lane. A snow plow was supposed to come by and clear the left lane, but it never did, Anthony said.

“That’s the last we ever heard of them,” she said.

With just some fruit and protein bars for snacks, they ended up trying to melt some snow to drink.

“It didn’t melt very well, so we were just basically eating ice chips,” she said.

As the sun went down and the night wore on, things started “to get a little scary,” Anthony said. The police came by at about 2 a.m. Saturday to check that they had enough gas, so they could keep the car warm. But that’s also when they learned help wasn’t coming until morning.

The hardest part was the cold, Anthony said.

“We couldn’t sleep. You try and doze a little bit, but we had to keep turning the car off, to not run out of gas,” she said. “So you turn the car off, and then it gets really, really cold, so that wakes you up, so the you turn the car on and warm it up again. We’re doing this cycle every 15 minutes, so all this time we’re really not sleeping at all.”

Still, they were lucky and had blankets. They weren’t sure what was happening to other drivers across the miles of stuck vehicles.

“People could have been dying out there,” Anthony said. “We didn’t know.”

After traffic finally got moving Saturday morning, the first thing they did was stop for breakfast at a Waffle House, Anthony said.

She recommended that others prepare for the winter before venturing out in a car.

“We were very lucky, we had blankets and food in the car, and it would’ve been even better if we had water,” she said. “So if you’re traveling in the winter, do be prepared.”