We got a late start Saturday morning heading back to Memphis from Louisville after a very positive Green Industry Conference. Unfortunately, the trip expanded from the expected six hours to about nine.
Long before we reached Bowling Green, traffic began to back up on Interstate 65. It slowed to a stand-still. After waiting (somewhat) patiently for around an hour without being able to even see what might be ahead and considering how far behind us traffic might be backed up as well, we pulled out the iPad toinvestigate using one of my favorite road trip apps -Waze. It seemed there was a semi accident involving a fire and hazardous materials perhaps ten miles ahead. Traffic in the north bound lanes was very light. We crept forward a little bit and then discovered that any forward movement we were making had to be the result of vehicles either turning around or trucks pulling off o to a rest area that looked packed. We approached a turnaround and a vehicle approached, driving the wrong way on the shoulder. The driver let us know it was a hazmat situation and that the road would be closed for a very long time. We were able to turn around and sought an alternate route. The first detour we found was also moving very slowly, so we got a little creative and wound our way through the Kentucky country side, finally emerging just north of Bowling Green. The fall colors were brilliant throughout the trip and we saw a part of Kentucky we had never stopped to see before. All-in-all, it wasn’t too bad, except for the three hour delay.
An hour and a half later, we were on I-40, headed from Nashville home to Memphis, a road we travel pretty frequently. No delays there, but we did see an awesome display of how this country really works. Inthe eastbound lanes, we saw perhaps as many as 500 utility company bucket trucks headed east. T assist with the expected aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, well in advance of an expected landfall on Monday. If the storm is even half as severe as the predictions, these trucks and others like them ariving on other east-west routes won’t prevent destruction or eliminate power otages, but they surely will make a huge difference in getting power restored to many people as soon as possible. It is great to see these companies working together to deal with a natural disaster.