Thursday, March 30, 2017

American Motor Over Smoldered Field

Apocalyptic scene from the evening commute - a pillar of black smoke emerging from beneath an underpass.  Sounds of howling belldogs and screaming sirens in the background, the traffic inches by the fire.  Even with my windows rolled up, I could feel the intense heat from the flames as I drove by.

Home, I went on line to see what was burning.  "Downtown streets closed amid ‘red mercury’ investigation," read the Atlanta Constitution Journal headline.  "A man claiming to have red mercury from Africa walked into the Region 2 location of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission," according to police.  Homeland Security was called, and parts of Peachtree Street, Peachtree Center Avenue, and Courtland Street have been closed.  A hazmat team, bomb squad and fire trucks were seen near the investigation.  Sounds serious, but that's downtown, nowhere near this fire.

Maybe this is it?  "A car caught fire off U.S. 78 in DeKalb County after someone was shot," the next headline reads.   "One person was in critical condition after being shot in a car on U.S. 78 in DeKalb County," an incident confirmed by police to be related to road rage.  Well, this involved a burning car, but that incident was happening over near Stone Mountain, miles from the fire I saw.   

No answers to be found in the AJC, but fortunately for us the website for local television channel WSB has the story. "Massive fire shuts down I-85 N," their headline reads.   Traffic is now being diverted from the stretch of road above - I was apparently lucky enough to have made it past before the highway was shut. No details about what was burning, though, or why, but from the look of the "coverage" (actually, just a collection of tweets) it appears to have been a car fire.

I see a Facebook post report a "major fire disaster at I-85 and Armour Drive."  An entire section of the freeway I was just driving on has collapsed to the ground below.  "There was a great deal of PVC pipe being stored there," the post says, "which will cause enormous air pollution. Stay away if you live here.  This will take months to repair."

Okay, now the AJC has finally picked up the story.  They confirmed that the highway collapsed about a half hour after I had passed it.  The interstate will be closed in both directions "for the foreseeable future," they say.

Rush hour in Atlanta is turning into Armageddon.  News at 11.

Here's Montreal's Silver Mt.Zion Band to help us make sense of it all:

1 comment:

Donna said...

I thought of you when I saw the news this morning. Thank goodness you're okay. Super scary, right?