Southern cities may have been caught by surprise by the ice and cars that descended on city highways Tuesday in the midst of a winter storm, but residents responded without a second thought to the crisis with speedily-organized and massive efforts to help stranded motorists.
Brain Surgeon Hikes Six Miles in Birmingham
Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, a neurosurgeon in Birmingham, Ala., was at Brookwood Medical Center when the storm hit Tuesday night and he got a call for an emergency brain surgery across town. Hyrnkiw tried to drive to Trinity Medical Center, but had to abandon his car and hike the six miles to the other hospital to perform the surgery, according to the Birmingham News.
“Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died,” Steve Davis, a nurse at Trinity, told the paper. “But he is doing well.”
Atlanta Residents Rally on Social Media to Organize Help
In Atlanta, Michelle Sollecito sprang into action and created SnowedOutAtlanta, a Facebook group where residents in distress could connect with volunteers for help. Hundreds of individuals posted about bringing food, water, and fuel to distressed motorists stuck on Atlanta’s clogged highways or helping to push and tow cars for others. Some even opened their doors to house stranded drivers overnight.
The group then set up a crowdsourcing map that allowed users to enter locations where people needed help.
More than 55,000 people are now part of SnowedOutAtlanta’s Facebook group.
“Through this page, an elderly woman with cancer got help; a pregnant mom and a young child found shelter; a man with a heart problem got to the hospital,” Sollecito told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Baseball Teammates Live Tweet Rescue
And perhaps most famously, former Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones rode to the rescue of an ex-teammate who was one of the stranded drivers on Atlanta highways Tuesday night. Jones rode a four-wheeler to rescue Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman, who had been stuck on the road for more than five hours, as the pair live-tweeted the rescue.