by: Diana Davis Updated:
ATLANTA - Thousands of drivers and passengers were stranded for hours, trapped in their cars --sSome with no food or water.
The northbound stretch of I-75 at West Paces was one of the worst hit metro interstates.
“I've never seen anything like this in my entire life. I mean cars were abandoned and just left on the side of the road all over the place,” said Nicki Lohman, who lives nearby.
Nicki and her husband saw on TV what was happening just a few hundred yards away and didn’t hesitate.
“I literally think we stopped looked at ourselves and then we both got up,” Lohman said.
They couldn’t get up the on ramp, so they hiked around and made it up the off ramp. They went from car to car, passing out hot tea, water fruit and snacks.
“We just kind of packed for what we didn't expect and what we hoped to do, and went out with a willing heart.” Kenneth Lohman said.
The Lohmans said each of the people they found marooned in the cars had their own story to tell. The one common denominator: They were all grateful.
“I think one couple we saw had just gotten out of the hospital at 3 o'clock the day before and they seemed pretty appreciative to what we were doing,” Kenneth said.
Kenneth has stepped up before. After the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado, he said he and his buddies loaded up a pickup to help in the cleanup, not just for a day or two but several weekends.
He kept in touch with one man long after the storm.
“His name was John. When his house was devastated he came back and we took him to a Braves game. It was his first and he was just really humble and the opportunity to give back is always cool,” Kenneth said.
Whether it is a tornado or a snowstorm, helping out leaves behind a good feeling, Kenneth said. It’s not just for those helped, but for those who offer help.
“I would encourage anybody to take that step, whether it's handing out five dollars or just even of your time,” Kenneth said.
The Lohmans said all in all they tended to people in marooned in cars for more than two hours. They were not alone. Similar, good deeds happened all over metro Atlanta. The Lohmans said some of the neighbors in their apartment complex even offered some of those drivers a pace to sleep.