by: Mike Petchenik Updated:ATLANTA —
As the ice melts, we continue to hear stories about good Samaritans stepping up to help others during the storm.
Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik spoke to a group of developmentally disabled adults from “Just People Village” in Roswell who found themselves stranded in a bus on Holcomb Bridge Road Tuesday afternoon.
“Traffic was gridlocked,” said passenger Theron Graves. “It just wasn’t moving.”
Bus driver Lisa Taljan told Petchenik her bus overheated after 9 and a half hours stuck in traffic, so she shepherded more than a dozen of her passengers into a Super Target store.
“She didn’t want to put our lives at risk like that,” said passenger Gregory Jones.
Once inside, the group quickly realized there was no way out because Holcomb Bridge Road was now closed on either side of the store.
“It was a last-minute call for us, based on collaboration with our corporate office and our field partners, that the right thing to do was to stay in the store for the night,” store manager Brice Dobson told Petchenik.
Dobson said 68 customers and 10 of his staff members stayed the night in the store.
“People were sleeping on the floor, people were sleeping on the table,” said Graves. “ Me personally, I couldn’t go to sleep.”
The next morning, Taljan said several of her clients were in dire need of seizure medication. The store pharmacist walked in from his home up the street and provided crucial medication to those who needed it.
“They accommodated us with anything we needed,” said Taljan. “They asked throughout the night numerous times, did I need anything? Is everybody ok?”
Petchenik also spoke to some customers at a Roswell Waffle House who stepped up to help staff “smothered and covered” by a deluge of stranded drivers.
“It was me just trying to get everyone taken care of,” said Stephanie Diggs, manager of the Mansell Road location.
Customer Randall Burks told Petchenik he got stranded on his way home from work, and wandered into the restaurant.
“The place was packed, standing room only,” he said. “ You couldn’t move. Shoulder to Shoulder.”
As Burks watched employees struggle to keep up with demand, he offered to help.
“Next thing you know I was washing dishes,” he said.
Before long, Diggs said other customers starting pitching in to help.
“I had people taking out trash, washing dishes,” she said. “I had two actually taking orders. Some were taking out drinks to everybody.”
Diggs said one women even poured waffles for the hungry masses.
“ I was really happy they were helping, honest,” said cook Brandon Goltz-Lovelace.
Customer David Brehmer said he and his wife were amazed at the kindness of those who started helping.
“We just called them our angels,” he said. “Folks who didn’t have to do it and just decided out of the goodness of their heart and helped out.”