I may not have lost shiploads of men along the way, but I did have to circle around my town about 4 times before I could find a way through.
How it went:
3pm: Co-worker forwards new item on tornado warning in NW Connecticut
3:10pm: I google the difference between "warning" and "watch"
3:30pm: I walk out of my office, and get in my car...heading west on I-84
I eye the skies throughout my trip, thinking what approach I'll try when I get closer. I look in my rearview mirror - I-84 is generally south and west through my drive, and I see dark clouds behind me and semi-clear skies in front.
Until I hit Danbury.
Times will now be approximate/nonexistent:
~5pm: I make it to right before exit 8 (where the WalMart is), and sudden squall - rain so hard can't see; everybody turns on hazard lights... people pull over underneath an overpass, and I pass them, pulling over to the shoulder where there aren't many trees [this is EXTREMELY hard to find a spot.. I'm behind someone else]
I sit there for a while. I'm listening to Dune: House Atreides audiobook at 1.5x speed. There's at least 20 hours to go on the recording, so I'm good for entertainment, at least.
The rain lets up after about 20 minutes or so and traffic starts passing again, but as hail hit my windshield a couple times while I was sitting there, and the rain was still going for a bit, I waited til I pulled back on the highway.
There were trees down in many places as I get closer to where I wanted to get off I-84 - it lets out onto 202, and I'm going to get on 116 when I get there... I plan on taking that to right past my kids' schools, and onto Hardscrabble Road... Hardscrabble is okay til where it crosses 684... one of the main drags near me... and I start seeing people make U-turns, or getting onto 684. I'm about a mile from my house... I wait about 15 minutes... it's obvious people aren't progressing... so I get on I-684 South.
I take 684 south down to 35.... I'll take that over to 100, and try from that direction.... I get to Somers, which is where my church is. It's a good thing, because I have to turn off that, again, because of a downed tree. I take 138 past my church, and try getting on 22 and moving up from the south....
I have to take a U-turn where that runs into 116. The cops have blocked it off. I do a 3-pt-turn again.
So headed back to Goldens Bridge and stop at the shopping center right next to the train station. The power is out at all these places... but I can get a wifi connection.
It's 7pm now. I text Stu... and then I call him on my just-charged cell [I have a dumbphone... I use it for emergency purposes, but often it's not charged up] I pull up 511ny.org and I see all the blocked traffic. One last approach.....
I take 138 out east... to 121... to June Rd... I bypass Hardscrabble this time (I know I can't go that way)... June turns to Deans Corner and then I hit 22/202. I have been on 22 how many times now? But this is 22 north of my house. I get on there... and I get stopped within a quarter mile.
A tree across the lines, and there's a cop car there blocking all passage, and a few fire trucks come through (they move on, though) and an MTA truck goes past (the Harlem line is stopped, more for downed trees that need to be cleared).
But we wait a while... the cop puts down a few orange cones around the tree (not joking) and both sides of the two-lane highway take turns driving past the tree. I can see that right after my neighborhood, the traffic is backed up.
But I take a left, and the saga has ended. Ta da.
Yes, no power at the house, but they had some dinner on the table (I had some to eat), Stu found a battery powered radio, he also had a lot of battery-powered lights around (each person had their own flashlight... to get D to quit running around the house, Stu threatened to take his flashlight, at which point D ran to his room and settled down for the night)
I heard the trains going by in the night and in the morning. I left at 6am, and noted all the power outages along the way. Pulled off at exit 15 to get some breakfast... but noticed the traffic lights were out and got right back on I-84, not getting off til I saw traffic lights working and had a little breakfast. I'm at work now, catching up on email and recalculating spreadsheets. Yay.