• Sat, Feb 1 - 3:00 pm ET

Best Dad Ever Walks 6 Miles In A Snowstorm To Comfort His Daughter

In case you’re one of the lucky SOBs who live in a part of the world that isn’t a freeze-box right now, the East Coast here in the US has been extra frosty this winter. This is pretty much par for the course in the northern parts of the coast, but this year places as far south as Florida have seen snow-action, and down south they just don’t see this type of weather very often, and thus aren’t as prepared. This is what happened to 5-year-old Elizabeth Nilson Tuesday, when she became stranded at school due to road conditions. Her dad knew she would be scared and he decided to do something about it – he walked all six miles to bring his daughter and blanket and some comfort. Cue a collective AWWWW from the Mommyish community.

Elizabeth attends E. Rivers Elementary, in Atlanta Georgia. When the roads became too hazardous for buses and cars, it looked like she would have to spend the night at the school. Knowing that she had never spent a night aware from home, her dad Mark, sprang into action:

“I just knew Elizabeth would be a lot more comfortable with me there. I brought a blanket for her. I just wanted to put her to bed and leave her at ease.”

The bad conditions were caused not only by the weather itself, but also the lack of planning and awareness that school officials and area residents were dealing with (which makes perfect sense in an area that rarely sees this type of weather (the average snowfall for February there is 0.5 inches, compared to 25.1 in NYC). Due to this lack of planning Atlanta residents left work or school at the same time, hence massive delays.

About his trek, Nilson said:

“It has obviously been a unique experience. I took the main road – Peachtree Street – for a few miles. I passed buses spinning out, and a lot of cars having difficulty getting up the hills. People were not moving, there were a hundred cars just in place. People were putting groceries on the top of cars so their ice cream wouldn’t melt. It was a wild scene.”

Despite the scary situation, it sounds like the school had their shiz together. Nilson arrived to find a huge slumber party at the school. They played movies for the kids and served the kids pizza, popcorn and even breakfast the next day. According to Nilson”

“The teachers did a fantastic job. I slept with Elizabeth, wrapped her up in a blanket and made a pillow out of her coat.”

One again teachers save the day! Elizabeth and her school mates were able to return home the next day, thankfully. Still, I think Mark Nilson deserves a Dad-Of-The-Year award.
CBS Atlanta News

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  • Andrea

    People all over town gave up warmth and comfort to help others that night. It really gave you hope that maybe we are not going to hell in a hand basket.

    • Armchair Observer

      Yep. I was stuck on a commuter bus for an endless # of hours and the Target manager (we were stalled out in front of Target) brought us food and water. Southern hospitality at its finest.

  • NeuroNerd

    I lived in Atlanta for six years (left 6 months ago to come to Chicago for medical school). During the snowpocalypse of 2011, where 2 inches of snow shut down the city for two weeks, we had similar problems. This time was worse because the snow came during the day (and traffic backed up) whereas last time it came at night. There is no infrastructure for dealing with snow down there. My fiance had a Jeep when we lived there, and he drove around with a chain pulling people out of snow banks and delivering food to me and my roommate (we didn’t have cars capable of driving on icy roads that the city didn’t clear).

    When we contrast that to how Chicago deals with the snow, the situation seems almost comical until I remember that people are getting injured. I would take 2 weeks of Chiberia over the mess down there when it snows.

    • Emil

      I’ve always lived in the north so, at first, it is a little hard to understand what the big deal is and I will admit that I had to smile at the above picture of the “snowstorm.” Nevertheless there is nothing funny about driving in snow covered roads when you, and the rest of the city, aren’t prepared for it.

    • elle

      You know, at first being a Utah girl who is used to a lot of snow I was super joking the Atlanta situation but after thinking about it I’m not. Utah is dry as a bone but Atlanta is so humid. I can’t even imagine how icy those roads were. Basically an oil slick I imagine.

    • Andrea

      Yes that is an issue, but the bigger problem is that our region simply does NOT have any of the resources northern cities have when dealing with weather. There are NO dump trucks with salt and gravel, there are NO plows, there are NO snow tires or chains.
      We have nothing on hand to deal with it. It is getting kinda old how northerners are making fun of us for not knowing how to drive in the snow. That is wrong. There are plenty of northern transplants living here. People that do know. But NO ONE can drive on icy roads with no chains, no snow tires, no salt, no gravel, no plows.

    • hbombdiggity

      Whoa whoa whoa. I agreed with you up until that last part. No chains and snow tires? At 2 inches, snow chains would probably just break the road. Ive lived in Illinois my entire life. I drive a Honda Civic. I’ve lived in Chicago and the middle of nowhere. I’ve never once required snow chains and tires on my car. If its truly bad, you don’t drive. Otherwise, dry sloe.

      I get the traffic issue. Traffic in Atlanta has an awful reputation to begin with. I agree, no salt trucks, no plows: it makes sense to have a traffic snarl that bad.

      However, blaming it on a lack of snow tires and chains will get you the side eye from those of us who get this every year. Sorry. If it makes you feel better, I can feel the judgement when I complain about our summer humidity to my friend in Atlanta.

    • brebay

      Yeah, snow tires are not for this type of weather. It’s more an issue of lack of salt/gravel trucks, the ice, black ice, and people who aren’t used to this weather not understanding what to do when you start to skid, and how much you need to slow down, and how you apply the brakes in a different fashion when it’s slick. The same thing happens out here when it rains, because it never does, and people don’t know how to navigate it. I’ve spent my whole life in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, and never had snow tires. You generally don’t need them except in the mountains.

    • C.J.

      You can actually drive on icy roads most of the time if you go really slow and your used to it. Even in areas that are used to snow and ice not all roads are pre-treated and plowed right away. Main roads get done first and side streets get done when they get to them. I live in Southern Ontario. We get snow, blowing snow, rain, freezing rain and ice in the winter. Sometimes we get them all in the same day. We got 39 inches of snow in January. Our schools didn’t shut down at all and most people were expected to go to work unless they were snowed in. People who live in Northern Ontario make fun of us when we complain about getting 6 inches of snow at once. They think we are wimpy. It’s all relative. People don’t understand how others struggle with something they are used to. Even though 2 inches of snow is not really a big deal to me I still feel bad for the people in Atlanta. If you’re not used to snow it must be a scary thing to deal with.

    • ted3553

      yeah, I have to agree with the others on here. We have snow all the time and no one puts chains on unless you’re a semi on a gravel or ice road. You just drive slower and learn to adjust for the ice. I understand that it’s a new thing for most in atlanta but those of us that deal with snow regularly have a difficult time understanding why 2 inches shut everything down. The roads are not salted or sanded for 2 inches here-you’re just expected to adjust driving.

    • melissa

      I love in the north Atlanta suburbs, and moved here from “the north” about five years ago. The biggest problem I saw was that people WERE going slow – so slowly and carefully that they couldn’t get up the ridiculous hills around here.

      When you tell people that we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with snow, it doesn’t just mean plows or salt or shovels (true story, I drove past some guys trying to thaw out a road with table salt,) it also means the roads down here are literally not designed to have snow on them. I can’t think of anywhere within several miles of me where the road is both level and straight for 50 yards. I’ve driven in snow and blizzards in Iowa, Chicago, and Indiana – I couldn’t get up my DRIVEWAY on Wednesday morning.

      It started out kind of funny, but when it took my husband almost six hours to drive the ten miles home from his office – after waiting until the absolute gridlock had died down around 11:30pm – and he had to walk the last mile or so because even he (born and raised in Iowa) couldn’t get up a hill a mile away from home, it’s just not funny anymore.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’ve grown up in an area of Northern California where winter rains can easily dump an a few inches every hour. In Southern California, I hesitate to drive in a light rain, because the freeways aren’t designed for it, and on some older freeways you start hydroplaning at 35 mph.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    A good dad goes a long way towards teaching a girl what she can expect from the men in her life when she becomes a woman. Oh, the bar has been set pretty high :)

  • personal

    Yes, dad of the year. But man of the year in my opinion goes to the Alabama neurosurgeon who walked 6 miles in the snow and ice storm to perform brain surgery on a severely injured man. Lots of heroes out there. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548815/Brain-surgeon-walks-six-miles-snow-storm-perform-life-saving-brain-surgery.html

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    Well done to the teachers!