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Gators may love marshmallows, but they sure hate ice!

Written by Patrick Pelanne

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Anyone who has ever watched the discovery channel for an extended period of time can tell you that if there’s one thing a gator is ill prepared to handle, it’s an ice storm. Due to the recent arctic cold fronts arrival here in Houston the HG staff got to experience first hand what a Texas ice storm is all about.

Leading up to the storm the mood around southeast Texas was very lively at the prospect of ultra-rare snowfall. Kids & parents alike were giddy with the notion of baking sheet sled rides, snow angels and of course the always highly anticipated snowball warfare. Unfortunately, that’s not what the residents of Houston received.

Instead, Houston got a nice healthy dose of Black Ice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_ice). Anyone who has ever driven on or around a Houston freeway can tell you that the fearless army of amateur demolition derby drivers that regularly patrol the cities roads need no help in creating a hazardous mess on a daily basis. The heavy coat of ice on all the overpasses and onramps that morning greatly increased their effectiveness.

Here’s a view of Houston’s transtar traffic map from 2/4/11. The red exclamation mark diamonds indicate either hazardous ice or wrecks:

Needless to say the management here at HostGator were shaking in our boots at the prospect of our entire Houston support staff being quarantined to their neighborhoods by ice slicked roads. Fortuntely the Houston gators sheer determination along with fairer weather conditions at our Austin location allowed us to keep our support volumes manageable.

However, not all of our gators were so lucky on their way in.

While giving a special on site traffic report to a local drive time radio show he himself became a victim of Houston’s icy wrath. Here’s an audio recording of the call which actually captured the crash live on the air:

William calls the Joe Pags Show

Here’s a couple shots of his truck after the incident:

http://blog.hostgator.com/images/willcrash1.jpg

http://blog.hostgator.com/images/willcrash2.jpg

Don’t worry, our gator wasn’t injured. While traversing a dangerously icy overpass his truck lost control and spun ninety degrees slamming into a guard rail. It then spun the opposite direction and slammed into a second guard rail. We couldn’t include the audio from the second collision due to some rather colorful exclamations.

Mother nature can be a fickle mistress, this is something we at HG know all too well. It just goes to show that our gators will brave any obstacle to ensure that your support requests are handled in a timely manner.

Next time though we’ll stay off our cell phones :)

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Comments
  • http://andrewpeng.net Andrew Peng

    Take a look at the HostGator Employee of the Month sign that night!

    http://andrewpeng.net/posts/2011/02/041073-snow-in-my-state.html

  • http://fourmuellainc.net Ben

    Seems you guys should come to where I live. We’re pros (or should be) at driving in the snow and on black ice :)

  • DUH

    Driving + Cell phone = bad
    Iced roads + Driving + Cell phone = walking a thin red line

    Texan drivers + Iced Roads + cell phone = an insurance claim

  • Robbin

    Texans plus any non-dry weather conditions = no driving fools. You would have to live here to know that though ;). Put Texan drivers in a city Like New York and you will never get anywhere.

  • http://support.hostgator.com GatorBrad

    “Mother nature can be a fickle mistress” = brilliant!

    She appears to be on the prowl again this evening, so before Gators travel this evening, buckle your seat belts, stow your cell phones in the console or glove compartment, and listen to AM for up-to-date surface conditions and traffic reports. IF you do, in fact, encounter the black ice of Houston, remove your foot from the accelerator, but DO NOT stomp the brake!

    See you tomorrow, or later tonight depending on support volume!

  • Luke

    Haha, I remember hearing that caller on Pag’s show in the morning. I had no idea it was a fellow Gator!! That is funny, I thought I was the only loyal 950 Radio Mojo listener!

  • MikeB

    I was somewhat surprised by the comment, “Needless to say the management here at HostGator were shaking in our boots at the prospect of our entire Houston support staff being quarantined to their neighborhoods by ice slicked roads.”

    I would have thought that an Internet company like Host Gator would have a plan in place for support staff to be able to telecommute.

  • http://blog.hostgator.com Patrick Pelanne

    @Mike some of us can telecommute, but as we take security very seriously we require that our staff be on site to access our key systems.

  • Nate

    Hey,

    Why haven’t you guys responded to either of the emails sent?

    Please contact me.

  • Tom

    Soooo, when is HG opening their Chicago office so future Gators up north can experience this ice for about 100 days of the year!

  • http://www.cosiz.com/ kaisen

    Not used, you can try it

  • grace removals

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