Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Megabus out of DC before Hurricane Sandy

We were able to get my daughter on the last Megabus out of D.C. before Hurricane Sandy Struck. Or so we thought. Hubby and I felt the need to get our daughter out of D.C. before Hurricane Sandy came roaring in. The big question was how to do it. Flights were filling up and others were canceling left and right. We also thought about a rental car or trying to drive my car to D.C. before Hurricane Sandy could make landfall.

Enter Megabus! My daughter and I have used the service several times before and liked it. We hurriedly booked a seat for the midnight bus out of DC to Knoxville.

I can't tell you what a relief it was to have a plan in place. The weight of the world didn't exactly lift from my shoulders but it came close. My daughter would be coming home before Hurricane Sandy could do her worst.

It was time to relax and leave the travel worries to someone else. Or so I thought...
Tweets about updated cancellation lists began coming in on mid-Saturday afternoon. Bus routes were being canceled left and right. Her Megabus ride looked stable and while we continued to monitor, we were really worried.

Things looked shakier on Sunday. Most of the us Megabus routes in and out of D.C. were canceling because of Hurricane Sandy. Hubby, my daughter and I worked out a contingency plan. A meeting meant that I couldn't leave until early Sunday evening. Hubby had a church event and might not be able to leave at all.

If the last Megabus out of D.C. seemed to be in question then I would leave on Sunday evening and head toward my daughter. If we got confirmation that the bus would run, then I would stay home or turn around. Otherwise, we would continue to head north.

A phone call to Megabus confirmed that all other routes out of D.C. had been canceled. Although her bus was still scheduled, the operator could not guarantee that conditions caused by Hurricane Sandy wouldn't force a cancellation. We decided to activate the contingency plan.

Hubby and I left at 6:30 pm. with the idea that if our daughter could get out on the bus, we would turn around at the state line, spend the night at the home of our other daughter and pick the bus rider up in the morning. If it was canceled, then we would be part of the way to Washington, D.C. with more chance of getting out before the storm hit.

Shortly before 9:00 p.m. I phoned Megabus for the second time. The operator was very nice but told me that the bus route had in fact been canceled. My daughter was welcome to call back in and reschedule without paying a booking fee.

Hubby and I sent a text message to our daughter and continued on our way. As we drove, the perfect sailor's sky gave way to a light rain. This changed to a rain snow mix after we crossed into Virginia. A little while later, large soft snowflakes began falling from the sky in a steady but furious pace.

That's when our cell phone rang. Our daughter was already Union Station when she finally received our text that Megabus canceled the route. She decided to go on up to the deck to get more information about how soon services might resume after Hurricane Sandy made landfall.

A few minutes later, she called again. Her route was still on schedule and would depart at 11:00 p.m. from Union Station. The Megabus operator had us erroneous information! Had we gotten accurate information, our time on the road would have been substantially reduced.

As it was, we were able to pick up our daughter at the Christiansburg, Virginia Megabus stop. She seemed relieved to be off the bus and in our hands. The staff did tell her that this was the last Megabus out of D.C. in advance of Hurricane Sandy and confirmed it again on the bus stop.

It is good to have her at home and out of harm's way. There are literally millions of people who are not so fortunate. Property can be replaced but lives can't. Prepare before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall. Take the storm seriously and listen to the instructions from local emergency management. My prayers are with everyone who is in harm's way. Stay safe.

More articles that you may enjoy.

Megabus contact information that may not be online
Megabus and kids; travel tips for parents with children
Blogging from a double decker Megabus out of Knoxville