Los dddf Angeles is no stranger to big disasters -- massive earthquakes, riots, Lindsay Lohan. But closing a 10-mile stretch of freeway for 53 hours, as the city will do on Interstate 405 this weekend for a bridge demolition? That's a different matter entirely.
To help outsiders understand how a freeway shutdown could evoke such dread, the L.A. Department of Apocalyptic Scenarios has prepared this guide to the most frequently asked questions.
Why is it called Carmageddon?
Because the National Weather Service refused to lend the city one of its hurricane nicknames. And because "Traffic Jam Vince" didn't adequately convey the horror of a total freeway meltdown.
Isn't everyone overreacting? It's just one freeway.
If your heart had a blockage, would you say, "It's just one ventricle"? Freeways are what make L.A. tick. We don't have an NFL team (and the Dodgers are on life support); we have the 5, the 405, the 10 and the 110. And we don't have seasons; we have morning rush hour and afternoon rush hour.