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Poorly planned exit doesn’t spoil Obama inaugural

Post by News Tribune Staff on Jan. 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm | No Comments »
January 20, 2009 5:46 pm

Puyallup resident Angie Tjoelker of and her roommate Jessica got caught in a huge crush of people trying to leave the National Mall today, and Tjoelker was nearly sick by the time she made it back to Jessica’s aunt’s house.

People were crammed inside a mall waiting to board D.C.’s Metro at the L’Enfant Plaza stop, and many were overheating, Tjoelker reported this evening. People who had been standing outside in the cold for hours were suddenly shedding layers of clothing.

“It was seriously ridiculous,” Tjoelker said. “People were fainting … I’m on the verge of getting sick right now.”

Tjoelker and her roommate eventually bailed out a side exit and made their way to another Metro stop.

Despite the ordeal, Tjoelker is happy she made the trip to Washington, D.C.

She and her roommate watched from a point on the National Mall near the Washington Monument. A nearby Jumbotron provided a view of the action. Her roommate wasn’t tall enough to see it well, but she improvised by holding up her cell phone and watching the Jumbotron through the phone’s camera.

“The most exciting part was just how excited everyone was throughout the day,” she said. “Everybody was just in a great mood the whole day. There was an electricity in the air.”

Tjoelker is heading home to Puyallup tomorrow. She’s optimistic about the future, but realistic about quickly President Obama will be able to change things.

“It’s not going to get done tomorrow,” she said.

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