Feb 8, 2011

Chicago Blizzard, 2011

So, last week we had a pretty historic blizzard. Over twenty inches of snow and wind gusts of up to seventy miles per hour. Pretty scary at times!! 
An hour of snow.

It started late tuesday afternoon, right before pickup time at the kids' school. I got there really early because the roads were already bad and the wind was ridiculous, and I was contemplating pulling Oldest out early. Well, the second I got out of the car, the wind nearly knocked me over. That was enough to convince me that it was time to go home, like NOW.

Youngest is in school half-day, so I'd already picked him up at lunchtime. So this poor kid was trying to walk down the sidewalk with seriously strong wind gusts blowing at his back. I had to hold on to him pretty tight to keep him from being blown over.

I got Oldest, and when we got back outside to walk to the car, the wind had picked up. Or maybe it just seemed that way because we had to walk into the wind. The kids couldn't see anything because there was so much snow being blown into their faces, so I told them to hang on to me and each other, and then walk behind me. I felt like a mama duck leading her ducklings down the sidewalk. :) We made it to the car okay, but the wind was so strong it was hard to keep the car doors open so the kids could get inside.

The next morning.
We went home and stayed home after that, watching the snow come down and listening to the wind blow. It was crazy. I haven't seen snow like this since I was a kid, and it still wasn't this bad. The kids thought it was great, of course, now that they weren't out in the gusting wind anymore. :)

3 ft drift by our front steps.

The wind blew all night, and we could hear debris hitting the windows at times. Either that or it was icy snow. Not sure which. The next morning, we had about a foot and a half of snow on the ground. Snow had drifted against the back door about two feet high, and it was interesting trying to get out there to clear off the back steps. It wasn't too cold, so we let the kids go out to play for a bit while DH shoveled. I couldn't help because of my knee, which I was actually bummed about. I love snow, even shoveling it. I'm sure Oldest gets that from me, because the kid can't wait to get out and shovel even if there's only an inch of snow on the ground. :)

So, after the first round of shoveling was done, the heavens opened and we got another six inches of snow in two hours. So, DH and the kids went back out to shovel when that was done. Also, while we'd been inside sipping hot cocoa, a plow had gone through our alley. Which sounds kind of nice, right? Well, instead of angling his plow so the snow went to the side without garage doors, he just went straight through and dumped snow in front of our garage, and all our neighbors'. DH spent two hours digging that out, even with the neighbors helping and hiring someone to come by with an industrial strength snow blower. Poor guy was about to collapse when he came back in.

Digging himself out.
 The streets were pretty much impassable, which at least one car discovered. The drifts were about three feet tall on the street in front of our house, even before the second round of snow. One car decided he could make it through if he just went fast enough...  Yeah, you can probably guess what happened. He got himself stuck, but good! He'd forced his way into the snow so fast that he had snow packed underneath his car. He spent thirty minutes digging that out, then some helpful neighbors went out and helped him push his car back out of the drift. There was no where for him to go, so he dug himself out a parking spot and parked his car. It stayed there for the rest of the week. :) I guess he learned his lesson.

After the second round of snow.

School was closed both wednesday and thursday, so I didn't bother trying to get the car out. Friday morning, though, I had to take the kids to school. And, even with all the shoveling DH did, I still got stuck pulling out of my garage. We even have a four-wheel-drive vehicle! And I grew up driving in snow, so this is really saying something. There just wasn't room to maneuver, and I had to shovel some more and do a three-point turn just to get out. Same thing when I had to turn onto the street from our alley. There is so much snow piled up on the corners that you can't see around them, and there isn't really clearance to get around without going back and forth a few times. Crazy!

The worst part is that the temperature has dropped so low that it's going to be forever before this stuff begins to melt. Looks like we're going to be buried until March...


Jessie Harrell said...

wow - the before & after step pictures are something. Hope you're at least staying warm!

Pk Hrezo said...

Wow! Amazing!!! It's hard to imagine all that living down in muggy FLA!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great pictures. Reminds me of our Christmas last year. We received 17 inches of snow. Way too much. Stay warm and be careful.

Tabitha said...

Jessie - not really. We got more snow over the weekend (!) and the temps just plummeted back to the single digits. Gah!!

Pk - I have family in FL, and seeing their reactions has been quite hilarious. :)

Beverly - am working on that. It's difficult to get around because my knee is still injured. Apparently it takes *forever* for an injury like this to heal.

Anonymous said...

This winter has really made me hate snow. I've never been this ready for winter to end. I hope the sun melts all your snow soon.

Catherine Stine said...

Wow, dramatic snow pix!

cleemckenzie said...

Let it snow, indeed. Wonderful pictures of how things can change so quickly. Hope you got your car out from under that pile of white.

Tabitha said...

Kelly - I'm not quite there yet, but if this snow doesn't melt soon (and keeps getting dirtier and dirtier), I'll be joining you on that thought. :)

Catherine - it was pretty dramatic waking up to that! :)

Lee - thanks! Fortunately, our car was in the garage and wasn't one of those buried on the street. It took those poor folks a good one to three hours to dig out their cars. Though, our garage was buried, and it took my husband two hours to dig it out, so I guess it didn't really matter...