Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowed Inn

Thought I'd tell you a bit about the HUGE snow storm that just hit most of the USA. Honestly, I know Americans think everything is bigger and better over here, but this baby was unbelievable. For a start, it stretched 2,500 miles across the middle of the country. The weather people were billing it as one of the biggest Chicago would ever see, and it would hit around 3pm on Tuesday. At 2pm, all was calm and I was of the mind that the impending storm was greatly exaggerated.

The first hint I got was when I went onto my shopping web site to order a delivery for Wednesday. All deliveries cancelled. Huh? So I went to the Thursday slots - all full. Ditto Friday. Eek. People are really taking this seriously.  Good job I have a handy dandy corner mini market.  Then we got the all-school voicemail and e-mail to say classes were cancelled for Wednesday. We have been at the ssame school for 14 years and have had one snow day in all that time. Eek. This is serious.

They got it slightly wrong in that the first snow started falling at about 2.40pm, but it was like someone had switched on a blizzard. The snow flakes were quite small and like, but the wind swirled them around so much that visibility quickly became about fifty yards. My kids walked three blocks from school and all complained about stinging faces. They never usually complain about the weather. It wasn't even that cold by Chicago standards (about 23 Farenheit).

For people driving the few miles home from downtown Chicago, it quickly became a nightmare with Lake Shore Drive choc-a-bloc with cars going nowhere. Some people sat in their cars for 5 hours before giving up, abandoning them and looking for alternatives. The stretch of Lake Shore Drive in question is my area. It has lake beaches on one side and Lincoln Park on the other so it would have seemed like a wilderness to many. Apparently even the ones who knew where they were going were terrified because the wind made it impossible to walk or stand up, and the snow seemed to be engulfing everything. Some people ended up spending the night on stranded buses. This is the middle of a city people! Not the middle of nowhere.

It looked like this:


This is what it looks like this morning (Thursday) as cars are removed.

We're a bit stuck at the moment because the front street looks a bit like this:

And the garage, at the back of the house has about five feet of snow against the door. Even if we dug out our bit, there's about four feet of snow in the alley. The Ball & Chain walked to the bus stop for the first time in years today.

For me, the most amazing thing was the thunder and lightening that was going on during the blizzard. Yes, you read that correctly. People had been talking about snow thunder and it didn't really register until I heard it. Very strange indeed.

So here we are, snowed in. The corner shop's supplies are dwindling but we have plenty of stuff in the freezer. I believe there are a few pubs open serving meals if we get desperate. The kids have another snow day so of course, the teens are still in bed and the Little Guy is parked in front of the Wii.

The dog is loving it, even though she ends up with ice balls stuck all over her legs and fur. I make her sit on a towel until she melts, which doesn't always go down well:



  1. That blizaard does sound truly horrendous. The winter weather this year is simply appalling, isn't it? We had thunder with snow here last week - apparently it's more common than you think....hope you manage to dig out soon.

  2. I've just been reading about Lake Shore Drive in the New York Times. Sounds terrible.

    I love being snowed in, if you're prepared. What an amazing thing to experience.

  3. We didn't get anything here in Maryland - absolutely diddlysquat. So I should be grateful. Although the kids were off school on Tuesday because of 'icy rain'!!

  4. I've been home in London now for 5 years but I do remember the horrid winters of Chicago and DON'T miss them one bit.
    But I do feel for you. One New Year's Day, the city had huge amounts of snow and I had to drive somewhere. I got 2 blocks down Sheridan from Belmont and did donuts in the road. And that was the end of that.
    Be safe and stay warm.

  5. Wow - we've had nothing like that here (so far this year). Maybe you're getting our share?

  6. Always jealous of people having snow, but that does seem more than a handful.

  7. Dusty has such a darling face.

  8. LMAO at that sad sad Mutt face - classic! We thought of you last night as we watched Lake Shore Dr on the national news. In fact Hubster was out so I DVR's it so he could see how unbelievable it was! Stay safe & warm.

  9. Oh my Goodness!
    That is some snow and thunder & lightning too! That must've been scary.
    Hope it goes away but it doesn't look like its going anywhere soon.
    Your little dog is gorgeous. A very appealing little face.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  10. Crikey! You can jolly well keep it! That doesn't look good, do take care.

    CJ xx

  11. Reminds me of my childhood in Minneapolis! I remember reading about blizzards in the "Little Home on the Prairie" books (do kids read those now? they should...) and then realizing it was still like that when the winds come up and turn visibility to nothing. Kind of funny that modern technology, like cars, are still helpless against such things.

  12. Like Sarah, I was thinking of you when I heard the news about the cars getting stuck on Lake Shore Drive. They said the snow was going to be followed by some horrendously cold temperatures out there. It's been warmer here which is good, but we have another 6" of snow forecast for Saturday :-( I'm sure you'll get some lake effect snow though.

  13. It's been horrendously cold here (by our standards, not yours probably), and the schools have been off for 3 days. Not so dramatic as with you, but still a lot more extreme than I ever experienced in England.

  14. Stay warm! We were expecting the same weather but wow, we got lucky for once! Still had 1°F temps this morning and some snow and ice, but nothing as bad as expected.

    We're usually prepared for it though - we have a snow plow or we'd spend most of winter stuck inside!

  15. It's interesting -- I'm not sure people who've never experienced a blizzard get it. Even the pictures don't really do it justice -- in fact, all that swirling snow looks rather pretty! But they're nasty business and thank heavens the major ones are fairly rare. Be safe!

  16. I'm in OKC and we had a blizzard too! I'm about to go CRAZY inside. It was about 50 degrees today so a lot of it melted...I'm so ready for summer!

  17. ohmigod it was you guys! I saw a whole load of pictures in the UK press but being rather dim didn't join the dots! Gl;ad at least Dusty enjoyed the snow; hope it goes away soon...


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