Surviving The Storm: Chicago Blizzard 2011 (aka SnowHell)

Just a couple weeks ago I thought to myself that perhaps we were having a slightly milder winter here in Chicagoland. (If there is such a thing!) True, we've had frigid single-digit temps and even some sub-zero days, but the snow hasn't been quite as bad as previous years. Several inches here and there, but the road crews have done a fab job of keeping the roads clean and it hasn't been too horribly bad.....okay, tolerable...well, maybe I should say minimally bearable, for a person like myself who loathes, hates, abhors snow with every fiber of my DNA!)

Well, I was in for a rude awakening! A blizzard warning was issued for the entire Chicagoland area. The storm would be passing through from early Tuesday through late today. Ugh. Many people were skeptical, citing years past when tv news anchor-persons and radio DJs over-sensationalized storms and caused suburban panic. I just dreaded it and waited.

The snowfall began Tuesday morning just as I arrived for work. The blizzard kicked in Tuesday afternoon just as they predicted, at around 3pm as I was driving Isaac home from daycare. (Of course! Why wouldn't it wait till the exact hour I get out of work, pick up my two year old and head for home?!) Snow and sleet was blowing like mad, the roads were really nasty and people were driving like idiots. At times, it was a total white-out and I gripped the steering wheel and prayed we'd get home safely. When we watched one car do a 360 degree spin-out, Isaac became alarmed, asking if "the lady in dat car okay?" . Luckily we made it home fine. Just a little nervous and later than usual.

The storm grew worse as Tuesday night wore on. Howling 50+ mile and hour winds, drifting snow, thunder and lightning (Yes, snow thunder!) and sub zero windchills. We kept getting woke up all night by the howling winds.

The top of our porch is about 2 feet off the ground...note how high this snow is!

When we woke this morning, we found snow drifted about 4-5 feet high against the back of our house, 3 feet-5 feet all around our back yard, and front yard. One neighbor's front door was almost covered, and another's car was totally buried except for a bit of the roof! The high winds combined with the fact that our subdivision is surrounded by flat cornfields makes this a wind tunnel area.

So, hubby has spent the day digging out and snowblowing our driveway with the help of neighbors. What a way to get the neighborhood to come together! Our snow blower broke down a couple times, as it kept getting frozen and clogged by such a volume of heavy wet snow. Eventually it came back to life, but then a line broke and hubby had to borrow a neighbor's and do a lot of hand shoveling. Even after all the driveways and sidewalks were clear...there was still 2-3 feet on the roads. A huge tractor came flying up and down our road, plowing, throwing snow all over the cleaned areas...and it blew our new mailbox right off the post! (the new mailbox we installed a few months ago, thanks to the neighborhood drunk woman who creamed our old one....)

Thankfully both of our offices were closed due to the horrible storm, as was Isaac's daycare. It has been a challenging day staying home with an over-excited toddler, a worn-out sore Daddy and a dog who wants to go outside every 5 minutes. (Hubby had to dig a path through the 4 foot high drift to the backyard for her!)

I think the worst is finally over for us today. Whew! I hear folks in NW Indiana are still getting socked this afternoon with lake effect snow. I am hoping the forecast improves in the coming days, as I saw mention of more snow this weekend, and Mon-Tues next week. Please - Mother Nature....can you take some Midol?!! I am SO done with Snow Hell!!

Meanwhile, hubby's colleague/friend sent a text that he's in Miami at his beach condo, in case we needed to reach him. (Just what I needed to hear. Just makes me wanna smack him!) 

How's the weather where you are? If you are on a beach---please DON'T tell me, unless you're going to send me a ticket to come join you!


trooppetrie said...

so jealous, so jealous. I would love snow like that but only if i could stay in the house

AngC said...

Wow... That's a lot of snow! I've never seen real snow falling from the sky before.

You don't want to be on any of the beaches around here.... we've just had a massive cyclone go through up north.. the worst ever seen here. Seems the weather is crazy everywhere!


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