Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicago Blizzard 2011

We got twenty-two inches of snow two nights ago. That was on top of the snow we already had on the ground. The wind was brutal and caused drifts over four feet high, but the coolest part about this storm was the "thundersnow". In all my thirty-ten years, I've never seen thundersnow. It was wicked strange to see lightning and hear thunder in the midst of a snowstorm. I tried to get the lightning on tape, but missed it. I did get some decent footage of the snow blowing in the high winds, however.

(Just ignore the dialogue from Groundhog Day in the background. I was going to mute it, but when I viewed the video with the sound muted, it looked like I'd just sped up the film because the wind is blowing that hard. So I left the sound in so you could see that was the actual speed of the wind.)




We couldn't open our front door yesterday morning, so I trudged through waist high drifts to get to the front porch and started shoveling. After about 20 minutes, you could barely tell I'd done anything and I felt like I was in cardiac arrest. I remembered how cool the blizzard of '79 was I wondered what had happened to me in the last 32 years to make me think that snow was pure evil. For some reason, kids view snow through totally different eyes.

Kids also view snow days through different eyes than their parents. Now, to be fair, I honestly can't even remember the last snow day we had. We're used to snow here. It snows, we plow, and we go on. They don't close businesses or school for several inches of snow. Chicagoans aren't sissies. We're impervious to bad weather. But, when twenty-four inches dump on you in less than than twenty-four hours, well, even the most organized and prepared team of snow plows can't keep up with that.

So, the kids have been home the past couple days. I've dried six loads of coats, snowpants, mittens, etc. I've washed my slushy floors twice. I painted Brooklyn's nails. Then I painted Lex's nails. Then I painted Brooklyn's again because "I want them to look just like Lexi's". Then I listened to Lexi complain because she didn't want Brooklyn's nails to look just like hers. I picked up enough food to feed a small nation off the floor. I told the kids to put their dishes in the dishwasher at least 50,000 times. I cleaned up at least a dozen sticky hot chocolate messes. I watched several hours of fashion shows. And I did a little happy dance when the school called to say it will be in session tomorrow.

20 comments:

Autumn said...

I love it! Not the snow....

When Georgia got snow (ok, so we only got like 4 inches) it was Thundersnow. It was SO COOL!!

V1nce said...

Well that answers how's the weather for me...

DeAnna said...

That is an insane amount of snow, and I being a Canadian who lives in the northern part of Canada, that is saying something. Good luck digging out!

Anon said...

Wow, looks like it really WAS "Snowpocalypse 2011"!

Krys72599 said...

Great post, great video. But what really stopped my heart was this quote: "I remembered how cool the blizzard of '79 was I wondered what had happened to me in the last 32 years to make me think that snow was pure evil."
1979 was 32 YEARS AGO?????
I actually had to stop and do the math to see if you were right. And I couldn't believe you were so I did it again. On a calculator.
And congratulations, you have officially made me feel O.L.D. (Older than I felt last Dec. 18th on my 50th birthday.) My body may be 50 but my mind is still 19 (it's still 1979, right!???!).

Sherry said...

Just for the record... our school corp. does everything it can to not cancel school but many buses have to go on back roads with curves and hills and ditches and those roads do not always get cleaned as quickly because there are so many miles of them. Most parents prefer their kids not be in a ditch on a school bus. Just sayin'. :) I remember as a kid that they would sometimes have school for kids who lived in town but the ones that lived in the rural areas didn't have to go because the buses weren't going to take them. Funny how things have changed.

Que said...

You should have gone outside and made a Thundersnowman! Those are the best!

Robin said...

I did the same happy dance! I had to work while my kids were home for snow days so I wasn't there to keep up with the mess. I got the joy of coming home to it each night. **sigh**

The Mommy said...

My husband tried valiantly to ruin the whole "snow day" concept for my kids but they weren't having it. He just kept saying, "But you KNOW you'll have to make this day up, right?" SHEESH. He forgets what it's like to be a kid...I still AM one, most days.

Kathy Slattengren said...

Wow! Seeing all that snow piled up against your garage door really demonstrated the power of 24 inches of snow. I moved from Minneapolis to Seattle 24 years ago. I don't miss those snowstorms! In Seattle we all stay home if it snows even an inch or two. I've become a true winter wimp!

Jenny said...

Here in Alabama where it never snows, we experienced "thundersnow" last month during our big snow event. It was kind of freaky but also pretty cool, as it was nighttime.
Count your blessings, as our mere 8 inches here caused schools to close for an entire week! Talk about going stir crazy! Good luck getting out your front door to get the kids to school tomorrow..

andy said...

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn.
Something you need to remember is that not all towns have the equipment that Chicago has to remove snow. Nor do they get the kind of snow that you all get. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy that your town is well prepared. But how can comunitties justify spending that kind of money on equipment that may never be used again for several years?

Plus, SOME people do not prepare for weather like they used to. I can remember growing up that mom would check the storm cellar quarterly to either replace or restock. When fall came the cars were packed with blankets, pillows, a change of clothes, non-pairishable foods, cat litter or sand, so on and so on.

We are warned about what to do when storms move in, but, do we pay attention? Not always, the year that Kansas had massive amounts of tornados go through people did not pay attention. In one day, the system that went through Moore, Ok. went up to Caldwell, Ks, from there on to the northeast, up through Wichita, that's when the air force base and Boeing Co. was hit, and kept going toward Kansas City.

Am I telling my age, you bet! I'm almost twice your age. I remember the cold war, the minuteman silo's just a few miles from where we live. The drills we did during school for fire, tornados, and yes the bombs. Where we are to go in case of an attack.

Where am I going with this? Just to say that don't beleive everything you read or hear about other communities. Take it with a grain of salt. I know that here in Kansas it wasn't just the snow that closed schools and businesses. It was the sub-zero wind chills in parts of our state that kept people home. The -20 to -35 wind chill is not normal for us.

The other part of my post is to get people to start thinking about "what if they can't clear the roads or get to us as quickly as we think they should". We've got to be prepared just in case.

Dawn said...

Some of you guys seem so defensive. I'm pretty sure I never mentioned any other towns or what they do/don't do. I certainly never said or implied that other towns were wrong for closing school or not buying snow removal equipment.
I was simply showing you the amount of snow we got and how it was even a bit much for us Chicagoans who are used to this kinda thing.
So relax. :)

Jennifer Magreevy said...

I'm liking the "thirty ten" reasoning. I'm going to be twenty fourteen this year. :) And in Oklahoma City, we are sissies. We are completely unprepared for 12+ inches of snow, even moreso when it piles on top of 3 inches of sleet (complete with thunder and lightning...appropriately called thundersleet!). We've been stuck at home since Monday evening, and finally ventured out today for the first time. Unfortunately we received 2-4" more snow today, and since the plows couldn't get through the 3 inches of sleet left under the foot of snow from Tuesday, the new snow just suctioned to the sleet and has created a citywide skating rink. Fun times. Slide on down I-44 if you want to visit. :)

Notsopc said...

I grew up in Valparaiso and remember the Thundersnow in the storm of 67. Now I live in Va and have lived here since 95 and they still make me laugh at what they consider snowstorms.. All these years and we have had, what I consider a storm, once..and they said it would be a few inches and we got about 17.. Thanks for the video, it brought back memories..

Kris Roach said...

That was one crazy snowstorm! Glad you all survived and somewhat enjoyed the snow! We are in the south and we are quick to close schools and I am totally good with that!!

mommeeof10 said...

Looks like fun! At least if we can stay home by the woodstove and look at it through the windows while the kids play outside. :)

andy said...

Dawn,

Just stating what I feel, was not intended to be offensive.

Also think about the last part of my post.
"The other part of my post is to get people to start thinking about "what if they can't clear the roads or get to us as quickly as we think they should". We've got to be prepared just in case."

So many people, not all, are not prepared. There are so many un-needed deaths do to storms. We just need to slow down and think a little.

Shellie said...

We just keep going through the snow too without stopping here in Utah. I love Groundhog Day, seriously, so nice soundtrack :). Congrats on school being back in session.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Our schools were closed 4 days after the blizzard last year (we simply don't have enough snow-clearing equipment). Parents were showing up to shovel the school sidewalks themselves.

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