Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard Nemo... CARnage

A few days ago, the East Coast was hit by a blizzard.  Blizzard Nemo, to be specific because now the weather powers that be have decided that blizzards should be named although, I think a bunch of preschoolers named this one. Who names a blizzard Nemo?

Nemo was scheduled to strike my area in the late afternoon hours.  Since I get out of work fairly early, my commute home was minimally affected.  By the time the howling wind and thunder and lightening (yes, that's right, thunder and lightening!) hit, the kids and I were safely at home watching television and hoping the electricity wouldn't go out (see post "No electricity, No Problem!" from 11/4/2012) but my husband's commute was another story entirely...

He leaves work later in evenings, so when he began the 11 mile trip home, the blizzard had been in full swing for several hours.  He had no idea the weather conditions had become so bad.  When he first called me, it was only about 20 minutes later than he usually arrives home, so I wasn't really worried yet.  He drives a very reliable 4 wheel drive pick-up, so I thought he would be ok.

"I'm gonna be pretty late...  You should see this, there are cars stuck all around me.  I'm gonna have to turn around and go another way..."  We discussed alternate routes.  He hung up and tried a couple of them, only to get stuck behind stranded cars every time, as he told me the next time he called, about 1/2 hour later.  His truck was moving fine, but stuck cars blocked almost every intersection.

He called me another 1/2 hour later. "I'm getting out and walking soon.  I can't take this."  I started worrying.  I've watched too many survivor shows.  Don't they always tell you NOT to abandon your vehicle?

He made it to within about 1/2 mile from the house, beaching the truck on the side of the road after yet another intersection was blocked and this one was also a slight hill covered with ice.   Our neighbor was nice enough to pick him up on a snowmobile.

You should see it out there, it's like a war zone.  Stranded motorists spent the night in a couple of nearby houses.  The picture above is from Saturday afternoon on the nearest non-private road. Six cars in this direction, and another five on the other end of the street.

The neighborhood's dogs were having a grand old time, though.  Here is the other end of the street, with the husky down the road, checking out the scene...

Pretty, right?

Clearing our little road, and our own driveways took ALL DAY Saturday.  And that was WITH the use of a plow (the neighbor plows for us all) and a snowblower. 

Venturing out onto that road shown above on Sunday looked like this:  

Where were the plows?  Of course, it IS hard to plow around 11 stranded cars...  Humm.... what to do, what to do... still, we had seen heavy snowfall before and never experienced this...

But the most annoying thing was that as quickly as we unstuck someone's car, some other bird brain drove by in an ill-equiped car and got stuck all over again.  If you hear conditions are bad, that means STAY HOME!

Today we have this.

Melting, hard-packed snow with water on top.  Nice.

To prove my point that it's not so easy to get unstuck once you're stuck, here's someone's tire.  It came off when they tried to move their car.  

On the public road, the snow is DEEP and slushy.  If you are moving, you just can't stop or  you'll get stuck.  On Saturday morning there was a car stuck right in the middle of this area.   

 Look how deep the slush is... 

...and no matter which way you turn, more slush!

The best way to get anywhere is to walk.  See the walker off in the distance?

Still, by the time we finished our walk, there was a line of cars waiting to try out the road...

These all succeeded.  

But as we walked toward the house, I heard another person get out of their car.  

Stuck again.

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