Usually, when the weather forecast is snow, the amount of snow that actually falls is quite a bit less than the meteorologist predicted.
That generality did not hold true for The Great Blizzard of 2011. At least that's what I'm calling it. I've lived places where it snows quite a bit. But I have still never seen anything like this...
This is what my family woke up to 2 days ago...
The blizzard swept through the Midwest and the East Coast. All of you that live in that area know what I'm talking about. The 18 inches of heavy dense snow, the strong winds, and poor visibility led to schools and businesses being closed.
But there was one problem. I was already at the hospital when the blizzard rolled through town. I'm doing night shift. So I left my house at 5:30 pm, as the storm was just starting. The roads were bad, but not horrible. I made it to work just fine. As the night progressed, the stories about the weather worsened just as quickly as the storm.
The next morning, the calls began. One surgeon and anesthesiologist after another called in, saying they couldn't get to the hospital. There were stories of 6 foot drifts, buried cars, and impassable roads. At first, the only people who showed up where those who had walked in (one fellow resident walked over a mile in knee deep snow to get to the hospital.) Then others showed up after their streets were plowed.
When 7 am rolled around and it was time for me to head home, I wasn't that worried. I had four wheel drive. I lived close to a store and a school, so I figured my neighborhood would be plowed.
Normally, I drive up a pretty steep hill to get into my neighborhood. So I decided to take a different street. However, after driving down the main street twice, I couldn't find the turn off for the street into my neighborhood. At first, I attributed it to fatigue, and tried again. And that's when I saw the street sign. In the middle of a snow bank. There was other evidence that the street was even there. I tried other ways into my neighborhood with the same result. No plowed roads. (Not even the steep hill I normally use was plowed: big surprise.) It was as if my neighborhood didn't even exist. I thought maybe, with my four wheel drive, there was a chance I could manage the unplowed road. I was wrong. This resulted in my SUV getting stuck and me having a crying session. I called Hubster, but he didn't have any great ideas. He was snowed in a mile away with 2 kids and a little 2 wheel drive car. What was he supposed to do? After finally somehow getting my car unstuck, I continued to circle my neighborhood, with the hope of somehow getting home.
The thought of having to turn around, go back to the hospital and sleep there felt too emotionally distressing. So I went as far as I could, parked the car in a snow bank on the side of the road, and walked home through the knee deep snow.
We're starting to dig ourselves out of this. Actually, I slept and Hubster dug us out. (Shoveling just half the driveway took over 3 hours!)
It's now 2 days later, and the roads are still terrible. The snow piles are taller than the cars. Our neighborhood (which didn't get plowed until nearly noon that day) is only single lane because of the banks of snow lining the roads.
Oh, and it's cold...
Even for a Utah girl, this was a big storm. If it snows again, the city will just shut down completely, because there is no place left to put snow.
I've realized that every once and a while, the meteorologist is right. I've realized that this year, Punxsutawney Phil may once again be wrong (at least it doesn't feel like there could be an early spring.) I've realized that Hubster really deserves a snow blower.