We got a good old-fashioned Midwest blizzard Tuesday night. We had about 16" of snow here officially, but the big deal was the wind, right out of the northeast at 35-40 mph, which causes the powder to simply accumulate in big drifts. There isn't much one can do in the middle of these except hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.
It worked out good for us. The Better Half has been dealing with computer issues at work and HAD to be near her office. There's a fairly nice hotel a couple of blocks from the office, so that's where we watched the storm do its thing. It's an ill wind that doesn't blow some good.
By Wednesday night, the state and city plow crews, in addition to a veritable army of people with pickup trucks with plow blades, snowblowers, and the occasional Bobcat, had a handle on most of the snow. I had help getting the Brazen Chariot dug out of the hotel parking lot, and in return helped a couple of people extract their vehicles. Everybody helps each other and the work gets done.
A pile o' pics from the area:
This was Lake Shore Drive in Chicago on Tuesday night rush hour. The cars were abandoned in place due to a blockage from an accident. It looks for all the world like something from a disaster movie. The City of Chicago got LSD cleared out yesterday. I expect some Windy City auto owners got to pay the city a nice towing fee-excuse me, revenue enhancer...
From closer to home, some local snowpiles. I stopped at Oriental Express to pick up supper on Wednesday. A lot of stores were closed. A lot of bars were closed, which tells you how bad the roads were around here for a while. We don't close the taverns on a whim. But the Chinese don't take a day off for snow. That's why someday they'll overrun all of us. Then I'm moving to Beijing and starting an American Food Buffet. Turnabout is fair play.
This is Illinois 64 east of my old hometown. It's kind of flat, open terrain, and the snow can pile up a bit along the road. More than a few people around here have snowmobiles, and they can come in handy. More than a few people have been rescued from a car or had supplies delivered to their house via your friendly neighborhood snowmobiler. A great shot courtesy of one of the local TV stations.
South of here, it's just flat. The plow comes by and five minutes later the road's drifted shut again. The National Guard was patrolling the interstate south of us to pick up motorists who got stuck. Evidently a Humvee or deuce and a half gets through this stuff better than the family minivan. A bonus from the Guard's standpoint is that some schmuck isn't trying to take a shot at you.
A pretty typical sight if you left your vehicle out on Tuesday night. It's not a bad idea to pack a snow shovel in the trunk if you can. It makes life a lot easier if you're out somewhere and your car gets buried or stuck. I used to carry a military-style folding entrenching tool, which is a poor substitute for something with a bigger scoop. Used that once in snow and relegated it to dirt digging.
It isn't all work, though.
There's always time for hoops, sledding, or a good snowball fight! Not for me, though. I'm busy holding this guy's spot by the fireplace. Good luck getting it back!
Now when it comes to snowball fights, this is how we do it around these parts: