Friday, February 18, 2011

Big Winter Storm

This winter's big snow storm was forewarned the end of January. The meteorologists started telling us about Friday, January 28, that a large storm was forming. Indeed, as it turned out, it impacted about a third of the United States. East central Illinois did not receive the possible 14-inch snow fall. It was more like 6-8 inches. But it was preceeded by freezing rain so conditions were treacherous.

Cold rain and snow began Monday afternoon, January 31. Most schools announced closings that evening, and I was thrilled to hear that the College was one of them. I heard the announcement on the radio as I was trying to fall to sleep. Not trusting that I heard correctly, I got up and watched the scrolling list of closings on the local television station. After seeing the College's name pass by a couple times, I figured it was safe to turn the alarm clock off.

Tuesday morning, February 1, was leisurely. No big snow overnight and traffic on the streets seemed to be traveling at a "normal" pace. But the weather forecasters were still preaching heavy snow and strong winds. Once again schools announced closings for the next day and, again, the College was one of them!

Wednesday proved to be a nasty day. The roads were definitely not to be traveled. Snow plows were making the rounds, but it took several passes before the main streets were plowed curb-to-curb and corners of intersections were cleared so that you didn't have to make what felt like a 90-degree turn.

John and I tackled clearing our driveway after lunch. It was not a simple task. The snow was "crunchy" with a layer of ice beneath. I was assigned with breaking through the snow, and John scooped and moved it away. As we cleared and approached the street, it was daunting to think of having to break through and remove the compacted snow that the plows had left at the end of the driveway.

After an exhausting 3 hours the driveway was cleared. I figure John did about 75% of the work, but that doesn't mean that I didn't have stiff and sore muscles for the next couple days.

Notice the chunks of snow. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Three days later, Saturday morning, February 5, we woke to a steady snowfall. It was quite pretty with a Christmas card-look. You can see in the photo below that our big efforts on Wednesday to clear our driveway were now covered.

The snow stopped after about 4 inches, and after lunch, John and I again shoveled snow. This was an easier snow to clear.

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Two weeks later, February 18. What a difference a couple weeks make. With yesterday's temperatures in the mid 60s (after being in the single digits just last week), this is the view in our front yard:

P.S. How many people have a periscope coming out the top of their house??? ;-)