Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter fiasco

I clearly made a huge blunder by underestimating this storm. At around 9:30 p.m. Friday, we lost power to the house, and it didn't return until shortly before 5 p.m. today. This was a major storm that even the most flamboyant meteorologists didn't predict. By noon, the neighborhood had received at least 19 inches of snow -- I measured the amount with a drum stick -- prompting us to begin the Big Dig. We placed our refrigerated groceries on the back porch so they didn't spoil. Below, I have included a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

The weather turned ugly around 5 p.m. Friday, but things got really nasty when we lost power around 9:30 p.m. With nothing else to do, we built a snowman, had a snowball fight and shoveled the driveway... three times. There was an eerie orange glow in the sky around 10 p.m., and the horizon flickered a number of times, which presumably was the result of exploding power line transformers.

Neighbors began The Big Dig early Saturday morning, but the snow plows were nowhere to be found. A plow made several runs last night, but we have yet to see another one today. That made for more than a few disgruntled diggers.

My girlfriend, Tiffany, and roommate, Fielder, skip merrily up the main road. We took a half-hour walk around the block to see the damage, and found a lot of people attempting to get out of the mess.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say this guy is probably waiting for an epic thaw before moving his car. Most of our vehicles looked like this, and it meant that a broom was a better tool than an ice scraper.

By 3 p.m., we had shoveled our driveway and were able to get around. Unfortunately, the plows neglected our main roads, meaning the only people leaving our development were driving sport-utility vehicles or pickup trucks.

And finally, I offer a majestic view of the snow from my bedroom window. Despite the inconvenience of the blizzard, it offers a beautiful winter scene. Feel free to offer your own winter storm stories in the comments section.


  1. I think the flickering on the horizon was snow lightning, not blowing transformers. I saw many instances, and I've talked with many who saw the same thing.

    I was outside shoveling, 9:30 p.m. to about 11:15 p.m. Friday night. We saw many of the flickers, first thinking it was wires or transformers. But, after awhile, I concluded otherwise. The source was more widespread, not a single point such as a transformer.

    That time outside was unusual. The snow was falling heavily, perhaps nearly 2" per hour. About 8-10" had fallen in the storm. Everything was well covered with heavy, wet snow. The driveway light refelected strangely in the falling snow. With the flickering in the distance, the visual sensations were unusual in themselves.

    But, by this time, especially closer to 11:00 p.m. tree branches were cracking and crashing through trees, some hitting the ground, others getting caught in the tree. The cracking of the limbs was distinct, nothing like we typically hear. The instances were frequent, some of them coming from overhead where I was working (not for long!). The auditory senses were tickled like nothing from the past.

    Between the visual, and auditory, the evening was was one to remember. Had I been sitting by the warm fire inside, or watching TV in my bedroom, this unusual evening would have been missed.

    (Maybe you had to be there, ...).

  2. Very nice prose, Roger, especially about the cracking tree limbs. Are you really an underground reporter?

    And I thought the same thing about the flashing lights. I initially thought it was lightning, but my friends suggested it was the transformers because there was no thunder. I would like to get a definitive explanation from an official source.