Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Let it snow

I am sitting at home during my first every adult snow day. Chicago is experiencing a “storm of the century” although there were two other storms in the last 50 years will similar snowfall totals. I have gone out twice to shovel through thigh high snow drifts (damn 40mph wind…keeps blowing it back). I am pretty sure every office in the city closed their doors for the day, so everyone is looking for a way to advert cabin fever. Granted, I think staying indoors…dry and warm…would be a good idea. The Target a couple blocks away is open because I see people trudging through the deep snow (and unplowed streets) carrying bags baring the red and white logo. Most people just had a single bag with maybe three to five items in it (candy bars, an energy drink, coffee filters). Believe me, it wasn’t anything lifesaving that they needed to venture out for. The snow was super white and fluffy though and I fought every urge to go jump around in it. The attitude towards the snow pileup in my neighborhood was interesting to witness. The ghetto neighbors would be walking around in sneakers and jeggings with snow up to their knees. They would remark “shit its cold out here…how long is it going to be like this” as they passed me and my shovel. I don’t think the pictures capture how much it snowed in 24hrs. Cars were buried up to their side view windows…drifts were people height…frankly once you shoveled the snow, there was no place to put it. Some pictures from my street.

Here is an example of the "snow plows". Seriously, the city enlisted everyone and EVERYTHING. I even saw two cops on snowmobiles drive down my street. This is offically a "front loader" for those construction folk...or bulldozer for the rest of the population. A friend share a video of it going down her street and unfortunately I am not smart enough to convert it to a blog compatible format.

Also Lake Shore Drive was the big story of the day. This is a main highway that runs right along the lake shore...hence the name. Apparently people still decided to drive on it even though the news said for days the wind would be whipping at 30-75mph off the lake, the waves would reach heights between 10 and 25 feet, and the storm would drop around 2-3 inches of snow an hour (aka a full white-out blizzard condition). Seriously, all of the news outlets were like "do not take lake shore will be insane" and yet people still drove on it (including some reporters that were too stupid to heed their own advice). Well of course there were multiple accidents during rush hour (or actually just before since everyone left work around 2 or 3pm and therefore moving up rush hour a couple hours). And these accidents put the highway at an absolute stand-still, trapping the people in their cars. Now a rational person would be "hey there are thousands of houses and high rises a block away...maybe I should get out of my car and take shelter there...". Nope. People waited in their cars for 12 hours watching the snow pile up to their windows, thinking traffic would eventually start moving again. The police and firemen went through and rescued these people who purposely stranded themselves 100ft from homeowners who were gladly opening their doors for strangers and serving them hot meals and warm beds. Okay enough with the common sense. You can see the photo below of how the drive looked after the storm (yeah I don't know what they were thinking either).


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