This storm covered 30 states! Pretty amazing. Here are 13 random thoughts on the Lee of the Storm:
1. Tuesday night, we made it through Lakeshore Drive just in time, apparently. Michael picked me up at 3:30 P.M., having left his office at 3:00, and we didn’t get to our garage until 6:00 P.M. We were lucky: many, many people got stranded on Lakeshore and had to be rescued.
2. This is the view from our car, with 50 mph winds sweeping west (to the left as you’re looking at the photo), causing whiteout conditions and driving snow and ice before it. Lake Michigan is directly to the east of Chicago, so the storm picked up water off the lake to add to its fury.
3. Here’s an article with pictures about the Drive being back open, and all the stranded cars.
4. Several buses were even stuck, my bus driver this morning told me, and had to come to work the next day anyway!
5. The thermocouple on our furnace gave out. What’s a thermocouple? Here’s what Google gave me. What happened is that the furnace blew out (it’s gas operated). We re-lit it, and it blew out. We re-lit it, and it blew out again. We built a burm of snow around it, and it blew out – but this time, the flames came several inches out of the opening, missing my face by a breath, and burned all the hairs off my left hand.
Here’s the guys, building the snow wall:
6. The city did a terrific job of plowing everything. The streets are, by and large, open again. They plowed our street in the night, using a dump truck to get the snow out of the way.
7. The ‘problem’ with plowing the streets, is that it creates a burm. A burm is a small mountain of snow, snaking along beside the road from the snow that was pushed out of the way of the plows. The bus stop is on the curb, on the other side of the burm from the bus. This means I had to climb over a wide burm to get to the bus.
8. Our offices were actually closed yesterday, as was most of the city. The Chicago Public School System, CPS, closed for the first time in 12 years. My husband and stepson were home for the day too.
9. I didn’t get to have a traditional snow day, though, due to the wonders of modern technology. Our office has a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, so I can work from home.
10. Cable, however, was out. We use a cable modem. So my internet, wireless, AND television were all out.
11. I piggybacked onto my upstairs neighbors’ wifi, which let me access work files – but very sloooowwwwwlllllyyyyy. I live in a 1925 brick building, whose walls are 12” thick. So the signal, she wasn’t strong.
12. After the drama with the snow, and the fire in the furnace, and the shoveling and cable and working and VPN and food and stuff, I decided to take a moment to myself in my nice, warm bathroom.
And a giant friggin’ spider crawls up the wall and trundles on over to me to say hello.
13. I am very grateful that today is a sunny day, and that we have survived Snowpocalypse 2K11! HOORAH!