Monday, February 11, 2013

Boy, wasn't THAT the truth.

I'm referring to my post from last Thursday.  It was quite an accurate post, really.  Based on the weather reports, I'd already cancelled my class for Saturday morning.  I think it was only the second or third time since I started teaching that I'd had to cancel a class for the weather.  The reports, however were pretty dire and I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry and have my students holed up at home.  I needn't have cancelled the class - it was taken care of for me.

On Thursday evening I stopped for a few groceries and things I knew I might want for the weekend if the weather turned really bad.  For the most part, we're well prepared for most anything that Mother Nature could throw at us as we have quite a bit of camping gear and we've learned a few lessons from some of the hurricanes and previous snow storms that have passed through.  The grocery store was like a mad house.  I also stopped by the local liquor store to make certain that DW wouldn't be without red wine as I wasn't certain how much we had.  Heaven forbid we run out of wine.

On Friday morning, I took this picture:

As you can see, there were some traces of snow around the edges of the road and at the ends of driveways from a previous storm, but for the most part, the grass is pretty much visible everywhere.  The car?  Clean as a whistle.   DW, DS and DD's schools were cancelled the nigh before so they were all staying at home.  I then drove to work - I figured that I could get in a few hours of work before the storm arrived and come home for about lunch time.  By the time I got to work, not a flake had fallen.

At about 10:30 AM, some light snow began.  I stayed at work until about 1:00 PM.  There was maybe about an inch or so of snow on the ground by that time.  The forecast said that we were supposed to start seeing heavy snow and wind start around 3:00 PM and I wanted to be off the road before that weather arrived.  It usually takes me about a half hour to get home in good weather and this was no exception as traffic was light.  When I got home, I was informed that the Governor had banned any non-emergency travel from 4:00 PM until further notice.  Surprise, surprise.

DD and I disappeared down to the basement to work on her kayak frame as there really wasn't much to see in the way of weather.  We got quite a bit of clean-up and sanding done.  Coming upstairs before dinner time, there didn't appear to be much more accumulation - maybe 2 inches of snow, tops.  I was figuring the storm was going to be over-hyped by now.  We made some pizza for dinner and the kids watched a movie before heading for bed about 9:00 PM.  There still wasn't much on the ground - maybe 4" or a bit more, and wind was beginning to pick up before we went to bed.

My car looked a bit different in the morning:

The little black dots are the caps on the end of the roof rack and the blue thing is the wing mirror.  It's hard to see, but the snow is well drifted up the garage door.  

What a difference 24 hours makes.

The view out onto the deck wasn't much better.  It'll be a while before I grill again, I think.

We'd gotten the family snowshoes for Christmas and DW and I decided to go out and take a look around the neighborhood to see the state of things.  It was still quite windy, but not snowing anymore.

 Probably one of the best modes of transportation for the day, but not ideal.  You still would sink in up to the knees as the snow was fairly light.  You can see how much the pole basket sank into the snow.

The sights weren't encouraging:

"Some roads may be impassable".  


This is our street - it is untouched.  The main street in the neighborhood was plowed - a little over one lane wide.  What's difficult to see from the picture is the berm of snow that was nearly 4' tall.   Pretty much just a featureless white landscape.  I figured I'd better stop fooling around in the snow and get to work moving the stuff.

The trusty 8-1/2 horsepower Husqvarna was pressed into service.  The snow was deeper than the snowblower's auger housing.  For some of the time, I wasn't sure if it was a snowblower or a submarine as I cleared snow.  It took multiple passes of the same area to clear the snow in our driveway.  After getting the driveway clear, I headed down to the next door neighbor's house while the rest of the family tackled the sidewalks with shovels.  Our next door neighbor's husband passed away this Fall and we've been trying to help out with the other neighbors.  I met the neighbor on the other side of her and between the two of us, we got the driveway and sidewalks clear and I went back to finish up the sidewalks and to clear around to the oil fill in the back of the house.  

Eyeing the snow on the roof, I got out the roof rake and cleared that up and moved the snow that fell on the driveway and the front walk.  After a quick lunch of leftover pizza, a small 1 ton truck with a plow started to clear the street - and got stuck.  A payloader came a while later and cleared the street and got the truck out.  A bit more snowblowing cleared the berm pushed up by the payloader at the end of the driveways.  At this point, I realized that I'd burned three tanks of fuel in the snowblower - I usually can clean up any snow that has fallen with one tank.

We'd gotten 21" of snow, but had gotten off lucky - parts of Southern Connecticut, Eastern Massachusetts, Coastal New Hampshire and Maine had 30" or more of snow as well as high winds and tides.  Hamden, Connecticut recorded 38" of snow!  It will take many more days to restore power and move snow in some communities in New England, but it will happen, slowly but surely.

Oh, and by the way, I want to get my hands on that #*$&@ groundhog!

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