Friday, March 11, 2011
Blizzard Deja Vu...Only Worse
Always before, we have had plenty of warning. Today, as Tina sat home reading The Children's Blizzard, the storm struck.
The weather forecasters are normally very accurate. Up here, lives depend on it. But as late as 7:30 this morning, we were only supposed to get some winds and a spritz of snow. Only a generic winter weather advisory was issued, and the roads were all open. The outside edge of the blizzard warning was almost 60 miles away. What happened caught us all by surprise.
Jack was supposed to go to Minot today, right in the heart of the blizzard. Being a good sport, since his supervisor really, really hoped he could make it, he tried. After about 30 miles, he gave up and came back. His next project was to twiddle his thumbs down at the shop while waiting to make sure John John made it back safely from the farm.
Before long, I got a call. "John John is stuck out on the highway. We're going to try and get him." Goody, I love being on standby as The Great Last Hope when everyone else has gotten stuck.
They had hardly made it past the just-put-up road closed signs before they had to turn around and come back, somewhat reassured by the news that John John had some food, beverages, and plenty of gas. Upon arrival back in town, the news grew even more dramatic. John John was one of 15 or so motorists trapped on the tardily closed road, including the UPS man.
The FedEx guy was more fortunate, having already arrived in Westby. He and the others stranded by the blizzard were given shelter in the community center, and provided with food.
After several hours, a daring snowplow driver tried to break through, but got stuck at mile marker 12.
The last I heard, the snowplow driver had finally broken loose, and was continuing on his rescue mission. No idea how many may have been rescued by this time, but John John is still stuck, trapped between two monster drifts, moving every ten minutes or so to avoid becoming a drift himself. The rest of us are eating pizza.
And Tina? She has decided it would have been much better to read her book in the summertime.