Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Blizzard 06

Got snow? We sure do. 18 inches and counting!

The news media is calling this the Holiday Blizzard 06 and let me tell you it is a MESS! Here's a sampling of what's going on "in our neck of the woods". The wind has been howling since just after midnight Tuesday. Sustained wind speeds of 25-30 mph (gusts up to 65mph) have been blowing snow creating blizzard conditions for over 30 hours. We've got 4-5 foot drifts in our yard. I'm sitting at John's computer downstairs in the basement and our window wells (at least 4ft deep) are completely filled with snow. They haven't plowed our streets (wind would just re-cover the cleared area in minutes) and snow is up to the bumpers of cars outside (most of which are stuck in the street).

In Colorado Springs, malls are closed, banks are closed, and the Post Office and UPS called their delivery trucks in yesterday just after noon. Denver airport shut down, the interstate was closed from Denver to the Kansas border AND from Denver south to the New Mexico border.

John made it to work yesterday morning, but they sent him home at 10am. His return trip wasn't pretty. When the wind is blowing that hard, it creates white-out conditions where you literally can't see anything in front of you. He told me he had to stick his head out of the window (into blowing snow) to TRY to see if he was even on the road. His windshield wipers were freezing up, the defroster couldn't keep the windshield clear, and so he had to keep clearing the window everytime he stopped. Talk about a scary commute! He arrived safely two hours later, but had to walk the last block home when his car got stuck in deep snow at the end of our street. It's still there as are dozens of other cars, which is going to make plowing an interesting job--more likely a major headache for the plow drivers.

One of our good friends has been in South Africa since Thanksgiving on a sabbatical trip. His return flight was supposed to arrive in Denver last night around 6pm. Cancelled. Because of the heavy holiday traveling, he wasn't able to re-schedule his flight home until 10pm Friday night...and if he didn't take that one, his other choice was to arrive on Christmas day. What a NIGHTMARE! He's just one of THOUSANDS of passengers trying to get somewhere.

And think about retail. They've officially been closed for 1.5 days now (most have said they'll open at noon today). We're at the height of the holiday shopping season. When John worked at REI, it wasn't uncommon this time of year for daily sales to be in the $85,000-100,000 range. Think about what closing down does for them...yuck. And think about what malls and Walmart are gonna look like around here on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I'm already cringing b/c I have some shopping to finish up myself.

I think that UPS and the USPS are feeling some stress right now. I just read on the newschannel's website that we won't be getting mail service again today. Their trucks can't get to our neighborhoods. Someone's gonna be busy on Christmas Eve, huh?

I'm am thrilled though that the kids didn't have school yesterday or today. I was whining about today being their last day, but things definitely worked out much more to my liking. We got started on some of our Christmas baking yesterday, and just enjoyed having the day "off" from errands and from holiday stress!

Holiday Blizzard 06! Fun, fun, fun! We're under a blizzard warning until noon today and hopefully the storm will move on out and things can begin to clear up around here. We're definitely going to have a white Christmas because this much snow isn't going anywhere!!!

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