Saturday, February 9, 2013

Boston Blizzard!

So I decided to post my running commentary of the past two days from Facebook and Twitter here on my blog, including relevant pictures. It might not be the most "science-y" of posts, but it does tell a fun story of one girl, a blizzard, and only a computer as means of social contact. Also, the tragedy of THUNDERSNOW.

From 2/8/13:

The media is treating this THUNDERSNOW event as COMPLETELY EPIC, and I'm more than happy to keep up the dramatics for them. As such...

Boston Blizzard check-in #1:

7am. Woke up. All is quiet. Not a flurry in sight.

7:20 am. Opened blinds. Noticed some poor soul forgot to move his car for the Somerville parking ban. Orange ticket sighted.

7:30 am. Really getting intensely weirded out by the silence. Gov. Patrick ordered all traffic off road by noon, but it seems most of us have already hunkered down in wait. Usual morning honking, car-sputtering, and engines roaring (as cars inevitably decide to use my sidestreet as a shortcut) is all...quiet.

7:31 am. One car noise, just as I typed the above!'s a plow. Moving into tactical position, I'm sure.

...More updates to come.

Boston Blizzard check-in #2:

9am. Normal rush hour traffic is nonexistent. It's usually a parking lot around here at 9, but today it's empty.

9:35am. First flurries falling.

9:55am. Flurries switching over to real snowfall. Beginning to accumulate on the ground. Here we go!

9:57am. No sign of THUNDERSNOW yet. But we can hope.

Boston Blizzard check-in #3:

11:30 am. Nice solid dusting of snow over everything.

11:40 am. Electric company called to tell me they're going to "try their best". They did this for Sandy, too. Nice of them, but still an awkward recorded phone call.

11:45 am. Decided to tackle the dishes in the sink. Made it more exciting by imagining the water going out later and this being my last chance to assure myself clean dishes for the weekend.

11:50 am. Thrill of emergency-dish-washing has passed. Weather Channel running out of things to talk about.

11:56 am. Snow is getting heavier and is now blowing in fun new directions such as "sideways" and "up".

11:58 am. Sirens outside as cops patrol the neighborhood, urging drivers and pedestrians to get off the streets.

11:59 am. Still no THUNDERSNOW. I'm patient, though.

Boston Blizzard check-in #4:

12:45 pm. Gov. Patrick BANS all road travel beginning at 4pm. Let's see how well that actually works.

1:10 pm. My view of the Boston skyline is completely blocked by snow. Is the city still there? I'm assuming so, because I just watched Fisher broadcast from the Common on TWC. Though, I suppose that doesn't mean the buildings haven't disappeared...hmmm...

1:25 pm. Winds starting to plaster snow to the sides of buildings. They say 2pm is when things are going to get heavy, but I think some of the heavy snow is sneaking in early. (THUNDERSNOW still holding out.)

1:37 pm. Blaring cop sirens. Car parked on the banned side of the street just outside. Frazzled looking dude had to run out and move his vehicle, or face the wrath of Somerville's finest.

Boston Blizzard check-in #5:

3:05 pm. First plowing of our street!

3:40 pm. Definitely a good inch or more on the ground now. Weird to think it's going to be way more in less than 12 hours. Snow is in eensy tiny flakes and wind is gusting so it looks like someone's just waving giant semi-translucent white sheets around outside.

4:00 pm. Travel ban starts NOW in Massachusetts. Outside, people speeding along the roads trying to get home. Not sure that's the safest decision, though apparently driving after 4 today gets you a $500 fine or a year in jail, so...I'm not judging.

4:02 pm. Also, coastal communities asked to evacuate now. Living west of Boston on top of a hill means I'm a-okay to stay. Thank goodness, because we're not allowed to drive anymore. Really curious as to what this means for people who are meant to evacuate. Hmm. Not sure they thought that one through all too well.

4:06 pm. Closer to two inches on the ground now. Things are ramping up! Bring on the THUNDERSNOW! (Noisy wind gusts, you aren't fooling me! Give me some real thunder!)

Boston Blizzard check-in #6:

4:30 pm. Decided to head outside and clear off my car, which had about two inches of clumpy wet snow on it, to avoid it freezing over when the major snow hits tonight.

4:40 pm. Went back inside, my footprints from when I'd walked out had already disappeared.

4:50 pm. Last of the snow melted through my hair, soaking me even while indoors.

4:55 pm. Double plows now out and about in the neighborhood. Also, sun going down. Night Blizzard time!

5:04. TWC reports: Gonna be going "gangbusters" in Boston by 5 am tomorrow. Also, Cantore's gonna get jazzed on Dunkin' and he'll be "rockin' it" all night. Most importantly, THUNDERSNOW heard just south of Long Island. It's coming!

Boston Blizzard check-in #7:

6:30 pm. Plows visited our driveway, and I went outside to inspect things. Discovered 3 or 4 inches of snow had fallen.

8:30 pm. Peeked outside again. Snow had easily doubled in amounts. Wind ripping through the neighborhood. Still waiting for my THUNDERSNOW.

9:05 pm. Power outages climb.

9:27 pm. Getting close to my bedtime, blizzard or no blizzard. Charging all my gadgets in case I lose power overnight. Decided to sum up the evening in one final check-in just in case. Sleep will happen soon. All wittiness has already turned in for the night. I think I'll follow suit in a few minutes. Looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night to loud claps of THUNDERSNOW!

Expect a new report in the morning, unless I lose power! ;)

From 2/9/13:

Boston Blizzard check-in #8:

6 am. Woke up because my cat was coughing up a hairball. So much for sleeping in on this wintry day!

6:05 am. Realized I must've slept through any THUNDERSNOW we'd had a chance of getting. Drat! Oh well, it's not like I haven't heard THUNDERSNOW before...

6:16 am. Peeked out the windows to see, by my estimation, at least a foot and a half of snow on the ground with more still falling.

6:55 am. Took some pictures out the window, decided I needed to go outside to see things better.

7:02 am. Put on my tennis shoes and my jacket, telling myself if I did that I wouldn't stay out for long.

7:05 am. Stood on the porch, woefully watching others enjoy the snow (or in some cases, not enjoy the snow...some people were trying to dig their cars out already). Darn my knee, holding me back from awesomeness.

7:06 am. Attempted to make a tiny snowman, but the snow was way too powdery.

7:10 am. Someone brought their dogs out. Cannot promise this had no bearing on what happened next.

7:11 am. Made the decision to brave my completely buried building stairwell and venture forth. Carefully.

7:12 am. Made it to the bottom of the stairs! Also, now standing in waist-high snow on the sidewalk.

7:14 am. Shoved through the plowed snow to get onto the street.

7:20 am. Made random blizzard friends and began to wander the neighborhood.

7:30 am. Finally caught up to the dogs. Pet them. My morning goal was now complete.

7:55 am. Headed back indoors to report: It is still snowing. And it is still windy. And we have somewhere between 18-24 inches of snow, like they forecasted. With all the drifting, I can't get more precise than that.

Boston Blizzard check-in #9:

11:51 am. Somerville called to say "Yeaaaaaaaaahhhh...there's a sh*t-ton of snow. We're not ending our bans anytime soon, and neither is the governor so...ya'know, just sit tight." (Not an exact quote of their update, but you get the idea.)

11:55 am. Sky is very bright. Still cloudy, but bright. Snow has slowed. Decided to venture out once more to reassess the whole "digging out my car" scenario.

12:00 pm. Technically, we still have one hour left of our Blizzard Warning. I've discovered even more snow than there was earlier today, probably around 25 inches, maybe even 26 now. We may see another inch fall before the day is done, so I'm safely saying my area of Somerville is going to total about 26 inches for this storm.

12:02 pm. Turning the corner to my building's lot, I also notice there is more snow on my car than there was earlier this morning. Strange how that works.

12:03 pm. Shovel in hand, I optimistically approach. I mean, the front of my car really doesn't look that bad at all.

12:04 pm. I rapidly realize even a non-injured human being would be destroyed at the prospect of digging this car out. Especially since there is zero place to go with the snow covering my car. The snow is higher than my car. My car is in a drift that is almost the height of ME. 

12:05 pm. I take some pictures, then turn to go back inside, defeated. Alas, dear car, you'll have to remain buried until I can think up some way to get you out while not spraining my knee all over again.

Boston Blizzard check-in #10:

1:10 pm. Snow appears to have stopped.

1:25 pm. I've discovered Somerville's "official" snow total is 28". Sweet!

1:55 pm. First sounds of snowblowers! Alas, not for my own driveway. For the one across the street. But still, it brings hope.

2:27 pm. Strange engine noises from outside. Looked out to discover that we have a plow stuck in the snow on our street. Yes, that is correct. The PLOW is stuck on our street. I think this has cemented my decision to remain a hermit for the duration of the weekend.

So that's it! The storm has passed, and now all that's left is to clean up. I'm sad to have missed the THUNDERSNOW, but experiencing a record-breaking blizzard was still a fun adventure, even for a born-and-raised Michigan girl. Hope my other Northeast friends made it through with power and minimal damages! 

And hey, just as I'm wrapping this up minutes before sunset, I see the first sunrays of the day shining through. Tomorrow should be beautiful!  

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