Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicago Snowpocalypse 2011

Last Tuesday, Chicago was hit by a massive blizzard -- the third biggest in the city's recorded history. They'd been forecasting it and issuing blizzard warnings for days before, but I think it still took everyone a little by surprise. Overwhelmed by the snow, Lake Shore Drive became completely impassable, and people ended up trapped in their cars all night. The following photo, courtesy of Reddit, gives a pretty clear idea what this looked like:

My own experience was pretty mundane. I was at work, and the blizzard just happened to hit on the same day that I moved to a new office, from which I no longer had a clear view outside. I didn't realize how bad things were getting out there until the office manager came around suggesting that people leave early -- and this was around 4:00 PM, before the bulk of the snow had even hit.

So I headed home via the CTA Green Line, my usual routine. All things considered, the commute went pretty smoothly, although it was admittedly much more crowded than normal. I snapped this photo of all the people standing at the State & Lake station while waiting for the train:

And I got one good shot of a Chicago landmark in the early stages of the blizzard, also taken from the State & Lake station on my way home:

The only hard thing about getting home in the blizzard was the wind, which was pretty fierce, and which happened to be blowing west when I had to walk east. (When snow is blown into your face by winds as strong as these were, it really stings.)

But long story short, I made it home safely, and rode out the blizzard all warm and dry in our cavelike basement residence. Althouh due to the unfortunate lack of windows, we (my husband and I) would periodically leave the apartment to go stand in the common entryway area and watch the blizzard from the front door.

We never lost power, thankfully, although our neighbors down the street weren't so lucky. The worst that happened for us was that the internet did go out for a while, and this led to various withdrawal symptoms -- I kept trying to reflexively Google things, and would get all sad when I realized this was temporarily impossible. (It's an addiction, let me tell you.)

Anyway, this is what our street looked like when we ventured outside the next day:

Except for this narrow trail that had been beaten down the center of the street by human feet, the snow was completely undisturbed. Our street didn't end up getting plowed until pretty late that evening, and we got to do a lot of fun shoveling in the meantime.

And now for some bonus pictures. First is a screen grab of Google's traffic map circa 7:40 pm on February 1st.

As you can see, traffic was pretty slow everywhere (lots of red and yellow) with some areas of the highways and Lake Shore Drive -- presumably the stuck parts -- in outright black. (I'll admit, I haven't seen that color on Google's traffic maps so often.)

The second bonus pic is just sort of amusing. Here's what the Chicago subreddit looked like during all this:

That header banner seemed so apropos that I made it my desktop background.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to add a comment, even if this post is weeks or months old by the time you find it. I always love hearing what people think!