Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chronicle of a Winter Storm....

2:15pm February 1, 2011~over the next 48 hours or so, I've decided to write something different.  That will be to follow the coming second round of snow/ice/sleet that is heading towards the upper Midwest.   Chicago is the target for the worst of what is scheduled to come...24+ inches according to The Weather Channel and others.  A foot or more is forecast just north of us in Mercer County, Ohio, with a mixture of snow and ice forecast to the south towards Dayton, and rain and storms as you move towards Dixie.  So here we go: "The Chronicle of a Winter Storm"

We received some 3 or 4 inches of snow last night, along with some ice/sleet.  This morning we, Patricia and I headed out...she with the shovel and me firing up the Snow Machine.  The snow was about 3 inches deep with a layer of ice weighting it down.  There was also a thin layer of ice on the sidewalks around the house...the de-icing salt took care of that in short order.  Temperatures were hovering around the 20 degree mark.

With the schools and workshops closed, Anissa came home for a few hours...meanwhile I headed over to Mom's house, and assessed the situation over there.  Brother Mike, being the restless type, did not like my assessment of the situation.  "You are screwed"  I said...."I can blow out the area near the garage, but until the city clears the alley, you are not getting out".  I got out Mom's smaller 2 cycle machine, and cleared the area behind the carport and next to the garage...followed by a path down the alley towards Cherry Street, where I did what I could to clear the large pile of frozen snow that the city plows had deposited.  Done there I walked back in the house and told Mike that I was going to make a couple of paths down the alley, so he could possibly make it down to the street for his afternoon "runs" to the various clubs he checks in with for a beer and BS sessions.

Meanwhile I told him to call the city and see what time they planned on taking the plows into the city alley ways to clear those..."This Afternoon" was the answer.  I'm sure by this time, he has made his way out, and hopefully by the time he heads home, maybe the city will have cleared the alley....just in time for the next mess that is scheduled to hit us, beginning about 6pm.

Snow, Ice, Sleet, combination of all?  Not sure what will come, and not sure how I will describe it...but photos and a description of what we get and what our neighbors west, north, and south get, will follow over the next 48 hours or so, until this Winter Storm clears out. 

5pm 2/1/11~Wind and Sleet

A strong Northeast wind arrived about 3:30pm, and a combination of sleet and light, wet, snow.  Winds are making that combination feel like needles on the face.  I've poured a Mt Carmel Stout into a frosty glass...Patricia took Anissa to get their "nails" done in preparation of the weekend wedding.  Hopefully the storm that will pound us throughout the night and into tomorrow will be just a memory.  Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers out that this does not knock out power in a big way...time will tell.  Forecast still says snow north, freezing rain south, while we sit in the middle of the mess...sleet, ice, snow. 

9:25pm 2/1/11~The "Hawk" continues

I did the text message thing  to both Sam and Hal earlier this evening...just to see what their conditions were in Columbus and Dayton respectively...Hal said "Ice" in the Dayton area, while Sam, in Columbus, told me he had never seen it rain this hard with the temperatures below freezing...

 I continued to watch the Radar....and as we approached 9:30pm, I'm thinking the worst is about to blow by us in West Central Ohio...

Yep, we are going to get some more...but it appears that Mercer County, if the trend continues, is going to get by with a few inches of snow, some hefty sleet, but no major freezing rain....but that is only my guess as of 9:40pm....The wind is blowing hard, and the "sleet" could change to either snow or the dreaded freezing rain.

One thing for sure, the schools are already canceled for tomorrow, and Patricia and I will be back outside clearing the sidewalks and the driveway.  I'll do ours, then head back over to Mom's place...hopefully getting that done before noon.  If the results of the storm are less than expected in Mercer County and the Grand Lake area, we will be thankful.  Another update will come when I awake in the morning, and get a good idea of just what hit us....I'm guessing much less than the folks in Chicago(24+ inches of snow), lower Wisconsin and deep southern Michigan...meanwhile the Indianapolis and Dayton areas still face a major "icing" event.

8:15am 2/2/11
So, I was wrong...We get a.Major League Ice Event____
OK, so I was wrong.....

So here I set, as the ice has ended, the county is shutdown, and we are forced to wait out the end of the storm....which is now bringing us a fresh layer of snow, and 40mph winds with stronger gusts....So what is worse?  The foot and a half of snow, like Chicago, or the ice like we have?   As of now, at least, we power, and the trees, poles, and wires I can see still are OK...but what will the wind do to them?

The Saga Will Continue...back later with updates below:

2/2/11  9:45am  Venturing Out!
Patricia headed out to break up the ice...I ventured out to feed the birds and squirrelsThe ice, now covered with a thin coat of blowing snow, is so tick that I have no problems walking on top of it...and with no warm up in site, our problem will be getting back in the driveway, once we get out.  I have no doubt the Jeep Wrangler, with it's high wheel base and 4WD can make it...but the Van?  that could be a major problem.  Of course it may not matter...I take the Jeep to Sidney tomorrow and pick up the SUV Rental at the Enterprise Lot....walking on the ice and loading that up for the trip may be problematical.  The winds continue to whip around the loose snow, of which there isn't that much of.

1:15pm....The Level 3 Snow(Ice) Emergency Continues-----
We(most Patricia) got the ice breakers, hammers, and shovels out  to break up the 6 inch thick Ice at the end of the driveway...I then fired up the Jeep and ran back and fort over it, turning it into a fine powder....once that did the trick I got the snow blower out and cleared the part connecting to the street off.  Meanwhile Mercer and Darke(to the south) Counties continue on  Level 3 Snow Emergencies.  No unnecessary travel allowed.  Schools of course are closed, and everything else is cancelled, including our baseball meeting in Van Wert tonight.  Hopefully things will clear out somewhat by Noon tomorrow, when I head south for Sidney to pick up the rental vehicle.

4pm....Still limited travel allowed____

Mercer County remains under a Level 3 this afternoon.  Reports of many accidents on icy I-75 near Lima.  The back roads and town streets are sheets of ice...with little chance of improving with temperatures high enough to melt anything scheduled for the near future.  Schools, while not closed yet, appear to have little chance of operating tomorrow.  Meanwhile, our driveway is open, and I still need to be able to get to Sidney tomorrow afternoon. 


Jerry in Oklahoma said...

That all looks and sounds very familiar. I'm snowed in for the 2nd of x many days.

Hang in there, buddy!

PRH....... said...

Looks like your old home in Indiana got just rain, or at least that is what it appeared last night. Meanwhile you get stuck with a record snowfall in your new hometown. Stay Safe!

Cookie..... said...

Damn Pat! For once we dodged a bullet here in Upstate, NY! ;-)

Went to bed around 1 AM and it was just starting to get bad, but upon get'n up this morn....almost no snow or ice. HOOOOORAH!!

We generaly get 3 times as much snow in a local Lake Effect Event(as you know). I guess this time we can look at Y'all and tsk tsk about how bad you guys got it. :-)