Chicago Blizzard 2/1/2011

Lincoln Square, took a walk about a half hour ago with the video camera for my bro who spent some time in the neighborhood in the summer. Crazy winds and I would not want to be more than a few blocks from home. About halfway through my walk I came around a corner and ran into three guys all bundled up, standing in the street/sidewalk, drinking tallboy cans of MGD. Gotta love this city!

I’m just getting ready to leave work now. Just need to go from Argyle to Loyola. Won’t make the one that says 11 min, and the next one says delayed. I’m gonna coat up, and watch for the next one to have an arrival time, then head out. Just saw someone else walking down the street, so I think I’ll survive.

At home, near Cumberland and the Kennedy. About 20 minutes ago I saw another lightning flash, followed by a rather long rumble of thunder.

I’m in Edgewater (Clark and Peterson). I live on the same street I grew up on. This one has a different feel to it than the ’67 thing (although I was only 9). I work for the Lycee Francais at Irving and Marine Drive. Most of the French who run the place aren’t familiar with weather like this and all afternoon they were ambivalent about closing the school tomorrow. It took them until 5:00 to make the decision.

Kolak: I was by Sheridan and Granville about 5:30 and it was still navigable but. Let me know if you see any cars at all walking home from the L.

Anyone have power out?

Huh. I have no memory whatsoever of a blizzard in 1999. I lived here and was an adult, in fact I had an 8 month old at the time. I remember the ice storm of 1998 which cut power off for my street for 3 days… But I was definitely pregnant at the time.
Don’t mean to hijack, but clearly the '99 one wasn’t anything close to this one, right? (could I possibly forget a storm of this magnitude?). :confused:

Here’s some info on the 1999 blizzard:

http://www.examiner.com/weather-in-chicago/chicago-s-11th-year-anniversary-of-the-1999-new-years-snowstorm

I remember spending several hours digging out, but don’t recall there being much wind.

According to the CTA, normal service is resuming on the L.

I just got home. 90 minutes on the train from Belmont to Granville with a good 60 minutes of that on the platform at Addison waiting for a northbound train as 7 southbound trains ran past. I know signals were messed up but that crowd was getting ugly.

Hah! Yeah, I saw a car at Sheridan and Rosemont when I was heading east to my building. It was on the sidewalk in front of Sacred Heart school, perpendicular to Sheridan Road. It had the light on so I guess he didn’t have a fare.

Seriously, the wind was gusting so hard I had to navigate the intersection grabbing several stop sign poles, street lights and a mailbox to get to my building. Keep your head down and your center of gravity low is my motto.

I’ve never experienced thunder and lightning during a blizzard before, but have had lots of it tonight. Way cool! The hail was just the icing on the cake.

My 15-pound year-old Bichon Frise has no problem with the weather. The little pervert loves frolicking in the drifts!

'99 was pretty damned impressive, but I remember it having much more even snowfall than this one. My backyard right now has snow ranging from zero inches to four feet. Overall, though, so far, it looks like '99 was worse to me, in terms of snowfall. I’m not exactly sure why you don’t remember it. It’s the only major snowfall I remember other than 1979 (and I was 4 for that one.)

Woo morning update! The Natl Weather Service update now includes this (and a wind chill warning) as of 4am today:

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REPORT THAT NEARLY EVERY ROADWAY IS IMPASSABLE AND IN MANY CASES CLOSED. A STATE OF EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ARE PLEADING FOR PEOPLE TO STAY HOME AND OFF ROADWAYS. THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS REPORTS OF CARS OFF ROADWAYS AND PEOPLE STRANDED AND THE EXTREME CONDITIONS ARE MAKING IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR RESCUE PERSONAL TO REACH THE STRANDED. VISIBILITIES ARE SO POOR IN OPEN AREAS THAT MOTORISTS COULD BECOME DISORIENTED AND UNABLE TO EVEN SEE BEYOND THE HOOD OF THEIR CARS. BEFORE CONSIDERING GETTING ON THE ROADS THIS MORNING… ASK YOURSELF IF GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION IS WORTH RISKING YOUR LIFE.


I just took a look outside and we have snow drifted up so bad against the front door that I’m afraid to open it (door opens inwards so it will open, but it might not shut again). My roommate who said “she didn’t have a choice” about going in to work at 4am is still here–she’s the gen manager of a gas station and so they’re surely not open right now. My other roommate+his gf came in at 9pm last night from their retail jobs, I couldn’t believe they let them drive. But they made it okay fortunately. His gf said there were 2 cars in the ditch when they were traveling, and that’s just the ones they were able to see because visibility was literally zero with all the wind. Visibility is good NOW since it isn’t snowing at the moment, but last night gusts were 50+mph. Scary. I should take some pictures before the plows go out to show to my grandkids someday XD

It’s drifted up to 2.5feet at least against our back sliding glass door. It’s not snowing right now, though I doubt the storm is over. The plows have not even attempted to run on our street yet, it’s very pretty like one big winter playland. No tire tracks at all. Which means nobody on my street is at work or school, yet, which is good. Our driveway has 3 feet of blown drifts on it, my other roommate’s car looks like someone dropped it into a snowbank. Mine is in front of his so it has less snow around it, but to get out of the driveway I’d have to back through all of that, so it’s going to take an herculean amount of shoveling (we don’t have a snowblower)

There’s no way anything but a snowmobile could travel on my street in its current condition and I ain’t stupid enough to try! My office yesterday announced a late opening of 10am for today, but they also sent everyone home from work at 2 yesterday. If we’re even open today I will be shocked as hell. But! I absolutely need to pick up some groceries and smokes tomorrow, so I hope the plows will have worked their magic by then :smiley:

I was sure we were going to, but the winds whipping our power lines around just gave us several power fluctuations an hour last night.

Just shoveled off my steps - there’s well over a foot of snow on the sidewalk, and that’s after I shoveled when I got home early from work yesterday. I have pretty impressive drifting on my porch alone, and that’s with a semi-enclosed porch (no screens/windows, but does have a solid wood “rail” enclosure). I got a path across the porch and my stairs cleared off; I think I’ll tackle the front walk later.

I wouldn’t be so concerned, but the letter carriers for our suburb and the few around it were told to be at work Or Else (my husband works at that post office), and so I know there’s a good chance that one of his coworkers might have to struggle up those steps later today - assuming that there’s enough people to staff the office, considering at least four counties are under “no driving” rules to keep the roads clear for plows/emergency vehicles.

I remember the '99 one - my husband actually got sent home that day because the mail trucks weren’t starting - but the winds weren’t as bad, and it was also right around New Year’s, so I think a lot of people might have had the day off anyway.

I’m in Logan Square and have been mostly without power since about 6:00 yesterday. Oddly, my building seems to be on a partial brown out, partial blackout. I have a couple lights that come on, a lot more that don’t, and naturally no furnace. All my neighbors seem to be in the same boat.

Just looking out the window. One advantage of this blizzard thing is that the wind whips around the cars parked on the street and prevents the snow from piling up, in my city neighborhood anyway. In every other big storm I’ve experienced, the snow was packed around the cars and digging out took hours. I bet if I had to I could get the car moving in 30 minutes. However, chances are I’d then get stuck in the unplowed street.

Miraculously, the (side) street in front of my house appears to have been plowed a few hours ago. This is extra surprising because my suburb usually really sucks at reacting to snowfall and plowing the streets; I guess the town put the fear of God and the National Weather Service in their crews. I just dug a trench from the house to the street, and it had drifted up to three feet in spots, at least two for the rest. I dug out a little bit around back, too; there’s another drift over three feet back there, so I dug out around the door and down the back steps a bit.

Sounds like one of the three incoming power cables broke. Do you have a central furnace for the building or individual heat? If the former and your janitor is a decent electrician, he ought to be able to swap the furnace circuit breaker to the side of the electrical panel that’s still hot and get the heat back on. Not something for an amateur to try, however.

Naperville here. Left work at 3:30 yesterday and my usual 20 minute drive home took an hour fifty. Still, I did better than some poor souls on LSD and 290, from what I hear.

Doing the work-from-home thing today. 4 to 5 foot drifts all over the place, and not a plow in sight in my neighborhood. Not that it matters right now, since neither my wife nor I plan on setting foot outside today.

Individual. I don’t feel qualified to try to mess with it, but this gives me hope that maybe our management company will be able to get someone out who can get heat going. If not, with luck Com Ed won’t be too much longer to fix it.

Anyone seen SeaDragonTattoo? Hope you got home okay!

It’s CRAZY out there! I live across the street from a huge park, so the cars get to park fairly far apart, as street parking goes (there are only apartments on the west side of the street, you see). There are some cars completely buried up to their roofs, and some which could be driven off without so much as a snow brush. Weird wind patterns.

My car is about half and half - the front end is buried but the back wheels are visible to the pavement. I’m going to have my son help me dig it out in a few hours, before the temperature drops. I don’t plan on going anywhere today, but if we’re stuck at home, we might as well dig the car out before the -20 windchills hit.

Depends on where you lived. '99 hit over New Year’s weekend, so a lot of folks were off work and staying home anyway.

But back to 2011 - the street outside is completely covered over. The wind has buried and then unburied then reburied my car and truck several times. The snow is flying horizontally. The road has disappeared under snowdrifts like marching sand dunes. It is very, very quiet as there is NO traffic whatsoever. I guess they gave up plowing, as nothing was going to stay cleared anyhow.