Chicago Blizzard Paralyzes the Area!: A Story of Survival

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The 2011 blizzard has proved to be as bad as the weather forecasters predicted, with snow levels at 9am recorded to be 17.7 inches and more snow falling, as the Lakefront snow keeps coming!  So far, this winter storm is number five for the snow record in the Chicago area. 


It all started about 12:30 yesterday when the wind gusts hit close to 50 mph, making it difficult to walk down Michigan Avenue.  I know, because I was one of those few attempting to walk in the raging winds to a meeting.  It would be the last meeting of the day and one I barely made it to. 


The snow was light, but the winds made it nearly impossible to see the street.  I certainly was not alone in my quest to get home after my meeting, yet I felt like I was all alone as I struggled to not get blown across Michigan Avenue!  I did finally make it to the Bloomingdale's building, feeling victorious to having survived my walk, until I slipped on the marble floor from the ice that had built up on my boots and my poor vision from my foggy glasses.  Down I went, rolling on the floor with my purse and briefcase, landing on an onlooker's foot.

I was fine, yet I felt as if I had nearly missed a trip to Northwestern Hospital for a hip fracture.   And, I still needed to get home which was another six blocks.  Standing on one of the windiest streets in Chicago, Walton Street, where the wind tunnel exacerbates the strength of the wind, making it far worse than it really is, I wondered if I would get a cab.  I did just in time before the storm really hit.


Nestled in my condo on Astor, my windows filed with snow as the winds rattled my windows.  Lightening struck and my puppy barked at every sound.  My husband was stuck downtown trying to get home on a bus that never came.  He finally got a cab and just made it home before the visibity became zero.


Intrigued by the historic nature of this blizzard, my husband coaxed me into walking a block to Lakeshore Drive to see the storm first-hand.  We bundled up in our warmest parkas, with camera in hand.  I made it half-way down the street before the wind knocked me into the bushes.  I took a few photos of mostly snow and said good-bye to my husband who pressed on to see the sights.


He was determined to experience the storm.  I begged him to come in, but he wouldn't.  So, I asked him where his life insurance policy was kept, just in case he didn't make it.  I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him.  Would I have to go out into the storm and save him?  I hoped not.


Five minutes later, covered in snow and ice, he returned telling me that Lakeshore Drive was grid-locked and that he almost was blown away.  We could have watched the news and found out this information.  That's what they pay reporters to do! So for the rest of the night we stayed in, bunkered down in our condo, waiting for the storm to pass.


So, no work today, no school for the kids, and happy to be inside watching the still falling snow.  I know there are many stories of survival for many of you.  Tell me what your 2011 Blizzard story is!


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