On Wednesday of this week, our local weather forecasters were warning us that there was a blizzard forming over our area, and that it would be bad. They called it a ‘Bomb Cyclone’ and before this week, I don’t think I had ever heard of such a weather condition before. However today, I now know what a Bomb Cyclone is.
And the weirdest thing was on Tuesday, the temperature was 70 degrees when I went to lunch. But as predicted, when I got ready to go to work Wednesday morning, it was raining. They said that would happen. There would be rain, thunder and lightening, and then late in the morning, the wind would come and the rain would turn to snow.
The Bomb Cyclone
In anticipating the storm, almost every school district was closed, and the newscasters were warning us that it was going to get bad and we should all stay home. Unfortunately, the company I work for didn’t head this warning.
I tried to plan for my Wednesday work day though, I called in every patient that was on my schedule for me to see Wednesday and I saw them on Monday or Tuesday. I didn’t want the people I care for getting stuck, or slipping and falling on their way to their post operative visits.
I also was planning of getting stuck at work, so I packed an overnight bag and made sure I had everything in my car, just in case I didn’t make it home but rather got stuck in my car.
I also planned ahead with my horses. Early Wednesday morning they both got their blankets put back on, and were kept in their pens for the day.
By the time I got to work the rain had changed over to snow, and the wind was intense. I watched the weather deteriorate out the office windows. The snow was starting to get thick and stick to the roads. You could see the snow come in bands as the wind pushed it around. Then around 9:30 AM my nurse manager came around and let us know we would be closing at noon. oh, and we were also told we would be paid for the day even though we were going home. Which was awesome, I wouldn’t have to use PTO for going home.
And I have driven to work during a blizzard, and then got stuck at work and had to get a hotel room. But I have never driven home in a blizzard, nor had I ever experienced white out conditions while driving, until Wednesday.
Now I have to say, I am the biggest chicken in the world when it comes to driving in the snow. I am the one people are flipping off and passing on a two lane road because I drive very cautiously and slow.
Driving In A Blizzard
Ok, I would never advise this, and I will never do this again. Because driving when the snow is blowing, and you can’t see anything but white is the scariest thing I have ever done. I am sure that I had a guardian angel keeping my car on the road, and keeping me moving forward.
I even had a county plow truck pull in front of me on the way home and this helped so much. I couldn’t see 2 feet in front of me. I couldn’t tell if I was on the road, or on the shoulder. I couldn’t see the road period. But when that plow truck was in front of my car with his flashing lights, I could briefly see these through the wind gusts! And as I slowly followed him up the road to my last turn before turning into my subdivision I was saying “please turn right, please turn right!” Because if he turned right, I would be able to follow him the rest of the way home. And I think God heard my plea, because the snow plow turned right.
I have never been so happy, and I felt a renewed sense of strength that I could do this, and I would get home. And about an hour later, I did get home. My entire drive usually takes me 45 minutes from door to door. On this drive, just the 2 1/2 mile stretch of where I turned right, behind the plow truck, this took me 45 minutes. And most of the drive, I had my emergency flashers flashing as I crawled down the county road. I have never been happier to turn into my subdivision.
Home Safe And Sound
I was so happy to be home! I cannot tell you how happy I was. And after I changed my clothes, I went and checked on the horses. They were doing ok, and for the first time in a long time, they both stayed in their stalls.
By the early evening, I went to check on them again and Frisby was shivering. His blanket was literally frozen and his heads and neck were wet. He even had snow and ice on his eyelashes.
Since Frisby destroys blankets, I do have a lot of extra blankets. SO I took a fleece cooler that I put on him, and then added a second blanket that I had to piecemeal together to keep it on him. He didn’t even argue with me.
I gave him hay on the ground to get him eating, which in turn would make him warm up, and then I added extra hay to their hay nets.
By the time I got done messing around with the blankets, he had been eating for a bit, and the shivering had stopped. Ethan on the other side was doing well. His blanket was not frozen, and he had stayed tucked into his stall. So aside from a little wetness on his neck, he was perfectly fine.
Getting A Head Start
And even though I got the afternoon off from work, I knew we wouldn’t be as lucky for Thursday. And the snow was really piling up. I was not looking forward to shoveling it at all. So my husband decided to use the tractor to clear the snow from our driveway.
It was still snowing and blowing, but we thought we would get a head start on the clean up.
He made fast work of the driveway with the tractor. We did have a little incident with my car, but it is just a scratch. And if that is the worst thing that happens from this blizzard, I’m ok with that.
I woke up Thursday morning with every intention to go to work, but the blizzard quickly changed those plans. Every single road in my county were closed. No one was supposed to go anywhere.
Over 100 people were stranded in their cars, and the governor had declared a state of emergency, sending out the national guard to rescue stranded motorist.
I kept my boss updated, but even though the roads were closed, we are expected to get to work or we go without pay. They have a new policy they instituted that if it is a bad weather day, and you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid, even if you have vacation time you can take to do so.
So basically, my employer wants me to break the law, and drive on closed roads, risk getting stuck and adding to the problem. No thanks, I’ll take the day without pay and stay safe.
After The Storm
And I felt like I was playing hookie from school. I took my camera out and posted loads of photos on Facebook, and kept sending pictures to her to show her, it really was that bad. You would think that video of people being rescued by snowcats on the county roads making national news would be enough proof, but nope, it wasn’t. She was like “so you’re coming in right?” And I told her I was, as soon as it was legal for me to go on the roads.
And the photos I captured aren’t the greatest, but I think they show a little bit of what we were dealing with.
Frisby’s stall always gets the worst of it. And this is why I want a ‘real’ barn. But even if I don’t get my dream barn, I am going to do something this summer like add a front wall, or something to keep the snow from getting into his stall.
This just makes me so sad. But Frisby is a trooper, and he seemed to take it all in stride.
And once he was blanket free, he showed his happiness!
The Clean Up
Well, by Thursday afternoon, the wind had settled down, so we got to work with cleaning everything up. It isn’t very much fun to tromp through thigh high snow to get to the horses, and the chickens.
So my husband pulled out the tractor, and I my trusty shovel to get the snow out of the way.
He has to get hay on Friday, and trying to get a truckload of hay out to the barn would have been impossible with the snow drifts. SO he took care of that with his tractor.
And because I did prepare for this storm a little bit, I had been getting my horses pen cleaned out before the snow came. And while it will take a bit of time for everything to melt, they have already made fast work of the snow filled pens.
I am glad this storm is over. And I am even more happy that they are forecasting sunny weather for the next week or so. Time will tell however, because March and April are our snowiest months of the year.
Hopefully this will be the only blizzard though! For those of you getting ready to be hit by this bomb cyclone, my heart is with you. Hopefully none of us will see a storm like this again!