February 13th, 2007


Snow day

This morning, while listening to the list of schools closed due to the snowstorm, these two schools were announced as being closed:

Infant Jesus of Prague

Our Lady of the Snows


Before leaving for work, I shoveled around 3" of snow off my half of the driveway, and two tire-track furrows on kateshort's side so that she could get out if she absolutely, positively had to. When I got home, I shoveled about 8-12" of snow off of kateshort's side of the driveway. (We haven't actually gotten that much here yet, but between the falling snow, the drifting, and the snow I'd tossed in the middle while making the tire-tracks, it added up.) Thankfully, our next-door neighbor's son took their snowblower and did most of our sidewalk after doing his. After dinner & watching House, it was time for one more trip outside to shovel off another 4" of snow off of my side of the driveway and 1" off of hers. There'll probably be another inch or two by morning.


I know I said a bit back that I don't mind shoveling snow, but I vastly prefer doing it when I do not have a deadline, when it's light out, and when I can wait until it's at least mostly done falling before I head out.

I believe I've said before that my work generally doesn't close for snow. It's happened maybe three times in the 12 years I've been there. (Though one of those was the holy grail--a multiple-day closure--caused by the snow & ice being so bad for more than a dayand the parking lot didn't get plowed right away.)

At lunch, I heard that one of the other libraries in the consortium had been closed today due to the weather. After lunch, the "we're closing early today" announcements started coming in from other libraries. Pretty soon there were five closings. Mostly those in the outlying areas where the towns are too spread out and there's enough open land that drifting, high winds, and low visibility make it nearly impossible to keep the roads clean.

The weather wasn't great out near us, but it wasn't particularly *bad* either--I've had to drive to work in worse in the past. My boss was supposed to work 1-9 today; she called in around 3 saying that she wasn't sure she'd be able to make it in.

Shortly after that, the library director came over the P.A. and announced that the library would be closing at 4. Woo-hoo! Snow day! I'm guessing that the evening crew were having has rough a time coming in as my boss likely had, so that the library would be so understaffed that that plus the difficulty the day staff would have in getting home, as well as the parade of e-mails from other libraries (because library directors can have a herd mentality at times) tipped the scales. By the time we left, we were up to 10 libraries closed or closing (out of 23). I'd guess there were probably a few others before the day was out; I'll find out tomorrow.

One the way home, the traffic report included notice that northbound Lake Shore Drive had just been closed for ten blocks starting at the Museum of Science and Industry; 50 mph winds right off the lake were blowing snow so badly that there was zero visibility. They didn't mention anything about southbound traffic. On the tv news after I got home, I saw visual confirmation that indeed, the southbound lanes were open to traffic while the northbound lanes were closed, with the comment that it's because the northbound lanes are closer to the lake. So apparently the width of the concrete barrier that divides the two was enough to slow down 50 mph winds?

On the other hand, 60 minutes to get to work, and 90 minutes to get home, in weather like this, isn't so bad. (since it normally takes about 40-45 and 50-75 minutes, respectively.) Except for the blowing snow across one onramp making visibility only a few feet at best, the roads were so-so but drivable (as long as vehicles kept moving) on the way in, and pretty good on the way home.

All in all, though, today was what the traffic reporters call "a real character-builder".

Off to get some ibuprofen and some sleep, and see what new variations on this fun tomorrow brings.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf