The midwest is digging out from one of the biggest snow storms in history. We have ample snow, we have mountains of snow and thankfully the winds have moved on to pester someone else. Many roads are still impassable, the temperature continues dipping lower and lower toward the 'really dangerous' zone. I only hope those who didn't heed the warnings before the blizzard hit, will prepare better this time for the cold snap we are entering.
Days before the blizzard newscasters warned us, "prepare, prepare, prepare! Bad weather is coming Tuesday afternoon." Most of us heeded the news. We listened to the advice; grocery stores were flooded with folks stocking up on food and other needs. Experts reminded folks how to prepare their vehicles, keep the gas tank full, the wipers in good repair and full of washer fluid, tires with the accurate amount of air. The advice went on for DAYS before the storm hit our area. Officials cautioned about driving on Lake Shore Drive. They warned folks to leave early and find alternate routes. They spoke of keeping children and the elderly indoors where they would be safe. In essence, we were asked to take responsibility for our own well being. Most of us did!
I woke Tuesday to high winds and snow blowing. By ten o'clock that morning our evergreen patch swayed in the wind like feathers. I knew then I wasn't going to work. As a matter of fact, I received dozens of e-mail posts from other northern Illinois libraries stating they were closing due to the blizzard approaching. High winds and severe snow fall was expected to hit the Chicago area by midafternoon. The TV newscasters sounded like a litany of warning, "prepare, prepare. Take shelter, driving will be severely restricted."
The storm hit hard. It hit pretty much when the meteorologists said it would. Lake Shore Drive disappeared into a hailstorm of blowing, drifting snow and severe whiteouts. It should have been deserted. But there are always those few who think the weather will wait for them, or claim it didn't seem that bad - at first! "I thought I could make it!" "I didn't realize it was this bad outside!"
Dozens of abandoned cars still litter Lake Shore Drive. Some folks sat in their cars for hours before they were rescued. I wonder if they could have a "do over" if they would chose a more responsible venture in getting home safely. Perhaps take heed to the warnings a bit sooner.
I thank the state troopers, national guard and others in the rescue business for accepting the responsiblity for those caught in the storm and seeing to their safety. I'm thankful they were prepared. I'm also thankful most of us did not need assistance because we took precautions to see to our own safety.
Til next time ~