Tuesday, December 29, 2009


5:20 p.m., atop the wooden fence rail around the front courtyard ...


Towns around us got more, running from two or three to five inches of the white blanket, and it caused major grief for the rush hour commute, since nobody was expecting it and they weren't prepared.

Lot of folks took off from work early -- my wife left her office in downtown Portland at 3:40 p.m. So everybody who would normally leave in shifts -- four, five, five-thirty, six p.m. boogied at once.

They waited too long.

The plows weren't out, no sand or gravel down, and when the traffic hit the inclines on the highways leaving town? Cars, trucks, and buses slid hither and yon, smacked into each other, the barriers, turned sideways, and couldn't move.

The accidents blocked the main roads. Emergency vehicles couldn't get there. The highways became parking lots. The normally twenty to thirty minute commute from Portland to Beaverton took my wife three and a half hours, she got home just after seven p.m. -- and she was lucky.

This was compounded by vehicles stuck unmoving that ran out of gasoline. Or those that were simply abandoned in the middle of the roads by drivers who had to pee or pop after three or four hours. Weren't enough tow trucks to move the parked cars fast enough.

Some folks, seeing the news, decided to have dinner or drinks in town and wait for it to clear out. The snow was supposed to turn to rain later, and it did, but it wasn't enough to wash the streets clean, only turn it into slush. It warmed up -- to 34ยบ F. -- which is not exactly a blowtorch, and it didn't get better.

All eleven p.m., the traffic cams showed the main highways were all still bumper-to-bumper leaving the city, and there were people who stepped out of their their offices at four o'clock who didn't get home until after midnight. Not only could they have walked it faster, they could have crawled it faster.

Road are mostly clear this a.m. though there is still plenty of snow on the ground. Supposed to rain more tonight and tomorrow.

We'll see ...


Jay said...

not bad!
we have a record december monthly of 37.2" this year - yahoo. I think 16" of that was in one storm.
hard to see the sidewalks from the plow's work in the road - where they plow anyway...

EvMick said...

No need to worry. It's only cold. Cold is weather. Not important.

However....if it was HOT...that would be Climate. That would be bad.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

I'm glad Dianne made it back okay. I had to go get Caren off the highway one year, in a friend's SUV.

Dan Moran said...

It's interesting the stuff that seems normal, or scary ... I lived in New York for a year and a half -- right after I got there, I read an article about a man who froze to death when his car stalled on a country road. Gave me nightmares for weeks.

At the same time, about a half block from where I was living, a jeweler had his throat cut by a homeless man, and a dude named "Moran" (not me, some other dude named "Moran") got in the papers for tackling the homeless man -- too late, the jeweler died.

Didn't bother me a lick -- would have forgotten the whole thing including the murder except my fiancee commented on the weirdness of what was freaking me out.

... which is a long way of saying, being stuck in the snow scares me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Weatherman,

This letter is to inform you that I just shoveled three feet of "party cloudy" off my car.

steve-vh said...

Cause you know it's coming......
Bah, that's not snow, that's a dusting here.
Snowmobile trails up the road open at midnight, hoping for more snow.