Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

They said it wouldn't happen, only "a dusting, with no accumulation."  However, all four local meteorologists missed the forecast.  The blast of cold air and precipitation was supposed to only be south of us (which is shocking in and of itself), but it actually came through Birmingham around 10:00AM on Tuesday, and immediately stuck to the ground.  Steve was at work, the older kids at school, and Walker and I had just gotten home when it started.  I took this photo to show the kids (thinking it may not be there when they got home from school).  Little did I know that I would be getting "the call" from their schools 15 minutes later asking me to pick them up immediately because schools were closing.

Pulling into B's school, where they had to walk students out

Almost home, cars sliding down this small hill
So I packed up Walker and headed towards SCE to get Bennett.  In route I passed a friend who was getting her son (also in Preston's class), but in the opposite direction as SCE, so I asked her to grab him too.  I am glad I did too because it took me 1.5 hours to get Bennett - and her school is a only half mile from our home.  You see the roads were slippery right away because the initial snow melted and turned to ice.  And since Birmingham only gets snow once or twice a year (and the meteorologists usually predict it correctly and schools are cancelled in advance), the traffic was awful and we didn't have sand trucks out (we don't use salt down here).  Offices started letting out early too, so it was complete chaos!  Steve didn't leave right away, as he was hoping it would stop snowing and traffic might start moving again.  However, it didn't do either, so he got in his car against my wishes.  Sadly, he only made it one mile in the 4.5 hours he was driving, so he finally decided to pull over at a hotel. 


Since there were thousands of stranded motorists everywhere, all hotels in the city were booked!  However, an angel was watching over us when Steve got in touch with Reed Nitto who was stranded at the same hotel, but had arrived early enough to get a room.  Fortunately, he let Steve and a co-worker bunk up with him so they didn't have to sleep on the lobby floor.  The next morning, the three of them awoke early and hit the road.  Steve said it was like armageddon, with people walking down major interstates, people sleeping in their cars, and cars abandoned everywhere, as in the middle of an 8 lane highway!  Since the temps were dropping the night before and people were afraid they might run out of gas, they would turn off their cars, lock the doors and start walking.  In fact, Steve had to drive down the east bound lane (while heading west) because he couldn't get around all of the cars.

Steve finally made it home around 9:30 AM on Wednesday, and boy were we happy to see him!  The kids were anxious to get him outside to play with them, since I couldn't leave Walker alone inside.  In fact, they had already been out earlier in their pjs, coats and rain boots to collect icicles.  Steve wanted to rest a little and catch up on the news, but they were relentless, so he gave in and joined them.  When they were cold, they all came in to warm up.  In the meantime, a few friends walked over so we started drinking mimosas and the kids had hot chocolate.  It was the perfect way to enjoy the day off work and school!
Walker snug as a bug
 
Kids sledding for their first time




Unfortunately, not everyone was having fun.  In fact, according to the news, there were 11,375 students that spent the night in Alabama schools Tuesday night.  Some of those were babies and toddlers at daycares.  I would be so upset if all of my babies weren't with me, so I can't imagine what the parents were going through.  Of course, the teachers and administrators that stayed with them are amazing too.  They made it fun for them, and tried to keep them all distracted while they were away from their own families.

Wednesday afternoon, we received word that school was also cancelled for Thursday, so we got together with some friends after sledding for dinner.  The kids were thrilled with snow days, and we were all enjoying our time together, and away from work.

Walker at his first "snowed in party"
 
Thursday morning, Steve took the kids sledding at a different location in our neighborhood and then Walker and I met up with them at the Fry's house since the snow and ice was quickly melting.  We hung out there for the afternoon, and then a group of us went out to dinner to escape the cabin fever we were all feeling.
 
Since the weather continued to warm, we were shocked when school was cancelled yet again for Friday.   The roads had been cleared, snow had melted...yet no school.  Steve went to work on Friday, and when he got home - we were all so tired, we just hung out at the house and got some things accomplished.  That night we all went to bed early.
 
Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, and we were in shorts.  How can it be that we were bundled up in snow gear two days before, and in shorts two days later?  There was no more evidence of our snowpocalypse, and things were back to normal.  What a surreal few days, but what fun memories for our children.  


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