Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowed in

When I heard that there was a snow storm in the forecast, I asked a good friend if I could spend the night at her home in Des Moines, instead of commuting 35 miles in the snow. I thought if I were closer to work, I'd be able to drive to the office the next morning. Boy, was I wrong!

The heavy snow started on my after-work drive to my friend's house and didn't let up until noon the next day. Then the winds came through. It wasn't so bad in the city, but the newscasters were reporting wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour in the country, with reports of 7 foot snow drifts. Unbelieveable!

I'm thankful I have a work truck with 4-wheel drive. But even 4-wheel drive vehicles were getting stuck in the snow outside my friend's house. The street was covered with at least 6 inches of snow.

Here's what we were greeted with when we opened the door the next morning.

Every vehicle that drove past the house got stuck in the snowy street.

Many cars couldn't make it up the steep hill outside my friend's house.

I really needed to get to crank out a couple articles before my end-of-the week deadline. But my husband, who thankfully was safe inside our home, warned me that if I got stuck in the street, there wouldn't be anybody to pull me out. The weather was so bad, snow plows were pulled off the roads, and towing services were prohibited.
So these cars, and my friend and I, were stranded for two days. That's right. Two days.
The blizzard started on Tuesday morning. We couldn't get out of the driveway until Thursday afternoon. These cars were blocking our only way out.

The irony is that I decided to stay overnight in Des Moines so I wouldn't have to miss work. Turns out, the roads back home were clear, but the Des Moines city crews had a tough time moving 10 inches of snow from the 400 miles of city streets.
Finally, at almost exactly 1 p.m. on Thursday, a snow plow came to "save" us.

I was so excited, I went outside to wave at the plow, like it was a fire truck in a fourth of July parade. I yelled "Thank You!" The driver waved back.

But he had a tough time manuevering around the stalled cars.

The sight of a plowed street almost brought tears to my eyes. Isn't it one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen?

After the snow plow moved through, I saw that there were even more cars stuck in the road than I had noticed before. Those poor drivers!

I was thrilled to finally have a clear road so I could drive home and see my husband after two days stuck in a house with nothing to do. I wasted no time in shoveling the ice chunks from the driveway.

The snow was a lot deeper than I expected, however, and I took a wrong step in a drift and sank to the bottom. I had to roll myself up. My friend encouraged me to make a snow angel while I was lying there.

After a slow drive on snowy roads, I'm happy to report I'm in my kitchen now, baking blueberry quick bread. I missed my oven so much! Oh, and my husband, too :)
Hope all of my Iowa friends stayed safe and warm during the blizzard of 2009. It goes down in the records books as the snowiest Iowa blizzard in 38 years, with a statewide average of more than 10 inches.
Never thought that in this modern day, in the middle of a city, I'd get snowed in for two days. I saw a list in the Des Moines Register of Iowa's other record-making blizzards, some that dated back to the late 1800s. Could you imagine what it would be like being trapped in your home, without snow plows or de-icer or furnaces and running water? We take so much for granted.


  1. Oh wow, sounds terrible snow over at Iowa! Glad that you finally get out of there. And great to know someone from Iowa too. I've a long lost penpal from Iowa. Her name is Marie Libke Christianson. She was staying at Rural Rt 1 but not sure where she is now! Hope she's well!

  2. When I was growing up on the farm, my address was Rural Route 2 until they named all the gravel roads for the 911 system. There are several Christiansons in my hometown, including one of my childhood best friends. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Oh man, I have been missing Iowa snow so much (I just moved from IA to AZ) but I definitely don't miss treacherous road conditions! I heard it was quite a storm. Thanks for sharing the pics!

  4. It is beautiful, but you hate to be snowed in at someone elses house, you'd rather be home! The same thing happened to us when we were evacuating to avoid hurricane Charley, we went to friends house and ended up right into the path of the hurricane and back home in Sarasota was fine!

  5. I should have left work early and drove home before the worst of the storm hit. But I wanted an excuse to visit my friend. Just didn't plan on a two-night stay. I didn't pack for it, either. I was wearing the same clothes for days!

  6. where do you live ? i live in aLGONA,IA


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