"bliz»?zard [bliz-erd] ”?noun
A severe winter storm with low temperatures, winds of 35mph or faster, blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less that lasts at least 3 hours."
You wake up to a great howling noise, something between a train running down the center of your street and a beast from the abyss howling it's displeasure.
You get up and look out the window, and it's all white out. The whiteness seems to be moving sideways, past your window view. But you can't see the house across the street, so you know its gonna be a bad day.
The one foot deep path you had shovelled to your front door from the street is gone. It's filled in and blown over so that you can't see the path any longer. The door at the back of the house has to be pushed open, and pushed hard because the snow drift has covered the stairs, and part of the door.
I get covered up so that only a bit of skin is showing near my mouth and cheeks and out I go, to see if we can even get the van out of the yard and an alleyway.
I walk out to the street, wind whipping my face, blasting snow into me like some great sandblasting hose. Within moments I feel my cheeks start to ache, and I know I had better get back inside, quick.
So we are hunkered down, waiting out this storm. Word is that right after the storm it's going to get really really cold out, and that won't help at all.
The boys are staying home from school, their teachers unable to make it into school. But I was able to make it out, and I made it to the office.
I'll work here a bit, then maybe get back home and work. Because the only thing worse than being snowed in at home, would be being snowed out of the driveway, at your home.
Be careful out there today, and make sure you are covered up all the way.
It's time to go home. The alley into my driveway is up over two feet of snow now, and if I don't plough through it soon, I won't be able to get in there today. So for now I'll take my books and work at home. Call me there if you need me, 306-764-0701
I'm home. Barely.
The wind, when you stand out there it pushes you over and sounds like you are standing next to heavy equipment.
The visibility was about two car lengths, so twice there were suddenly cars in front of my van, that had stopped hard into snowdrifts.
And finally I had to take a flying run to get into my alley, but I made it.
I did nearly get stuck inside the church because the snowdrifts had piled up three feet against the doors, and it took some work to get them moved enough to escape. Then at home I needed to cut a path through a huge drift on the back step, so I could get in.
Now they're forecasting this to go on through the night too.
I took some pics from the warmth of the house. Check them out.
5:00 pm UPDATE:
It's continuing to blow and snow here, although somebody from City hall likes me because they sent a plow through my alley an hour ago. Now if I want to go out I'll only have to shovel the three feet deep snow from the van to the alley....
In other news, in Saskatoon my daughter, sister and sister in law have made it home from the University and their places of work, guess they shut things down early. Robyn, my other sister is stranded at her place of work, Old Navy, for the night. They are closed, but she can't get home.
All highways in central Saskatchewan are closed, and/or considered very dangerous.
The City of Saskatoon is reporting:
CIRCLE DRIVE BRIDGE CLOSED; PEDESTRIANS ADVISED THAT MOTORISTS HAVE LIMITED VISIBILITY
Saskatoon Police are advising that businesses that are sending employees home for the day may want to consider having employees not all leave at the same time. All downtown streets are experiencing near gridlock conditions.
The Circle Drive Bridge is closed in both directions between Millar Avenue and College Drive due to a number of incapacitated vehicles.
Citizens are advised to stay off the streets if at all possible. If you do drive, please have your hazard lights on.
The following is the list of closures at 3:00 p.m. today due to the blizzard:
Circle Drive Bridge and Circle Drive remain closed in both directions between Millar Avenue and College Drive.
The following intersections are closed due to the weather:
Wanuskewin Road and Adilman Drive
McOrmond Road, Kerr Road and Highway 5
22nd Street at Highway 7
Preston Avenue and Perimeter Road
Preston South and Circle Drive
Attridge Drive and Circle Drive Southbound
Warman Road and Circle Drive
Gordon Road (Stonebridge)
37th Street and Latrace Road
Motorists are asked to please use extreme caution and ensure your hazard lights (flashers) are on when travelling.
CITIZENS URGED TO REFRAIN FROM CELL PHONE USE DURING BLIZZARD
Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services (SFPS) and Saskatoon Police Services are urging the public to please refrain from using cell phones during the blizzard except for emergency reasons, as increased cell phone usage is making it difficult for them to complete emergency communications.
SFPS and Saskatoon Police Services thank the public for their co-operation.
It looks like two are already dead from the storm.
And finally the Blizzard warning is still in effect:
4:47 PM CST Wednesday 10 January 2007
Blizzard warning for
Prince Albert - Shellbrook - Spiritwood - Duck Lake continued
Blizzard conditions gradually improving this evening or overnight.
As of 4:45 PM blizzard conditions continue across much of central Saskatchewan. Many locations are reporting zero or near-zero visibilities in snow and blowing snow..With sustained easterly winds at times exceeding 60 km/h. Saskatchewan highways is reporting many roads are closed from Lloydminster through to Saskatoon and approaching the Yorkton area..With poor conditions being reported in many other areas.
So again, stay home.
9:18 pm Update
Well, it looks like the snow has mostly stopped falling, and the wind has died down considerably.
It looks to be a huge mess out there though, plenty of work to be done in the morning.
But now the cold is coming. So I'll worry about that tomorrow.