Friday, December 31, 2010

What a way to usher in the New Year

We've managed to escape the last several snow storms that have come through the Red River Valley, but we weren't so lucky this time. We suffered it's full force all day yesterday and through the night. We're having a bit of a respite right now, although there's still no travel advised, but things are supposed to wind up again this afternoon worse than ever with stronger winds and more snow. It started in the early morning hours with rain and freezing rain turning to snow. So everything is encrusted in ice. We only got 4 inches of snow last night, but when it's being whipped around by 50 mph winds it makes for zero visibility and snow drifts many feet high that are as hard as concrete. This blizzard has been comparable to those we got during the winter of '96-'97, which has become the benchmark from which to measure our winter weather.

At this point all highways and interstates are closed going all directions from The City. There was a 100-car pileup just west of town on I-94. It started with a jack-knifed semi and went from there. It took over 10 hours to rescue all the people that were stranded in their cars. Fortunately Ole has not been called out on a fire call yet. At this point I don't know how he would get to the fire station let alone get to the fire. His pager went off last night - a young couple who lived north a few miles north of a small town close to here had a 6 month baby who was having difficulty breathing and whose lips were turning blue. They requested the rescue squad and said they were starting out in their 4-wheel drive heading the 4 miles into town trying to at least get that far. They didn't make it and ended up in the ditch. The rescue squad ended up following a payloader to find them, rescued them and got them back into town to the Stop & Go where the ambulance was supposed to meet them. The ambulance got stuck in a snowbank on the off ramp of the interstate and the payloader ended up taking the child into the ER. There was also a rescue squad call here in our village. The squad was able to get to the home, the patient needed to be transported but the ambulance couldn't get here. They requested a deputy for the transport, but he couldn't get here either. I don't know what the outcome of that call was.

Lots of people without power in the area due to the ice-covered lines galloping in the wind. So far we're okay, but that could change with the next round coming. We've got two generators in the garage and 50 gallons of gas in a tank. One generator is big enough to run the entire house. Got to be prepared when you live in this country.

Ole was on a fire call on Wednesday night - the County Highway Department building that houses all the snow removal equipment for the county burned down to the ground. It's located about 15 miles from here, and our town was called for backup. The firemen couldn't get into the building to put the fire out due to all the exploding tires and the fact that a propane tank was located inside the building. There were two road graders and 3 snow plows housed in the building. They were all a complete loss. Just what we needed prior to this blizzard blowing in. So it's hard to tell when our highway will be cleared.

Talked with Bud yesterday - a good friend of ours that is a truck driver, so he's used to driving in just about any kind of weather. He and his wife drove from The City to our village about 3 o'clock yesterday. He said it was some of the worst he had ever driven in. So coming from him - you know it's bad.

So we're just hunkered down for the duration. It will definitely be a quiet New Year's Eve - but then we never do anything anyway!!

Happy New Year to all my Blogger Buddies

Love Lena

1 comment:

Marge said...

Happy New Year my friend! I noticed I show up as a visitor from Anchorage on your list! We are heading from Anchorage down the Kenai pennisula to Homer today, then tomorrow will board the ferry to go over to Seldovia where our son lives. We'll visit there for a few days before heading back to Anchorage and then flying home on the 11th. What a beautiful place Alaska is in the winter. I can't wait to go through the mountain pass today! I've heard it's awesome!

Happy New Year to Ole too!