Last year, on December 18, 2009, we got really, REALLY lucky.
A friend of my husband’s was in the state, about an hour from us, so we packed up O (at three months old), bundled up, and set off to meet him for dinner. The forecast was calling for snow, but we were skeptical because the weather forecasters here seem to cry wolf a lot. (There have been many, many predictions of LOTS OF SNOW, only to have clear skies.) Even if it did snow, I wasn’t too worried. My Jeep (oh, I miss my Jeep) had 4-wheel drive, and a few inches isn’t too bad.
The snow started just as we were getting to dinner. How pretty! It was the Friday before Christmas, we had just finished some holiday shopping…there was something very Normal Rockwell about the evening.
By the time we finished dinner there was about an inch of snow on the ground, and my husband’s friend was trying to convince us to stay. “The roads are going to be a mess – stay here – it will be safer.” “Nah,” we said, “we’ll be fine. We have 4-wheel drive. Plus we have the baby, and the animals at home are going to need to be taken care of.” And we set off.
About 5 miles into the trip home, it became clear that this was no ordinary Virginia storm. This was going to be THE REAL DEAL. Traffic was heavy, the snow was coming down hard and fast, and already there were cars on the side of the road. In hindsight, we should have turned back.
A drive that normally takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour took us over 3 hours. We passed countless cars either pulled off the road, or slid off. We saw 4 plows in 50 miles. By the time we got home the snow was 6 inches deep, and the roads didn’t look like they had been plowed at all. Pulling into our driveway, I knew we were lucky to have made it home. I didn’t understand how lucky, until we turned on the news.
Around town there were dozens of people stuck in their cars. The snow had come down so quickly, and the road crews so unable to keep up with it, that they were trapped. Some wouldn’t be “rescued” for over a day. The National Guard would be called to help dig out.
It was known as Snowpocalypse. And by the time it was over, it left behind 24 inches of snow in 24 hours.
This is what we were greeted with when we got home. It had been snowing for about 4 hours and there was about 7 inches of snow.
The house after about 17 hours of snow.
My Jeep’s under there somewhere.
O checking it out.
Did I mention that O, who HATED being in the car, and ordinarily screamed the entire time, had slept the whole way home? Yeah. We were DAMN LUCKY.