October 31, 2006

15 Years Ago Today..It Snowed and It Snowed....

(Photo courtesy of the StarTribune)

15 years ago, this very afternoon, the 3-day Halloween Blizzard of 1991 began. When it was over, it dropped 28.4 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. 21 inches fell in 24 hours. The heaviest day was November 1st (All Saints) which dropped 18.5 inches. The Halloween Blizzard still holds all of the state records for snowfall.

I wish I had personal pictures to put up but I think they are in storage at my Dad's home in northern MN.

I was working the 3rd shift at the US Postal Service's Main Office in Downtown Minneapolis back then. I was also in college and still living at home. I barely made it home Halloween night. Luckily, I had the 1st off. The USPS still EXPECTED those scheduled to get to the office (I think 3 people that lived near the building managed to get in by walking!).

Nothing moved for days. No car traffic. The city buses were stopped (you know it's bad when MTC, now called MetroTransit, quits running).

Sometime, on the 2nd, my Mom and I emerged from the house to start digging us out. Actually, I fell out of the house. I was the first to push my way out the front door. I could not find the step and fell face first into a big snow drift. My Mom laughed really hard. We lived on a corner lot in Minneapolis so we had lots of sidewalk to clear. We did not own a snowblower. In fact, I don't think any of our neighbors did either. My Dad also worked for the USPS. He stayed at the office because he could not get home.

My neighbors started coming out too. People were getting around the city on skis and snowmobiles. We lived on a big hill. My Mom and I and about 7 of our neighbors had to push an ambulance up the hill and down the street so they could get to a home that had a medical emergency. It was like pushing a boulder (I know what Sisyphus is going thru!) because none of the streets were plowed yet.

It took Mom and I 6 hours to dig out.

Today? No precip on the radar. 33 degrees Fahrenheit today. High 30s and partly sunny the next couple of days.

That's my story. Yours?


Blogger Adoro Te Devote said...

Oooh! Oooh! PICK ME! PICK ME!

I got a story! (when don't I? Sick of me yet?).

I won't tell you how old I was, but I was in High School, graduated 1.5 years later.

Anyway, I had worn a toga to school as my halloween costume. Had mummy makeup and everything. It was fun. Well, I had to work a shift at the pool where I was a lifeguard on Halloween night...so I showed up in my costume and went into the pool area...and waited for no one because no one, not even the most die-hard swimmers had any interest in working out that night.

So my Mom couldn't come to get me, can't remember why. The car was likely stuck somewhere.

So I called...who else...my best friend! Like all best friends, she was there in a flash in her parent's Buick Skylark, and rather than going home, we tooled around town and wound our way into a development which had developed very large drifts.

We saw a few trick-or-treaters, but overall, most had given up, most likely quite tearfully. They had to "reschedule" the "event" for the following weekend. Poor kids!

Well, my BF and I decided it would be fun to rip and blast through drifts in her car, so we turned quickly into a side street and she gunned it to get through an especially large drift.

We got stuck. No surprise to anyone with any sense.

I was still dressed in shorts, my swimsuit, and my toga and Egyptian makeup. While BF spun the wheels, I got behind her car in my cold toga and bare legs and pushed her out!

I'm not sure any of the neighbors in that 'hood had any idea we were there...they all clearly had more n'enough sense than to come out and get stuck in Minnesnowta drifts.

I can't remember how we got home, so we must have gotten out.

I was cold.

October 31, 2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I don't think I could ever be "sick" of your stories. You are a great story teller.

Thank God you and your friend were alright.

I'm sure your Mom had something to say when you got home!

November 01, 2006 6:59 AM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I have to admit that Adoro's story of the 91 Storm tops anything that I ever heard or told.

I loved to tell the unexpurgated version of my story, but this is a Catholic blog. And I try to just tell the G version these days.

I worked downtown at the time, a 20 minute drive under most rush hour conditions.

I left work, as did everybody at about 3 (it had rained for about 24 hours up til noon when it got colder and changed to this incredibly heavy snow).

I figured the roads would be clogged, but, smart rat that I am, I knew a side street that I figued wouldn't be so crowded.

Just as I was to turn on it, the bus ahead of me side slipped on a uphill grade and turned 90 degrees, blocking all lanes.

I was forced to take the Washington Ave bridge across the Mississippi as UofMN students and employees were leaving. It took me over an hour to cross that quarter mile long bridge.

The air was blue with the language.

Once I crossed it, it still took another hour to make it home. Parked on the street and it took about four hours of shovelling once the snow stopped.

November 01, 2006 9:25 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks for keeping it clean, Ray!

November 01, 2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

When I lived in New Jersey, we got 2 and 1/2 feet of snow, and there were drifts of up to about 4 feet.

Like you, I was stuck in the apt. for 2 days.
At the time I was a smoker...
And I ran out of cigarettes!

Darn the snow! I needed my smokes! lol

I charged outside, shoveled myself a path to the walk (that's as far as the maintenance guys had done at that point)

It took me quite a while to brush my car off, but, determined as I was, I made it to the store and got my cigarettes!

Looking back, I was a complete idiot to take that risk to get cigarettes...the roads were pretty bad yet, and I had enough food in the fridge for a few days more.

I am soooo glad I quit smoking.
Now if I get snowed in, I can sit it out! :o)

November 01, 2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Christine: I'm glad you quit smoking too. I wish my Dad would quit. I believe you about the having to run to get smokes. One of my Dad's worst nightmares is being stuck somewhere with no cigarettes, or cigs but no matches or lighter!

That's a lot of snow for NJ!

November 01, 2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger Dr. Edward Peters said...

We were in Duluth then, and we got, as I recall, 33 inches. I picked up the bishop from his house in my Ford Bronco and went to the office. No one else was driving that day. The drifts came well up to our second story windows at home.

That night we ordered pizza, on condition that we pick it up ourselves. When I arrived, they had so many undeliverable pizzas, that they gave me about 5, and we ate them all weekend.

November 02, 2006 9:15 AM  

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