I live in Chicago and on Feb 1st and 2nd this year we got over 19inches of snow in 24hrs. I spent much time out and about during this period and thought I would share my time line.
Tuesday Feb 1st
-2:00pm it starts to seriously snow, I am at work in the loop and am not getting off until 6:00pm. I am near Union station and a large exodus of people leaving work early trying to get home before it get to bad can be seen from my desk. When the white out isn’t to bad.
-6:15pm it is wicked out side, by friend comes to pick up myself and a coworker with his 4 wheel drive vehicle. He thinks Lake shore Drive is the way to go. We get to the ramp and see its clogged so pull a Uee and go through downtown on the streets. At where Michigan ave merges with LSD we see a vehicle blocking the on ramp. As we head north on the inner drive it’s LSD is a parking lot. I have failed to mention the fish tailing and spin outs we have witnessed at this time. We head west on side streets were it very quiet as they are virtually impassable to non 4 wheel drive vehicles. I finally get home about 8pm.
-8:05pm I take the dog out and its crazy out there. wind blowing very hard visibility almost nil.
9:30pm My upstairs neighbor calls me and says the house across the street is on fire. I get bundled up and head out to see a firetruck pull up at the end of the block. Our street in impassable. The drifts in the center of the street are nearly 2ft. I see flames shooting out the windows of the brick 2 flat. As we are watching them battle the blaze there is large claps of thunder and flashes of lightning. The fireman are trying to keep a ladder steady to go on the roof. I see it get blown down a number of times. After being out is the storm I head back in around 10:15
-I try to go to sleep about 1130 but am kept awake until 2am by yelling of fireman and then the boarding up company as trucks get stuck in the street and the sounds of breaking glass as they try and board the windows.
-4:15am I get up as I am going to try and get to work. I know if I can get to the train it should be running and then I can get in to the loop likely.
-5:15am My friend/boss who has the 4 wheel drive car is stuck, we close to each other so he walks up and meets me. We head over to a main street and catch a bus, the first train line we get to is closed so we head to the next. We make it to the loop and walk to the office.
-employees who can make it in but most have a 2 hr trek when it normally takes us 45 min. It’s the people who live in the city that can make it. Throughout the day the storm pounds the city in waves.
-3:30pm the storm is over, many main streets are being plowed. I head home and have a walk through my neighbor hood watching people out and about in the snow. The schools were closed so there are gangs of kids in snow tunnels and forts every where. I get to my block and all the neighbors were stuck home have snowplowed all the sidewalks and invite me over for a beer in the snow.
5:30-6:15 I hang outside drinking beers that are planted in the snow drifts with all the other neighbors.
Next Day: I am one of the few going to work the following day. Me and another cab it together in the am after waiting forever for a bus. I come home that evening and the have cleaned off MY CAR. My car had snow up to the hood. I had written it off.I am floored by the amazing community of neighbors. That weekend I bake bread and muffins for all the neighbors and a large pan of ribs for the local firehouse.