The visibility in the country and fringes of town is absolutely horrible, and despite our small army of plows and sand/salt tossing folks, the roads are slippier than a greased monkey.
(Go ahead, you try holding onto a greased monkey some time.)
I ended up actually running a stoplight today when the light turned yellow, I braked, and my car decided to just keep going. Fortunately I was going very slow, and the cars on the other sides of the intersection had plenty of time to see that the car was not in the stopping vein today. My vehicle slowly slid through the intersection, I gripped the steering wheel like it was my hope of heaven and it was pretty much fine, thanks to the other drivers.
By driving very slow, I also managed to avoid smashing into a van that had taken a turn a little too fast ahead of me and ended up pointing the wrong way on a one-way lane. I waved at the driver and smiled reassuringly. He smiled back, and turned off the street.
Frankly, today is a good day to not drive, because all that fluffy light snow that fell yesterday is blowing all over kingdom come, and the roads are slick to boot.
I took this photo when I realized you could tell how long a car had been in the parking lot by how much snow it had accrued.
And that’s the other direction: Minnesota West Community and Technical College in the snow.
On the bright side, I’m happy to report that this snow is light, dry and quite fluffy, and hopefully, will be easier to move around for those of us who have to shovel.
Do not go anywhere today, even if you’re in Worthington!
I got stuck twice on the way to work. Once on the way from my cross street to Diagonal, and once in the Globe’s parking lot, which hadn’t been plowed out yet.
Unfortunately, me being a dim bulb, I didn’t realize that until I’d already turned into it. Oops. Fortunately a kindly snowplow man bailed me out, plowing all around me, which made my shoveling job to get me the rest of the way out a 5-minute endeavor. Without snowplow guy it would have been at least half an hour.
The plow folks are out in force and they’re doing the best they can, but when you have 15 inches of snow in two days it gets really hard to keep up.
Don’t drive anywhere today, that’s my advice! If I hadn’t had to work I wouldn’t have myself.
The snow has already begun to fall in Worthington as of 2:17 p.m., but there are still about 30 minutes to get wherever you plan to be for the foreseeable future and stay there.
Please take this weather warning seriously! I know the National Weather Service sometimes seems willing to scare us all half to death over a few flurries, but this time they kept using a specific term over and over again in their press releases: life-threatening. This storm is life-threatening. It is a once-in-25-years storm. It is severe and above all, it is life-threatening.
It is better to be alone for Christmas than being dead for Christmas, and if you drive in this weather you are risking your life, as well as the lives of whatever emergency personnel are going to have to drive out in the snow to rescue you from the ditch, because they can’t see either. I have been in a snowplow and the driver’s visibility in one of those things is actually less than that of someone driving a regular car.
Please, please stay home!
I set up a separate section on our website specifically to make it easier for people to monitor the weather conditions and the storm. It’s right here. Keep an eye on it; I’ll be keeping an eye on all the sources I can today, tomorrow and the next day, since after all… I can’t go home now either.
When I went to the YMCA at noon, driving downtown was treacherous, and several times I found my little car slipping and refusing to stop whenever I went around a corner, even if I slowed to a near stop every time. Attempting to actually stop, well, that was even worse.
When I returned to the Globe office downtown at around 1, however, the downtown drive was much easier. There was less snow in intersections, leading to easier stops, or maybe that side of the road was simply better and no plowing was actually done over that hour. I don’t know.
I’m inclined to give credit to the wonderful people who drive our snowplows and sand/salt our roads, however.
Stick to the main drags, though, if you have to go anywhere in Worthington. Stay off the side roads and drive slow!
Also, don’t tailgate! A giant red pickup truck tailgated me halfway back to the Globe, and I kept thinking: "You’re not having any trouble because you’re a truck, but my little car won’t stop on a dime, you jerk!" I was so relieved when he turned in a different direction.
Blizzard warning over, wind chill advisory still on…