The Sun Finally Rises! – Buffalo Snowmageddon Day 2

7.5' ish.  Way to go, SoBo!

7.5′ ish. Way to go, SoBo!

South Buffalo:

4:30 pm, November 18th 2014. After four hours of shoveling, the driveway is clear. All feelings of accomplishment are vacated as I turn and realize that everything I’ve just shoveled has been filled in with six more inches of snow. The mini-van I’ve dug out will never make the swing into the driveway. Dejected, I head back inside.

5:30 pm, November 18th, 2014. I peer into the refrigerator. From the next room, the cacophony of whining and arguing has reached infuriating heights. Physically exhausted, I shout that it will be a 6 o’clock bedtime for everyone if they don’t knock it off. I begin to don my outerwear. Two things have become apparent: They’re not going to knock it off, and we’re going to run out of milk…among other things…

My oasis.  The grill you see here is a Time Warner Cable newstruck, stuck for the last 2 days.

My oasis. The grill you see here is a Time Warner Cable newstruck, stuck for the last 2 days.

6:08 pm November 18th, 2014. I arrive at the NOCO on South Park. I offer to ‘accidentally’ leave a couple of beers behind for the two people who have walked to the store and worked to keep it open. They decline, and I feel bad.

7:18 pm November 18th, 2014. The Sabres have decided to play the game scheduled against the San Jose Sharks. This is a great idea for several reasons; Patrick Kaleta is slated to play, but is stuck in the snow. Also, the visitors are from San Jose. They’re probably terrified of getting stuck in Buffalo, and are just trying to get through the game as quickly as possible. The kids begin to argue about a Lego the size of a toenail clipping. I wonder if they’ll all survive the night.

10:30 pm November 18th, 2014. Sabres win. All of the children are in bed, and I didn’t throw any of them off of the roof in a maniacal fit of rage. Win. Win. Win.

November 19th 2014, 2:14 am. My son runs through the house and into the bedroom. I scoop him up into the bed, too exhausted to carry him back into his own. In less than an hour, he and my wife have driven me to but a sliver of space, so I move to the couch.

November 19th 2014, 5:05 am. My alarm rings. I laughably call into the office to let them know I will not be in, as if CNN, NBC World News, and the Internet as a whole was not enough of an indicator.

November 19, 2014 7:11 am. I awake, for good. My back hurts. My shoulders hurt. My arms hurt. My neck hurts, but that may be from sleeping on the couch, and not from spending 25% of my waking hours shoveling the previous day. I gather my outerwear and head outside to redo everything I’ve done the day before, which had been undone overnight.

1 day's worth of work, undone.

1 day’s worth of work, undone.

November 19th 2014, 9:28. My wife and daughter emerge to take my place. I head into the house for some irish coffee and breakfast to energize me for the marathon ahead.

November 19th 2014, 11:11 am. With my shoveling gear dry, I head back out. Between the two parties, the driveway has been cleared. We are near the street, and once the street is cleared, the van can be shoveled out and pulled into the yard, putting an end to the Sisyphean nature of the last 24 hours.

The driveway is clear for the 2nd time.

The driveway is clear for the 2nd time.

November 19th 2014, 12:42 pm. Several parties have passed me on their way to the NOCO on South Park, which has remained open for the entire ordeal. One party reports that the store was packed, and that supplies may be running low. I pause my shoveling to head to the store.

November 19th 2014, 1:20 pm. In my time shoveling, I have invented two games. In one game, larger chunks of snow that don’t make it over the top of the pile roll back down. The game is to catch those ‘boulders’ and throw them as far as possible. In the second, one takes a beer (bottle or can is fine, as the 5’ of snow offer more than enough cushion) and tosses it several feet in front of them.  They continue to shovel, and once they reach the beer, they pause and enjoy their reward. It is pointed out to me on twitter that this is how the Erie Canal was dug, and I realize that I am just re-living the lives of my ancestors. At the time of the Erie Canal, foremen would place barrels of whiskey miles down the ditch and once enough they’ve dug the trench to that barrel, they’d get to drink. I name this game “Drink The Ditch.” I win it twice.

Drink the Ditch!  I win!

Drink the Ditch! I win!

November 19th 2014, 2:47 pm. The van has been completely dug out. The path the van needs to travel into the driveway has been dug out. I started the van 20 minutes ago to warm it up, and so I climb in, ready to finally achieve the goal I’d set for myself 36 hours ago. The dash is lit up like a Christmas tree; at some point, the engine shut off. I turn the key, but to no avail – the engine will not turn over. I send Melissa in for tow straps. I will put this thing in neutral and drag it into the driveway. I have come too far to be stopped now.

November 19th 2014, 2:54 pm. Melissa comes to the door. There are no tow straps. It doesn’t matter, because I can’t get the van into neutral. I am defeated. I slink into the basement and disrobe. I have failed as man. I have failed as a representative of my descent. I have failed. This storm – this snowmageddon – has defeated me.

This journal is for entertainment purposes. Nothing that I’ve written is exaggerated, but I am very lucky that I was capable of shoveling for nearly 12 hours over the last 2 days, and that my family had enough food and retained electricity so that we have been able to endure this storm comfortably. I want to take this time to recognize the Buffalo Police, Buffalo Fire Department, and all of the people who have worked to clean up this disaster – which includes volunteers! I really hope that everyone who reads this is familiar with the BFD’s brave and diligent servicepeople who carried several people to Mercy Hospital for treatment. I know that many of these men and women have been working since the storm began to keep our city and its citizens safe. I hope that the next time you find one of these people behind you in line at Tim Horton’s, you buy their coffee. Hell – I hope you buy the whole station a coffee. Despite the conflicts we have with BPD and BFD, they really do exist to protect and serve. They deserve our $1.25 worth of admiration.

More snow is on the way.  I hope everyone reading this stays warm. Stay tuned for day 3.

Erik W.


Nothing like having the Thruway to yourself!

Nothing like having the Thruway to yourself!

North Buffalo:

The snows quicly hit the Northtowns and went away.  - Photo via Matt Stahlman @MStahlman15

The snows quicly hit the Northtowns and went away. – Photo via Matt Stahlman @MStahlman15

The morning came with the same sunshine that greeted me yesterday, but that dark cloud was certainly getting closer. The ride to get my wife would be a breeze I thought, I mean I had an hour and not one snow flake. Still the cloud crept closer and closer.

By the time I ran down and started the car, it had begun. Slowly at first, but by the time I had ventured less than a minute it was a blinding whiteout. I couldn’t see 20 feet in front of me, and the cars began to slow to a crawl. As I was just about to get on the thruway, my phone rang. “Better head home, they’re short and I have to stay”, she said. Thank God, I thought. By this time the snow was so bad I was moving at a snails pace. I was seeing what the Southtowns had been experiencing firsthand for almost a full day, and I had only spent maybe 30 minutes in it. Needless to say, it was terrifying.

About a less than a minute from home, the phone rang again. “Relief is here, better come back, ” she said, “Shit, OK, I’m on my way” Damn, I would have to maneuver those roads again. The ride was white knuckled, but uneventful and slow.

Northtowns looked great. - Photo via Alan Bedenko ‏@buffalopundit

Northtowns looked great. – Photo via Alan Bedenko ‏@buffalopundit

I got there, and waited a few minutes. The snow full of vigor just a few minutes ago was gone by the time I had pulled in. Moving up North at a good pace, we would see it again as we eyed the 198. Oddly enough, there were literally no cars out as we drove down the North bound I-190.

We got home, and the last of the heavy snow subsided. I pulled out the snowblower and knocked out the 4 or so inches that had fallen in an hour, in less than 15 minutes. My storm totals for the day, but a funny thing happened as I put away the snow blower. Wouldn’t you know it, THE SUN CAME OUT!

Craig W.

-Again Buffalo, another round of heavy snow is expected to hit the same areas that have been the worst affected already. We hope you all stay safe, &  Click here to go the The National Weather Services website to check radar, snowfall amounts, and travel advisories!

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One Comment on “The Sun Finally Rises! – Buffalo Snowmageddon Day 2”

  1. erikwollschlager November 20, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Reblogged this on ewollschlager and commented:

    Day 2 – There will be no escaping us this time.

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