||[Dec. 19th, 2008|08:20 am]
The weather just will not let up.
We knew that something was coming as early as Tuesday. Though it wasn't supposed to start until late evening, memories of the storm two years ago and the five hour commute home made us paranoid. We still went into work, of course, but we were refreshing the weather page frequently and looking for any hint that it might be time to run.
Wednesday, the snow was looming close enough that both I and genedefect elected to stay home. We'd received reports that the storm had stalled off the coastline, but part of the problem with stalled weather is that you never know when it's going to un-stall. It was supposed to hit in the afternoon... no, the evening... no, not until early Thursday morning. I slept horribly Wednesday night. I hate going to bed when there's a prediction of snow and nothing falling. There were too many times as a kid that I went to bed with faint promises of a snow day the next day, but awoke to find out that nothing, and I mean nothing, had happened. Weather predictions are even more awful than usual when it comes to snow.
When I woke Thursday morning, however, the storm had delivered. There was a respectable blanket on the ground and light snow in the air. That settled not going to work. Usually in this situation, I'd work from home. My company provides plenty of tools to make this feasible. Unfortunately, the snow was three stages worse than awful and had not only barred commuting by car, but by bus, and no one was able to make it into work. Yeah, there are tools, but they can't stand up under the load of the entire Seattle campus trying to use them at once. It took me two hours to get onto email with a steady enough connection to send my "not coming in to work" message. At that point, I'd already more or less given up on actually doing any work.
eclesis came home around the time I managed to get my email out. Her company had closed its campus.
I call what was on the ground "snow", but I don't remember anything like this back in Virginia. In Virginia, there was a good chance that you'd just get snow. Snow is irritating, difficult to walk in, a little slippery, yes. But it's not nearly as bad as actual ice, and that's what Seattle gets. Whatever we get falls from the sky as snow, but it melts and refreezes into a thick layer of ice with very little delay. Our street has been an ice-skating rink since the snow started yesterday morning.
Guiltily, but without much other option, I spent the day relaxing. I still tried to get into work, but nothing doing -- the servers were swamped. I finished "The Hero of Ages" and putzed around on the computer. Every once in awhile, I checked the weather.
About 6PM last night, I found the High Wind Watch that had been issued for our area for Saturday and early Sunday. Sustained of 50-70mph, gusts from 70-90. That's damn near the same stats as when we had the power go out for three days two years ago. The bulletin itself warned that we should plan for the same thing (and sub-zero temperatures while it was out). I told genedefect and we kicked into high gear. We immediately verified that our power cords were where we thought they were, and that we had enough functioning flashlights. Regardless of the ice, we went out to hit the supermarket and Home Depot. Something inside of me remembers those days in Virginia where a couple of inches of snow would be predicted and the entire area would make a run to the supermarket for milk and toilet paper, but I suppose this is different.
We stocked up on essentials, including non-perishables and things that could be eaten without cooking. We have a generator, but it pays to be cautious. We also bought up a bunch of batteries and a new flashlight. We wanted to get a hot plate, but apparently they don't sell them at Home Depot. On the way home, we got stuck going up the hill. Thankfully, some people happened by and helped push, and we made it home in one piece.
I've done four loads of laundry and we need to kick off a load of dishes as well.
Of course, I'm not going to try to make it into work today. I don't think eclesis is planning to attempt it either. I'll do my best to work from home, but I don't have much faith in the servers at this point. And tomorrow, the high winds will either come or not. We're as prepared as we're going to get. Hopefully, we won't need our preparations.