All posts in weather

storm damage

Words cannot really describe what my street, neighborhood, entire city look like after a devastating storm last Friday night. So here are some numbers and photos instead.
130-year-old (someone counted the rings!) Elm tree, which hit 2 cars on its way down
Just one of three trees on our block to fall all the way across the road
Three garbage bags full of food I had to throw away because the power was out from Friday night to Sunday night (and I was at a cabin in Wisconsin with friends, having a delightful time in my ignorance of what was happening back home). By the time I got back Sunday afternoon, most everything was beyond salvage.

Over 600,000 Minnesotans without power (some still don’t have service back).

One major intersection between my house and the freeway still blocked by a tree and live power wire, a full five days after the storm.

Early estimates say that we lost more trees in Minneapolis during this storm than we did when the tornado hit the city in 2011.
Luckily, I also had:
0 ounces of water in the basement
0 trees on top of the house
0 instances of external damage whatsoever
We’re especially lucky that dad had borrowed the car for the weekend to drive to Wisconsin, because normally I park it right where that tree fell…
Continue your prayers for Mpls please! If that’s your thing. Warm fuzzy thoughts welcome too.

and then this happened:

Ick. Get me out of here.

What’s that white stuff?

Hey y’all! We finally got some snow!

In sidebar news, I now have three trips to Texas planned this year (learned about the latest one last night… yay for more weddings!) I haven’t been back that many times in a year, ever. And ironically it’s happening a year when the weather is acting much the same between the great white north and the hill country homeland…

jack frost

I’m still snowed in, so I think that means I’m allowed to post another set of snow pictures.


Maybe you’ve heard? Snow day of massive proportions here in Minnesota. After almost 24 hours of steady snowfall, it’s finally tapering off. As of 6 pm the tally for Minneapolis was 16.5 inches. Yikes!!

Drifts around the back door ~ 2 pm

Drifts in the front/side yard

Backyard (I love seeing the top of the bench peeking out from the drifts by the garage)

Although I stayed inside most of the day, I did have one little adventure. A friend’s casual comment online sent a shiver of fear into my heart when I realized I didn’t know where my furnace vent was. So I went a-searching (just to make sure it was clear of snow and not secretly filling my house with carbon monoxide). After trudging through knee-deep snow all around the perimeter of my house, and digging along the foundation most of the way, I made it to the backyard. Above the howling wind, I could hear a fan whirring, so I hoisted myself on top of the grill and onto the fence between my yard and the neighbor’s. Sure enough, there it was:

My dad was right. A house doesn’t last 110 years without having a furnace vent that can accommodate a Minnesota blizzard. We still have a few inches to go before I would need to call the neighbor and have her dig it out. (My property line runs about 12 inches away from the north side of the house, so the facade is actually only accessible through the neighbor’s yard because of the way the fences are constructed.)
Which got me to thinking… I wonder how many blizzards of this magnitude the house has weathered? I haven’t yet located the total number, but here’s a start (courtesy of the Star Tribune):

Before Saturday, here’s the previous records recorded by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen:

1. Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 1991: 28.4 inches
2. Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 1985: 21.1 inches
3. Jan. 22-23, 1982: 20.0 inches
4. Jan. 20-21, 1982: 17.4 inches
5. Nov. 11-12, 1940: 16.8 inches
6. March 3-4, 1985: 16.7 inches

Interesting, huh? Needless to say, I’m not going anywhere tonight. I’ll shovel out tomorrow morning. Until then, I’m working on some house projects and exploring the channels on my now-functioning TV (thanks, Dad!) Bummed to miss my brother’s play in Northfield today, but otherwise relishing in the chance to relax. Stay safe and warm, MN friends.

flash flood

This was my street about three hours ago. The power had just gone out, and it had only been raining for 10 or 15 minutes. I had just been lighting the candles on my porch, getting ready to watch the storm…

That was when I saw the water start rising in the street. By the time I made it out there with my camera, the water was over the curb and halfway up my shins.

The good news: no water in the basement, and no fallen trees. I’d gotten the car in the garage just minutes before the hail (that’s a whole other story – but let’s just say, it would have been a lot easier with another set of hands. An electric garage door opener is now much higher on my priority list.)
Some of my neighbors weren’t so lucky:
The tree is also blocking one of the main roads between my house and the freeway. Which explains why my street has been a lot busier than usual tonight – although, I hear the freeway was flooded, too, so maybe it’s just as well that people couldn’t get to it.
All in all, a pretty exciting evening here. I got to meet a lot of my neighbors when we were all out looking at the tree and cleaning up fallen branches in our own yards. The power was out for about three hours, so I’ve been enjoying the late evening breeze on my front porch, watching bugs on the ceiling in the flickering candlelight and listening to the last drops of rain.

Kind of awesome, actually.