Snow in Wichita, Kansas, February 2013 - Round 1
Wednesday morning, February 20, 2013, in Wichita, KS, dawned cold and brisk but without a drop of the much anticipated moisture that meteorologists all across Kansas and the surrounding areas had been warning about for days. Forecasts were calling for the Wichita area to accumulate anywhere from 4" - 8" by Thursday evening, along with possible sleet, ice, and blizzard conditions.
I was tempted to keep the kids home from school Wednesday morning, but we had already been through a couple of weeks of ill health (among other things) resulting in poor attendance at school. So, I decided to let them consider the circumstances, weigh the benefit and risk factors, and make the choice of staying home or going to school themselves. I really wanted them to be home rather than out anywhere in what was expected to be the worst storm of the season, but I think it's important to let them make their own decisions (not about everything, of course, only about what I decide they can make their own decision about, and I have to be willing to live with whatever choice they make as well). One went (but ended up coming home around noon due to deteriorating weather and road conditions), and one stayed home. That was just fine with me.
Wichita, KS: Snow Day - 2/21/2013!Click thumbnail to view full-size
What is the most snowfall you have ever experienced in a snow storm?
We had gone out the night before to pick up our prescriptions, some groceries, and ice melt - all the things we needed to be tucked in for a few days. Funny thing was, I meant to do prescriptions, ice melt, groceries...in that order. Instead, I went straight to groceries after prescriptions, and I only had three minutes to get the ice melt before the place closed. Thankfully, we made it inside even though we only had seconds to spare.
As my son was carrying the small ten pound bag of ice melt to the register, I was impressed to get the big fifty pound bag. I argued for a second (in my head, of course). "I don't need the big bag," I said. "I don't have that much area to spread it on." "Get the big bag." I hesitate as I watch my son approach the register and can see the clerk is clearly ready to ring us up and go home. It's a minute or so past closing already. "Get the big bag." "Fine!", I say in my brain. Out loud I say, "Son, let's go ahead and get the big bag."
We finally get out to the parking lot and are ready to head home when an elderly couple in a nice pickup truck pulls up to the door of the store. I hesitate in the parking lot as I watch the gentleman get out and try to open the door. Then, I see him looking like he would like to get someone's attention and beg them to let him in even though it is already a few minutes past closing. Remembering the little argument about the big bag of ice melt versus the little bag of ice melt conversation I just had inside my head, I decide to approach the man and ask him if he was trying to purchase ice melt...and what do you know? He was.
So, we find something (an Aldi's cold sack in the trunk of my car), and we pour a portion of my fifty pound bag (that I absolutely did not need) into it, and I send them on their way. The gentleman was very thankful, and before he left, he told me that he was going to take it back to the apartment complex he lived in and "spread it around on the sidewalks and porches of the elderly couples who live there." I kinda giggled to myself as I realized that although I considered this gentleman elderly, he did not consider himself elderly at all!!
As I was driving away with my son, I shared with him the story of the little argument that I had just had with myself in the store in my head about the small vs big bag of ice melt. He suddenly was no longer frustrated with me for having him choose the big bag, carry it to the register, carry it back to the shelf, choose the big bag, and carry it to the register. I think it kind of sunk in with both of us at the same time that because I listened an acted on that still small voice that speaks to us sometimes even though it makes no sense and we have no idea why...we were able to help a small handful of elderly people at an apartment complex be more prepared for the storm!
Digging Out the Day AfterClick thumbnail to view full-size
Out Comes the Sun...
Friday morning, February 22, 2013, dawned crisp, cold, and clear as a bell. The pristine blue skies gave no indication of the fury that existed in them just a few hours prior; however, the ground was covered with a beautiful, white blanket that was approximately 1' deep and sparkled like glitter as the sun smiled down on Wichita, KS.
The storm that ravaged the town and had most Wichitans on lock down for the past two days was gone and folks were starting to get out and about and return to life as usual. I was no exception. I had an appointment with one of my doctors, and I was able to snap some pictures around the medical and office plaza while I was there.
Thankfully, somebody had already cleared the parking lot (I noticed that most parking lots in the areas of town I passed through had been plowed and looked pretty good) so there were no issues with parking or slipping and sliding while trying to park. Also, somebody had plowed the sidewalk, and I saw a couple of people out walking their dogs.
As I sat there stopped with my hazard lights on trying to snap some pictures, a couple of people stopped to ask me if I needed any help. It warmed my heart to experience the genuine concern that people have for others...strangers...yet fellow human beings...our brothers. They apologized once they learned they were blocking my shots!! I had to giggle. First, they stop because they are concerned that I may need help, then they apologize because they are concerned that they are getting in my way!! Some days ya just can't win for losing, right?!
Second Largest in Wichita History
Evidently, the total snowfall for this storm was 14.2" - second largest snowstorm in Wichita's history. All I know is that is was beautiful coming down, and I still think it's beautiful now that it's on the ground. I am not really a huge fan of lots of snow, but this area is in desperate need of some moisture, and we haven't had any real snow to speak of for at least a couple of years.
It helped that we were able to have ample time to prepare for the storm. It was also comforting that the electricity stayed on - especially during the "thundersnow", which was a period of time during the storm when thunder and lightening accompanied the snow...definitely one of the stranger storms I have weathered through. I have experienced winter storms where the power has gone off and stayed of for several days, and that is definitely no fun at all!
Wichita hunkered down through this storm, but as soon as it passed, Wichitans all over the city began the work of cleaning up and digging out...first themselves, then their friends, family, and neighbors who needed help! And don't forget about the play day for the kids! The Wichita public school district made the very wise call to cancel school for both Thursday and Friday in order to give crews time to clear the roads and make the schools accessible. Nothing like an unexpected four-day weekend...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!
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