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Blizzard in 2011

Updated on May 2, 2012

Record Snowfalls

Ranked as 3rd largest Blizzard

It is considered to be the 3rd largest blizzard in Chicago’s history.

Hundreds of stranded vehicles were left on Lake Shore Drive. It was a parking garage on LSD last night. People stuck in their vehicles without any way to vacant. Firemen on snowmobiles were called in to rescue. There will be many, many stories to share from those who were left behind.

What a distressing experience for many. Some stranded 8-10 hours; many fell asleep in their vehicles. I heard one man had ventured out only to get swept up by the waves of deadly Lake Michigan. He was pronounced dead this morning.

The governor has claimed Illinois to be in a state of emergency. American Airlines and many others were closed for business today. The National Guard was called out to help assist stranded motorists across the interstates.

Warnings are given, Stay off the roads.” Many of the counties in Illinois have closed all roads, deemed impassible.

With wind conditions in some areas over 60 mph, snow drifts quickly became 5 to 6 feet high.

My daughter is a nurse. She had to spend the night at the hospital where she worked. Unable to leave, she is working another double shift today. I love my daughter. It is in hearts like hers, that America deserves to honor.

Digging out the vehicles

Travel in Snow

Neighbors are helping neighbors. With snow blowers roaring, many neighbors are attempting to move out the snow.

Digging out will take hours and as for my front door, it may take weeks.

Completely in wonder over the massiveness of this storm, I’m actually very blessed. I was lucky to still have power. I never attempted to drive and didn’t have to. So I watched this historical event from my windows.

For those individuals who were stranded on LSD, their cars were eventually being towed. Abandoned for safety reasons, these cars were taken to nearby parking lots. All the logic says, stay in your vehicle if you are stranded. For those living in that situation, I can bet they wished they didn’t. Ten hours in the car, running out of gas, wipers freezing up, stuck and only wishing to be at home, is not what I would call friendly confines. However attempting to rough it alone in blizzard conditions such as this would have produced a far greater turmoil.

Hampered by weather conditions, cars were relocated, the city will eventually reopen Lake Shore Drive.

Those who love this weather were out in full force. There were cross country skiers on Michigan Ave. and snowmobilers enjoying their rides. Snowmobiles were the best, and in some cases, the only way to travel.

The children love it, expressing laughter and joy as they jump over climbing the great snow mountains. No school today, they gleamed.

Over 20 inches of snow fell

Record Breaking Snow

Every couple of hours the news broke with live broadcasts from the OEMC; emergency officials who update the citizens of this great city to what is going on.

They say more snow is on its way, travel is hazardous, and they are monitoring what is happening. Commenting on the LSD incidence, they explained what had happened. Multiple car accidents, one involving a bus, all occuring in the same vicinity caused a large number of vehicles to become immobilized. Road off wraps became drifted with snow. Hundreds of vehicles became stuck overnight.

During that time 26 fire engine companies provided aid, while Chicago police assisted but with weather like that, producing white out conditions, it seriously tampered their efforts. Safety was a big concern. City personnel worked as quickly as possible and people remained frustrated. I can only imagine not having any information, being stuck, and wondering if you will ever get home.

This will certainly go down in the history books.

I was a young child in the blizzard of ’67 remembering my father stranded in his vehicle, we all worried about his safety. Cars were abandoned on city streets and it was late evening, people were all walking the neighborhoods. The blizzard of ’79 was different for me. I was 8 months pregnant. The biggest impact I remember was climbing snow banks as I walked to work. The walkways were not shoveled and only footprints of those who walked there before me, determined the path. Climbing over snow banks in any attempt to not fall while carry a baby, was a rough task. This blizzard of 2011 will go down in the history books, that is for sure.

As for me, I survived another blizzard. God, I love this city.

Hundreds of Motorists Stranded on Lake Shore Drive


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    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thanks for all your great comments. It's been a couple of weeks now, and the snow is finally starting to melt. The blizzard of 2011 will surely be one to remember.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Great photos and story of blizzard. I have one myself on the hub. 67 and 78 will never be forgotten. My mother had to send my big brothers to the store with sleds in 67 and the drifts were high enough that we jumped off the roof of our house, what a kick. 78 I remember when the roads were finally clear, as you traveled you couldn't see any business along the way cause the snow banks were so high. I felt very blessed to have heat and electricity 2011! PS, love the tree spirit!

    • Unleashed Victory profile image

      Unleashed Victory 7 years ago

      FaithDream, I love winter and we live in the snow belt, but this year has left us standing in the windows completely speechless. I started telling my sons how blessed we are to experience this beauty, but that only lasted until Christmas. I'm going to bookmark this and show it to them in July when they're complaining about the heat. Thanks for this!

    • Dian'swords4u profile image

      Dian'swords4u 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I lived through the blizzard of 1993 in NC that was bad enough. It was not near the trouble of this one, but it was bad enough. It seems that our weather situation is only getting worse. Stay safe and warm.

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      OMG, I hrad about this on the news FaithDream. We have snow here but nothing close to the snow fall you have received. The weather is changing all over the world and we never know what's coming next.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ...yes I live on the northern shore of Lake Erie here in Canada and I was snowbound too and had to call into work and cancel.

      ....but I must say you have done a world class job here with your weather report and story - it would be interesting to reflect back on this hub during mid-summer .......

    • profile image

      gabe 7 years ago

      how cool yo