We here in Illinois are entering a major weather event. It began tonight with the arrival of a snowstorm, dumping around 4-5 inches of snow on us so far. Behind this snow, pushes an arctic blast, the likes of which we here have not seen for over 20 years.
The temps will continue to drop, the winds will increase….and by Sunday night we will see wind chill values in the 35-45 below zero range. This is something I can barely wrap my head around. We here in central IL consider 15 degrees to be incredibly cold. When you talk minus 17 for a low actual temp….it gets nearly surreal. And scary as hell.
I am trying to maintain my composure, and I’m trying not to think of worse case scenerios, such as losing power while snowed in with drifts and blizzard conditions. The winds will cause such drifting that shoveling out would probably not be an option. The wind chills will cause frostbite within minutes of exposure. Thus….if our power would go out, we would be trapped in the house. No heat, no lights, no nothing. With below zero temperatures. This scares the hell out of me.
My husband is preparing to go in to work as usual on Monday (the worst day of this event, temperature wise)….he is a truck driver and heads north every day to haul goods up there and then haul other freight back. I have been praying that the terminal manager there will allow common sense to reign supreme and not expect these guys to come to work and drive in this incredibly dangerous weather. Semi trucks brake lines can freeze in 20-30 degree weather, let alone below zero. Sending men out to drive trucks in these conditions is ludicrous and idiotic. The trucks are not made to withstand this kind of brutal weather. And I am worried sick about my husband.
I am also worried sick about being left alone during this scary time. I am afraid that he might get stranded up north and have to find shelter up there while I am down here…..thoughts of loss of power keep creeping into my mind, picturing myself with two cats sitting in the dark, freezing and without help.
I could never manage to shovel myself out. And even if I could, what if the van won’t start? I would actually be surprised if it did. It is not in a garage. It’s out in the driveway. So….moot point, I guess. If the power goes out, and the van won’t start, I’m screwed.
So anyway, I’m sitting here at 4am…..trying to read a book, play online poker, watch tv, flip through magazines, do laundry…..and feeling this intense dread bubble up into my consciousness. This is scary shit. Mother Nature is one mean bitch. And once again, I look up into the skies and realize how truly helpless we are in the face of such a powerful thing as this.
A slight tip of the axis, and life as we know it can be completely changed. A slight tip of the axis, and mankind is brought to it’s knees, crippled by blinding cold or hellish heat. We are helpless and sometimes it takes events like this to remind us….how fragile we are.