Anyone that lived in the eastern half of the county surely remembers the Blizzard of 1993. It is often referred to as the Storm of the Century.
We were living in Akron, NY and the two younger kids were in middle school. The storm started forming on Thursday, March 11th but for whatever reason I was oblivious to the fact that a major storm was expected. Friday was a fairly normal, busy day.
By Saturday morning, the 13th, it was snowing but I wasn't concerned. I took the kids up to school and dropped them off at the pool. I returned home to find John not feeling well and in some pain. He is never ill so this was worrisome. He assured me that he'd be fine while I went to pick the kids back up. The snow had really picked up by then.
By the time I got back with the kids, John was curled up into a ball and lying on the bathroom floor. I wanted to call for the ambulance but he wasn't having that! He was in pain and not thinking clearly, I was fine so I must plead sheer stupidity.
Somehow I helped him into his coat and got him down to the garage and into the car. When Bean had been ill the doctor had sent her to the hospital in Batavia and since that was the only hospital I was familiar with I headed for the Thruway. It was only 13 miles and one exit away in the next county. By now the snow had really intensified. I could hardly see the road and drove at a crawl. I don't know how long the drive took but it seemed like an eternity.
We arrived at the hospital safely and John was taken to an exam room. It wasn't very long before a nurse came out and told me they thought he had a kidney stone, he had been given something for pain and they would have to admit him. While I was talking to her I was approached by a Sheriff's Deputy who told me that a state of emergency was being declared and that I had to decide if I was staying at the hospital because they were about to close all of the roads in the county. I explained that I had left my kids at home and had to get back to them. I was allowed to say a very quick good-bye to John and then I started for home. It took even longer on the return trip but I did get home.
On Sunday I got out our wimpy little electric snowblower and started to try and clear the driveway. The blower was definitely not up to the job. Never in my life had I paid someone else for snow removal but I flagged down a neighbor who had a plow and for $10 he quickly had the driveway cleared so that I could head to the hospital to see John. But that was not to be.
The roads in Erie County were never closed during the storm and the plow crews did an amazing job keeping them open. Had I taken John to a hospital in toward Buffalo I would have been able to get there fairly easily. The roads in Genesee County remained closed until Monday evening. John had passed the stone Saturday night and was ready to come home Sunday morning but he was stuck there until I could get there Monday. Even then the hospital did not want to release him as he hadn't yet been seen by his doctor who hadn't been able to get there from Rochester.
I have a feeling that the Blizzard of '93 will always be my most memorable blizzard. What was yours?
Image: Storm of the Century, 1993 March 13, NOAA Celebrates 200 Years; Public Domain, viewed 23 January 2009 [http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/events/storm/image1.html]