Piling It On


Today was Benton Community Schools snow day number 10. The snow just keeps piling up and piling up and piling up. And it isn’t always falling snow that’s the problem. Lately it’s been blowing and drifting snow. If you go to KCRG.com (channel 9 – HA!) you’ll see articles that they’ve had on the news about how bad the Benton County roads get when the wind picks up. If you read yesterday’s blog, you know that I was stranded at home again, snowed in. Carl, either bravely or foolishly, decided to go into work. He left at 5:30 AM and didn’t get to his office until 7:30 AM, because he’d tried to plow his way through a drift on one of the north-south roads (the Shellsburg road) leading out of Atkins, and he got the pickup hung up and stuck. It took him two hours to dig himself out and then creep his way into Cedar Rapids. When he came home last night, only one lane of our two-lane road (W-28) was open, and just barely at that. On last night’s news they made a deal out of the fact that all three of the north-south roads leading out of Atkins were blocked. I wonder who from KCRG lives out here. Some KCRG employee probably bought a house out in the Ralston addition last summer and is now regretting it, but at least whoever it is gets an easy story to report.

Anyway. Last night Carl and I decided that it would be better to try to get to work later (i.e. once it was light outside) than not at all, so we told the girls that we were both going to work today, but Carl was driving both of us in. We went over the ground rules (again) and had Mary choose what she wanted for lunch so that she’d know how much insulin to take, and then we left. W-28 hadn’t improved much – it was still one lane, and where the road was open the pavement was snowpacked and icy. Carl drove slowly and carefully (and in four wheel drive) until we got closer to the city, then the roads cleared up a little and we could go in two wheel drive. That is, until we got to Blairs Ferry Road, the street that takes me to work in Marion. That was as bad as W-28, worse actually because there was lots of traffic on it. Carl put the pickup back into four wheel drive and managed to deliver me safely to work.

Coming home was better. The main highways were, for all intents and purposes, clear. Blairs Ferry and W-28 still stank, but at least the plows had widened W-28 back to two lanes. The bad news? The wind is supposed to pick up again after midnight, and the drifting problems will start all over again. Already tonight Benton Community Schools has declared a two hour late start for tomorrow morning. I wonder if that will degrade to snow day number 11. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.


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