By Cait Collins
The Texas Panhandle was hit by a blizzard on Monday, February 25. Officially, Amarillo received 19 inches of snow, but the hurricane force winds blew that 19 inches into 2.5 to 7 foot drifts. By mid-morning, roads into and out of the city in all directions were closed. The National Guard was called out to assist first responders in reaching stranded motorists. In some areas, authorities were stopping travelers and sending them back. Motels and hotels were full and shelters were opened. Power was out in some areas of Amarillo. I called my 97-year old friend who was without electricity and heat for a short time. I was terrified when she told me about losing power. Thankfully, she is okay.
My family was lucky. Most of us got a snow day. One sister was at work at 5AM, Her company ordered the closing at 1PM. By this time, she was snowed in the parking lot. Her employees and a couple of patrons helped her out. She made it home about thirty minutes later, but got stuck when she tried to turn into the alley. Another driver stopped and helped her get her vehicle to the side of the road.
The storm has moved on and the clean-up has begun. My sidewalks are clear and the ice and snow removed from my front door. I still have to take care of the drift behind my car and help my sister clear the huge drift behind her car. Her side of the parking lot got the worst of the drifting. We joined a neighborhood dig out. Together, we cleared the snow and put each other in position to go to work on Wednesday.
One of the young men in the group had just moved to Amarillo. This was his first blizzard. He told me he did not enjoy this. The truth is none of us like these storms. They disrupt lives and increase our stress levels. Thankfully, we don’t get this much snow very often. The good news is 19 inches of snow equals about an inch and a half of rain. That’s moisture our farmers and ranchers desperately need. While I don’t enjoy the inconvenience, I will not complain. This snow will help the economy of the Panhandle.
I am going to complain a bit. I’m cold and my neck, shoulders, and arms hurt. I’m sure that by morning moving will be difficult. But I had fun and got to meet new people. Now it’s time for a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a good book. Tonight I just want to relax, enjoy a bowl of stew, and watch my favorite TV shows. I’ll get back to writing tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.