Kansas Blizzard '09

So, by 10:30 this morning they've already shutdown Rt. 54 from Pratt to Liberal, a major east-west route for trucks. According to the authorities, visibility is zero due to the snow.

Hubby and I decided to get up very early today, as we needed to make a Wichita run before the storm hit. He had already taken today off as a vacation day; the plan a few weeks ago was to work on our pasture fencing. Obviously that isn't happening! But I am glad he isn't driving to or from work today. No telling how bad this will get by midnight and I'm glad I won't have to worry about him driving an hour (or two or three) to get home.

Sooooo, our early Wichita run was preempted by an early arrival of the storm. Most forecasters were saying late morning/early afternoon. We came out of Atwood's about 10:30 a.m. and were greeted by a cold, sleeting rain. Since it's an hour's drive home, we decided to hit the road immediately.

This is how the highway looked as we began our trip home.
You can see the sleet blowing across the road.

Fifteen minutes later: you can see the road is starting to accumulate more ice/slush.

But it appears safe, right? Perhaps just wet. This is what's dangerous about this kind of weather. It can change in a New York minute. And it did.

Ahhh, the road appears even more treacherous now.

Note the pickup truck with the small trailer in the left lane. There is a rest area in the center of the highway, and he has just returned to the highway from said rest area. Now it would appear that he's in a bit of a hurry.

There he goes, speeding away in the left lane, passing everyone else! Now, don't we all wish (secretly of course) that we would see these people in a ditch further down the road, since they have no regard for bad weather?! Welllllll..... that is exactly what happened to this guy!

I have about 10-15 photos, where you can see him in the distance ahead of us. Then all of a sudden, brake lights on all the cars in front of us. Hubby saw something flipping through the air. It was this guy's trailer! Bet he had to change his underwear when he got home.

It's also fun to see all the other FAST people now slow down to a crawl. "Golly gee, honey, do you think it might be a lil slick out there?!"

You can see he's already out of his truck, and he's just opened the passenger door. As we drove by, his significant other was getting out. I'm guessing she might have asked told him to slow down several times already, and she probably wasn't a happy camper at this end result.

Hubby did call 911 for them; we did not stop as the road conditions were way too treacherous and we didn't want to be the good samaritans that got slammed by the sliding semi truck.... or something like that.

After that, we passed three other cars who slid off the highway. This one was in a rather bad spot.

Truck still running, lights on, and person just sitting in there. I mean, what are ya supposed to do? Wait for help, I guess. And this was only about 30 minutes into this storm, which is supposed to last all afternoon and into tomorrow morning! Can you imagine how backed up emergency vehicles and tow trucks are going to get?

We are getting closer to home now. Still about another 15 miles to go. Still a few more accidents to see... there were two more cars off the road, one being picked up by a flatbed tow truck.

A pick-up truck with a small trailer jack-knifed behind it, right in the middle of the highway on the northbound side. I'm guessing these smallish trailers don't do well in icy weather. About two miles down the highway, a fire truck was making its way to this guy, we think. Problem was, there was another car in the ditch on the northbound side, so the fire truck was stopping there, although he appeared hesitant. No one had jumped out of the fire truck as we went by, so I think they probably stopped at the wrong accident.

Finally, a pretty photo as we turned the corner to our house. I jumped out of the truck to grab a few fence and tree shots.

I think I should bundle up and go outside, try to get some more photos. But with the wind howling like a banshee (up to 40 mph gusts) and the rain/sleet coming down on me, I rather like the toastiness of the house right now.

Besides, I think it's time for a pot of hazelnut coffee. :-)


  1. Crazy weather ~ grass fires last week, snow storm this week! Glad you made it home safe and sound. The storm is moving this direction ~ it's been raining here all day and the temp is dropping. Possible snow accumulation of four to six inches, then fifty degrees on Sunday is the forecast for this area. I made a big pot of chicken tortilla soup for the weekend. Hazelnut coffee sounds good too! Thanks for sharing the weather pics on your drive home!

  2. I agree with Christina, this is some crazy weather! Glad y'all made it home in one piece and hope it doesn't get too terribly cold!!

  3. Glad you two made it ok. I almost saw one right in front of me on the way to work. Somebody ran a stop sign RIGHT in front of somebody. I was the 2nd vehicle back. Rainy streets and all. Think he must not have looked to his left at all.

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  4. I've been thinking about you today and watching the weather up there. We haven't gotten nearly as much as we heard we would but I-40 at the Oklahoma State Line west to Amarillo is completely closed. The Flying J is absolutely full. It's still doing some blowing so I don't know if the snow we see is just what has already fallen or new stuff. I think our ground may be warm enough to keep too much from sticking right now. Bundle up and keep warm.

  5. Glad you made it home OK! That looks like anything but a boring drive home!

  6. You had quite a trip home..glad you arrived safely. No fun to be out in ice..but your photos were great:)

  7. Crazy stuff huh!? I'm in Hutch, and everything is pretty much at a standstill right now. My truck is stuck in the driveway, and I've heard that a snow plow is actually stuck too!!

  8. I'm just starting to get caught up on my reading.
    That is some crazy shit! And to think, I HATE driving in the rain. I can't even imagine the fear and horror I would feel if I had to drive in that.