Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blizzard!



Digging ourselves out
 It snowed and blowed throughout the night. Súsanna and I love the snow and were up early, excited to have a look. After all, the windows of my apartment are covered with a solid wall of snow so I can’t see out, and we have no idea what’s waiting for us out there. I open the front door of the house to a wall of snow, and we first have to shovel our way out. Súsanna straps on her skis and goes out to have a look at the town. I grab the shovel and start working on digging out the porch and steps. After all, it’s a work day and the neighbors will have to go to work and the mailman will be coming too. I absolutely love shoveling snow and can think of no better way to spend my Christmas holidays. Shoveling is no easy task, as it’s still snowing and blowing like crazy. I will end up doing it numerous times today.

Mánaljós happy in the snow
After the hard work, I strap on my snowshoes and go out for a stroll. The snow banks are waist-high and even with snowshoes, the going is rough. The stores downtown are trying to open, shoveling out their entrance-ways, though some stores will remain closed. There are a lot of people out on the streets with cameras in their hands and smiles on their faces. This is the kind of weather the Westfjordians love! Needless to say, visibility is zero today, the mountains are invisible and no planes will be landing. 


By evening the wind lets up, but not the snow. It’s a little easier taking a walk now though without the wind. People have started digging out their cars but the plows have trouble keeping up. The smaller side streets in fact won’t be plowed for a week. Snow is piling up shoulder high. Heavy snow hangs from the eaves of the rooftops and sidewalks downtown are roped off for danger of falling snow. Lots of people are outside, even late into the night, just looking around, taking pictures.      
 
Downtown
 The temperatures have risen today and the snow is very thick and heavy. I get several text messages on my cell phone from the local police warning about avalanches. This is an interesting new experience for me. Lots of roads and regions are closed, including the road to the airport and to Reykjavík. No supplies have been able to arrive into town for days and there is no more milk in the stores. The local joke is that the supermarket is bringing in two of its cows and selling milk straight from the source in the store’s parking lot this evening – bring your own milk jug.

To the bakery on sled

Arctic shopping
Boats are being sent out to pick up people trapped on the road to Súðavík by avalanches. One of the neighbors says this is the most snow that has fallen in just 24 hours since the big avalanches of 1995 that killed numerous people in Flateyri and Súðavík. The neighbors are blaming me for the snow, since it was my biggest wish to have a great winter up here this year. And I do love it all and have a permanent grin on my face.