I am not going to apply a hyperbolic nickname like “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmageddon” to the blizzard which has just his Chicagoland, but I will say this is the biggest snow disaster I have seen in my life. I have lived in Chicagoland for all of my twenty eight years.
It has shut down nearly everything. Private schools, public schools, and universities are closed today. It does not take a whole lot to shut down a suburban private school but CPS (Chicago Public Schools) only closes when public transportation in Chicago shuts down. CPS is closed today for the first time since 1999. Shops and restaurants are closed. Courts in Cook, DuPage, and Will County are closed. The only facilities I know to be open are hospitals, police stations, fire departments, and homeless shelters.
The estimated tally for inches of snow in Downers Grove is 23. Some of my readers may reside outside the snow-exporting states, so they may have a hard time comprehending what nearly two feet of snow looks like. It’s sort of like a freezer that hasn’t been defrosted for ten years. Except it’s your house and your driveway. Three people are at home today at my house and we have all been on snow duty. It’s nearly 2 p.m. as I write this and we can’t even get one car out of the driveway. Though it’s not much of a loss because our street is unplowed and even if it were clear, as mentioned before, just about everything is closed.
This is one for the record books to be sure. Perhaps someday I will tell my grandchildren about the Great Chicago Blizzard of 2011. The news stations say this is the worst blizzard since 1967, though my mother, an Illinois resident since 1976, insists that the 1979 Blizzard was worse.
I suppose this is an appropriate time for religious reflection. It is amazing that Allah has endowed this planet and its surrounding atmosphere with the power to produce precipitation (the power to produce precipitation; try saying it five times fast) of this magnitude. But I already credit Allah with creating the entire universe ex nihilo so the fact that he can muster two feet of snow doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t elready know. I am grateful that Allah has decided in His Mercy to spare myself and my family from the potential calamities that such a storm could have brought. Alhamdulillah. (All praise is to Allah).