The Blizzard of 2011 turned out to be Chicago’s third-biggest snowstorm on record, with 20.2 inches of snowfall measured at O’Hare Airport. (Does anyone know why the official measurement for Chicago comes from O’Hare instead of Midway or elsewhere? I tweeted this question to Tom Skilling and WGN, but so far I’ve received no response.)
About the same amount of snow reportedly fell in the Ottawa area, where I reside. According to the La Salle NewsTribune, the highest snowfall measured in Ottawa previously was 14 inches on Jan. 23, 1898. This morning, three different snow depths were measured in Ottawa: 20 inches, 16.5 inches and 14.5 inches. The problem, however, is that there was so much blowing and drifting that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement. (For example, there is a 40-inch-tall snow drift behind my garage, but I can still see the grass in another part of my backyard.)
Now begins the big dig-out throughout the Midwest.
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I noticed, while watching various press conferences Chicago officials have held about the blizzard, that I bear a passing resemblance to CTA President Richard Rodriguez — well, at least the beard and the short stature. Now if I can just get ahold of one of those red CTA caps he’s worn at every presser, I can complete the look and have my costume ready for Halloween this year.