Plowing Out of 2010

From newborns to the elderly, athletes to Navy officers, no one was safe from the Blizzard of 2010.  Here are some of the most memorable storm-stories to close out the year.   

The babies 

It was supposed to be a quiet movie night for Crystal and Elijah Techanand of Trenton, New Jersey on Sunday, when Crystal realized her labor pains were not going away.  The Trentonian newspaper reports that Crystal looked to her husband and said, “We have to go – now.”  What would normally have been a 15-minute ride to the hospital took one and a half hours.  The couple says they made it to the hospital on time thanks to good Samaritans clearing the unplowed roads for them.   

A woman who went into labor while in the express-lane on Garden State Parkway Sunday evening caused about 30 cars and two buses to get stuck behind her, according to the Daily Record. The buses were carrying about 50 people each, many of them elderly as well as a few diabetics, from Atlantic City to Manhattan. State patrollers were able to reach the buses and provide food.An ambulance reached the woman in labor and took her, her husband, and three children to the BayshoreMedical Center where the baby was born.

The families 

ABC News is reporting on the story of Navy officer Andrew Lauda, who became stuck in his car with wife and infant son as they were driving from Norfolk, Virginia, to visit family on Long Island.  Officer Lauda returned home on December 3rd from patrolling the waters off the coast of Somalia – it was the first time he met his three-month-old son.  The family left Norfolk at 7:30am Sunday, and became stuck just 20 minutes away from their destination at 1:00am Monday. Lauda says he used his training in the Navy to ration their food and keep his family safe, until he decided to call the ABC affiliate, WABC, which aired their story. A nearby resident in Queens heard the story on air, and decided to go out and help them. Lauda told ABC that it was tough but there was a silver lining: “I haven’t seen my wife in six and a half months, so we had a lot of time to talk and catch up,” he said.    

A reporter for The Daily Beast became stranded in a car with his family as well. He recounted his story on the news site:“When two snowplows in front of you get trapped, you know you are in trouble in a blizzard. Shivering at 22 degrees in 40 mph winds, that was our otherworldly situation at 11:32 p.m. Sunday, 12 miles from Manhattan, on an I-78 exit ramp just west of Newark, New Jersey. The first 360 miles driving from Pittsburgh in our minivan had gone smoothly for my wife, twin 16-year-old girls, and our dog, Muffin. But moments after a wrong turn onto what we thought was the express lane ramp, we were trapped on a curved downhill single lane at a standstill with 50 cars and trucks, many in snowbanks. More trucks and cars soon piled in, socking us in—as it turned out, until 11:15 a.m. Monday. Neither the State Police nor AAA helped. We got out thanks to Good Samaritans who were also stranded.”

The athletes 

The NFL decided to postpone Sunday night’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, mainly out of concern for keeping sports fans, who were planning to attend the game in Philly, off the roads.  This logic was not enough for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who’s been plastered all over television news as saying the U.S. is becoming a “country of wussies.”   

One college basketball team has been thwarted over and over again by the blizzard.  The New York Daily News is reporting that the Fordham Rams were supposed to fly to Atlanta on Sunday to play at Georgia Tech on Monday.Georgia Tech coach called the Rams and said because of snow around Atlanta, many of his players wouldn’t make it back to school on time–so that game got canceled.Then, the Rams decided to head to La Guardia airport and fly straight to San Francisco ahead of their next game on Wednesday. Once they got to the airport, however, the storm had reached the northeast and that flight was cancelled.Then the coach started to get creative–he decided to drive out to Pittsburgh, and the team would head to San Francisco from there. But driving late Sunday night in the middle of the storm, the bus got stuck in Princeton, New Jersey. By late Monday morning, the bus was freed and they continued on to Pittsburgh…. Those are some dedicated players!