Thursday, December 30, 2010

Poor Visibility and Driving Conditions (Mess on I-94)

You know that it might be a hard travel when you hear "Poor visibility and driving conditions. Drive carefully" But really, would you be expecting this?

The 2 pictures above were taken at 10:07 am on I-94 this morning. North Dakota, coming from Bismarck to Fargo. They might seem like the same to you, but they are not. Really, after all day driving through this, they seem are different. In the second picture, the road was "clearing up" a little. Yeah sure, laugh. Yeah, right now, laugh at the minor difference in the picture. I am laughing too. No, really, I am! Because I agree, there is no much clearing up going on, but boy did we love it when the road looked like the second picture for a few seconds. Yeah, you read that right, seconds.

At 10:09 am, we were back on as you can see.
 This following picture was taken at 10:20 am. Now that was a good road! Oh and it lasted...well, a few more seconds! Yeah! Sure you can cheer! You can say, "I am so glad that Andy and Ellen did not have to travel in that treacherous weather all morning/afternoon, and they got  a little break for a somewhat clear road for...well..." let me finish that sentence for you, it was a few longer seconds. Yeah seconds. But do notice, I said longer seconds. It was longer, I promise.

(Sure, you can see ahead that we are about to hit the "brick" or snow once again)

For the next couple of pictures taken at 1:11 pm, please keep in mind that I did not "accidentally" post blank pictures. No really, there is a road in there. No really, I promise. You don't think so? Really, take a closer look. Click on the pictures and enlarge if you need to, but that is a road, it is I-94.

Oh but don't worry, it cleared up afterwards.
Now, this picture makes the road look "nice" compared to the previous ones, doesn't it? Except...wait a second... yeah, that is right, it looked better compared to the previous pictures, but really, is this any better?
 Just a minute later, and still look at that mess.
I-94 was closed due to weather and visibility of up to "zero." Oh really? We thought it was about a "one."
Okay sure, we were on the road, what were we thinking? Just trying to get back home, and there was no pulling over, now that would have been dangerous. With no visibility, the last thing you want to do is be at the side of the road where nobody can see you until they hit you.

We were not going to push it anymore, our plan was to stay in Fargo and stay for the day. When we were only 10 miles away from Fargo (we estimated it would have taken us about 45 minutes to an hour because of how slow we had to go) we were detoured. Turns out there was a bad accident just ahead of us where they estimate over 100 cars were involved. Oh I know, I am given to exaggeration, I know. However, this is no exaggeration. When you are driving 15 miles an hour (sometimes less, sometimes a whooping 25 on the good stretches) when you have limited visibility, and I forgot to mention the road is pure ice, well, one time you see snow, the next there is a car and when you  brake you slide, you hit the car ahead of you. And then since not one person can see more than 10 feet ahead, well...the cars pile up...quickly. And we barley missed being sent away, I bet there were only about 15 cars ahead of us that made it to the detour as well.

The was BAD. And God saved us from what could have been a bad accident as we slid off the road. I do call it a miracle as we slid into the on-coming traffic lane, avoiding a collision in front of us of about 4 or 5 cars, and we slid back into our lane following a large semi with lots of lights (which made it easier to see) It was like God was playing cars and he just gently moved our car away from harm.
This last picture is of Fargo. The town actually, no more I-94. yeah, it looks bad too. And the ice was accumulating on the windshield like crazy. At every stop light, people would get out of the car and scrape the wipers or windshields. It was really that bad.

And if the pictures were not enough fun, I will delight you even more, here is a little video so you can "see" what we could (or could not) see. And for an added bonus, a Veggie Tales song in the background.


  1. oh boy that is frightening. so glad you all were ok.

  2. Oh my goodness! When you said it was BAD you meant it! I'm SO thankful you are all OK. You've been on my mind and in my prayers all day!


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