December 12, 2010

SNOMFG: The Minneapolis Blizzard of 2010

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 7:09 pm

We found out Friday during rehearsal that there was a storm a-comin’. Some people thought it would be the storm of the decade. Some people were like, “it’s Minneapolis, they’re not afraid of snow.” We devised our rehearsal schedule for Saturday in such a way that if the people who weren’t staying within walking distance of the Guthrie got snowed in, we wouldn’t be totally screwed. Then we went to bed.

The storm began around midnight Saturday. Before I left the house at about 8:30AM, I looked out the window and could barely see the Guthrie. I live about two diagonal blocks away.

Out the Window

Here’s my typical view:

Here’s the view on Saturday morning (the camera is panned a little more to the right):

When I left the house there seemed to be about 6-8″ already on the ground. We began our rehearsal day, occasionally peeking out the window (we keep the blinds down usually) to see that our usual view of the Mississippi and the factories across the river was a view of total whiteness. You couldn’t see the river at all. One of the bridges was the faintest shadow. Then we decided this needed to be seen from the Endless Bridge (which I spoke about a bit at the end of my last post).

The Endless Bridge

On our lunch, I walked out to the end of the bridge.

Here’s a picture of me in 2008, also during a snowstorm apparently.

Note that you can see the snow-covered river, the bridge, and buildings on the other side.

Here’s the view on Saturday. I didn’t go outside because the snow was about a foot high in front of the door, so I had to take a picture out the blue window. The bench in the foreground is the one I’m standing against in the above picture. The whiteish spots are the reflections of the other windows on the bridge.

We finished rehearsal at 3:30, with the snow forecasted to continue until midnight. By the time we left rehearsal the snow was over a foot. I walked home through sidewalks completely covered in a foot of soft snow, that had had barely any covering them when I walked them in the morning. That was exhausting. Around the same time the city/county stopped bus service and recalled the plows from the roads. I think this is when people started to realize how screwed we were. I was just glad all our actors could get home.

This morning we woke up and had to make it back in for another 9:30 rehearsal, with the city covered in snow and temperatures now hovering around zero. Meaghan called me just as I was about to leave the house to report that her car was stuck in an unplowed driveway to the Guthrie’s parking garage. I joined her — thankfully she had a shovel in her car, and I cleared a neater path as she guided her car between the snowbanks.

One of our actors’ car was snowed in at home, but he couldn’t take public transportation as he did the day before, because bus service wasn’t resuming until 10AM. He eventually managed to get a cab, and was miraculously only about 15 minutes late.

After getting my morning workout shoveling the parking garage, we finally got to the rehearsal room, where our director told us about the Metrodome roof caving in overnight. I was staring right at it while shoveling snow, and didn’t notice. So before rehearsal I took a quick trip up to the 9th floor lobby, which provides a perfect view out its crazy yellow windows.

The Metrodome

Here it is last year, just before the final Vikings playoff game:

And today, as one of my actors described it, “Like a souffle that couldn’t.”

Also, there’s a crazy video of the inside as the roof came down:

All in all I believe it was recorded as 17″ of snow. The streets seem pretty clear, at least around here, but the sidewalks have taken all of the snow that was plowed off the street, and are still piled up several feet high on some blocks, especially at the corners. I will have to be more selective about which streets to walk down. Getting home today was a bit of a mountain-climbing adventure.

Towards the end of rehearsal today I got creative with my water bottle, which seemed to sum up what this weekend has been like: