Welcome to the Winter Storm Cleon live blog, where will be constantly updating you about a storm that is potentially the apocalypse, another damp squib, or somewhere in between the two. As you are no doubt aware, the Weather Channel's harbinger of sky death, Jim Cantore, is on the ground in Dallas. This means that the end is nigh. Hug your loved ones, locate some firewood (and some toilet paper, for some reason everyone always stockpiles that stuff), and prepare to renounce all your earthly possessions. I will be here for you until the winter storm takes me too.
Congratulations North Texas. You made it through the FREEZING FOG ADVISORY, probably without ever figuring out what the hell freezing fog is. (For the record: According to Jeff Harby, a random meteorologist we found on the Intenet, "Fog tends to not produce measurable precipitation by itself but it can still wet and moisten objects. In the case of freezing fog, the fog cloud droplets are supercooled. When a droplet contacts an object below freezing it will turn to ice.")
But danger remains, particularly for vehicles parked at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. RIP Chevrolet Impala posted to Reddit:
At first, we wondered if it was a joke. Then, we saw the video.
Terrifying news from Delkus --
— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) December 8, 2013
How can fog be cold? I'm no meteorologist, but it seems to me it's more likely that it'll be really cold and then also there will be fog. Or is the fog inherently freezing?
This is the sort of insight you come to this blog for, obviously.
More importantly, what is a visibility of "2"? Is it 2 feet? 2 miles? 2 inches? I'm not going outside, I just want to know if I'll be able to see my car from my front door. Those of you saying "why not just look out your front door?" well, it's dark, you idiot.
Here's how your favorite political columnist, Jim Schutze, spent the Icepocalypse.
"Walking my two dogs, Dorothy and Penny, we came upon an entire flock of pigeons somehow disabled by the cold, causing them to scuttle on the ground longer than usual before taking flight, which incited an insane hunting frenzy in the dogs who could not be calmed and took off in all directions at once after the poor grounded pigeons, all of this on a sheet of ice in the middle of the street, so that I could not come to a full stop anywhere and had to skate around behind the stupid dogs in the middle of the street screaming at them to stop to absolutely no avail.
The pigeons all escaped. I did not fall. The dogs came home bouncy and happy like it had been the best walk ever."
Rest assured Jim has excellent health insurance anyway.
At 5:45 a.m. Saturday, the steps leading to the Emergency Room at Presbyterian Hospital Dallas were coated in black, glass-smooth ice, according to Observer copy editor Jesse Hughey. It was as if they were trying to drum up business. He was far too stoned on painkillers to take note of whether the treacherous conditions had improved on his way out that afternoon, much less do any actual journalism like, say, making a five-minute phone call to ask.
We're hearing that some people got stuck on I-35E in Denton County for upwards of 24 hours. I hope their journeys were extremely important, because that's pretty miserable. If you're just heading a couple of exits down to a bar, however, and you get stuck in that, then you should probably reconsider your whole decision-making process. One man was driving from Oklahoma City to Dallas to see Kanye. "We left Oklahoma City around 2:30 p.m. yesterday and we still aren't even in Sanger, Texas and it's almost noon the next day," he told WFAA. Kanye believe it? At least that stretch of 35 has enough chain restaurants to feed the entire population of Luxembourg, and crucially TWO Waffle Houses.
Are Waffle Houses closed? Like hell are they. Waffle Houses wouldn't close if Chutulhu himself were perched on top of them, eating people like hash browns. If your power goes out (and I'm hearing stories of people without power for two days now in the northern 'burbs) let's all meet at a Waffle House. The one in Carrollton is really near Babe's. Just saying.
People are also stranded at the airport. Lots of people are stranded in their homes. People are presumably stranded at wherever they were at about 6pm on Thursday night, meaning there's probably still some people in The Loon as well. Stay put, guys. Next time this happens we'll all have flying drones to bring us stuff, anyway.
Much as you might want me to update this blog, there is literally nothing happening. We're all stuck inside and everything is cancelled. Even the road outside my house is cancelled by the police. "But Gavin," I hear you cry "this blog didn't feature any useful content, information, commentary, or even words in the first place, and so should be easy to maintain!"
Be that as it might, I've got one hell of a box wine hangover. Given that I am prone to laziness, I simply asked Twitter how they were passing the time being stuck inside, and then re-purposed that as content. The modern world is a wonderful thing.
@Dallas_Observer Roasting a chicken and making stock. Switching between Texas and Mizzou games. Drinking.
— Tracy Gamble (@TracyGamble) December 8, 2013
I don't know what Mizzou is, but I'm going to assume it's some sort of all-powerful wizard that can melt all the ice. Thanks Tracy, I feel reassured.
Meanwhile, a Golden Labrador is working on its sex life.
— H (@RealSmarticus) December 8, 2013
Let's not speculate about what a personal massager for a very lovely breed of man's best friend looks like.
@Dallas_Observer Slowly going insane? (It does pass the time).
— Tracy Rhodes (@TracyRhodes) December 8, 2013
Me too. I mean, I have a Starbucks gift card and I couldn't even use it if I wanted to. I'm pretty sure that's the worst problem anyone's ever had.
This lady, meanwhile, has made a classic villain's mistake.
@Dallas_Observer we killed a hobo.
— Meh. (@HeyItsHigbe) December 8, 2013
Not only has she publicly admitted this, but she can't make a getaway, unless she has either a plane or the gritting machines that the city seems so keen on hiding from us.
@Dallas_Observer just play GTA
— 12 Falcons Tweeting (@JaimesonPaul) December 8, 2013
Well, alright Jaime. If you insist.
A breakthrough everyone. We've cracked it. We can officially report, thanks to WFAA, that this ice storm is being caused by some sort of ice witch with an elongated green body. If you look at the radar below, you can clearly see this witch's nose pointing towards Dallas, currently residing in Arkansas.
With her grey hair and her pink/orange face, the only question left is how we appease this continent-spanning sky demon and release our spot of North Texas from her icy grip. I for one, however, welcome our new Ice Sky Witch Overlord.
We just heard that the Dallas Marathon, Sunday's big running event, has been cancelled. The City might not even have access to 26 miles of grit and/or salt, so it seems for the best unless they want the marathon to be dominated by ice hockey players, bodychecking the poor average Joe marathon runner into parked cars and frozen streams.
For some people, this was a lucky escape.
@Dallas_Observer Sucks, this was the year I really might have run it at the last minute. Thanks a lot, Osama.
— Jeff Cormier (@jffcrmr) December 6, 2013
In fact, it might be a lucky escape for us all.
@Dallas_Observer one less opportunity for people to put "26.2" stickers on their cars
— Jon Lawson (@JonWLawson) December 6, 2013
After all, runners on the route might not find ice trees to their liking.
— Sarah Mervosh (@smervosh) December 6, 2013
@Dallas_Observer No shits are given. Now, if I could get someone to turn on the damn lights in my apartment. It's weird pissing in the dark.
— Chris Spencer (@shangothrax) December 6, 2013
Let's all stop for a moment to consider the trees. They are living creatures too, and ice is heavy. No tree can shelter in front of Netflix, basking in the warm glow of the 18th consecutive episode of Archer.
— Andrew Scoggin (@AScoggin) December 6, 2013
No man is an island, but sometimes a tree is.
— Dawn Dizney (@Train_Crazy) December 6, 2013
I'm not even sure what happened to this tree, but it was no doubt tragic.
— Austin Stark (@AustynStark) December 6, 2013
We asked the people of Dallas how the storm had affected them. Lashings of ice sent from above, the world they know transformed into a hell frozen over, danger round every corner.
@Dallas_Observer this ice makes it difficult to find pot.
— $€¥£ (@cramirez430) December 6, 2013
It sure does, series of symbols representing different currencies! Some people, on the other hand, are seeing tragedy wherever they turn this morning.
— Jamie Kelly (@JamieSportsTalk) December 6, 2013
Some animals are being forced to confront inconvenient truths.
— Diane Michelle (@DianeMichelle2L) December 6, 2013
This man, however, has a serious and real problem that we must all come together and help him out with.
@Dallas_Observer i can't pick up the newest issue of the observer
— Adam Rosenfield (@adamrosenfield) December 6, 2013
So, who's got a spare copy and a catapult?
Thank God we have Eric, a man who has actual news sources and the skills to disseminate them with. Anyway, back to me. I can report there is a lot of ice, and people seem sad. We have some updates on concert cancellations, a report from an apocalypse-battered Whole Foods, and a full blog about the harbinger of death himself (not Jim Cantore).
Meanwhile, I'm going to tell you a story. The first week I moved to Dallas was the renowned Superbowl week. I couldn't drive, and, assuming Texas to be all desert like our liberal European propaganda had suggested, I had really only packed shorts. Upon arriving at the small motel by I-35 I was to be staying at, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I called DART to ask them if anything was running, so maybe I could go and buy some milk.
"Sir, we have a lot of snow and ice." "Yes. I can see that. Will any buses be running?" "Sir. We have a lot of snow and ice out there." "I feel like you don't have any real information." "Well, sir, there's a lot of snow and ice."
The DART employee on the other end of the phone's vision and sentiment hold true to this very day, Dallas. There's a lot of snow and ice.
Eric here, taking over briefly for Gavin, who has not yet roused from his Franzia-induced slumber. As you can see by the blanket of slush on the ground, the hyperventilating predictions that Dallas would be "entombed in ice" and the panicked rush to stock up on....meat products(?) was totally justified.
i mean i know its ice,dallas but really? this looks like zombie apocalypse or something expected pic.twitter.com/fyl7hPQqFg
— satori06 (@satori06) December 6, 2013
That said, there are some 215,731 North Texans without power, according to Oncor, half of them in Dallas County. And there were a lot of car wrecks, at least of which was fatal. And there was a small electrical fire in front of the Joule Hotel that was covered as if were a zombie apocalypse. Wilonsky uploaded this video at 3 a.m.:
Head over the page for all of Thursday's hijinx, including Delkus' sleeves, ice crisis pictures, and speculation on the meaning of colors.
Actual Final Update -- It's getting pretty sexy on Twitter, you guys.
— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) December 6, 2013
Definite Final Update -- Delkus finally replies. However, his excuses are poor.
— Dallas Observer (@Dallas_Observer) December 6, 2013
Flights are being cancelled. The roads outside are insane. We're signing off for the night, and we'll be back tomorrow morning. Be safe, Dallas. Keep an eye on Delkus. Stay away from the Krampus.
A.Dd+ rapper Paris Pershun has questions about Pete Delkus too --
@Dallas_Observer im more fascinated with his baseball to meteorologist career change
— SkyDive Tony A.Dd+ (@ParisPershun) December 6, 2013
Reports of tennis ball-sized tennis balls in the Dallas area.
— RevBigJ⚾️ (@RevBigJ) December 6, 2013
Elsewhere, Pete Delkus is yet to respond to the entire internet asking him about his sleeves. I have brought in a cabal of Dallas celebrities to pass their opinion on Delkus' sleeves and will report back with their thoughts.
— Chuck Tanker XXX (@CordinBleu) December 6, 2013
Head over the page to see the rest of Thursday's ice coverage.
Moving colors, you guys. Some of the colors are quite near Dallas. Some less so. In other news, apparently the City is salting things (roads, not food), and there are no power outages yet. Surely, however, it is only a matter of time until I have to continue this blog using only smoke signals. However, I am also informed that Wal-Mart is out of fire starters. So, we're screwed.
I just foolishly tried going outside to get something out of my car. Aside from the fleeing children, the shooting stars, the burning bushes, and other manifold symbolism, my car is literally entombed in ice.
They were all true. All the mocking tone of this blog, all the attempts at light-heartedness, and I had to pull really hard to get into my car.
Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Farewell, brave Denton. You were the first to go. Apart from Grapevine.
Finally, confirmation. As yet, no word on who is flying the helicopters. We're thinking a highly talented gorilla.
@Dallas_Observer Why, yes, we are. Except for the ones we're airlifting out on the Chinooks. Who told?
— The Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) December 6, 2013
A moment's silence for the lost light shows scheduled for tonight. Grapevine, which if you'll remember, we lost earlier on, has cancelled its Parade of Lights, along with the cancellation of the City itself by our Lord and Savior. Garland says their Christmas on the Square is postponed until Thursday, when it will take place within Superman's Fortress of Solitude, and Grand Prairie has cancelled a tree lighting ceremony even though it was indoors.
UNT, UNTDallas, DISD, PISD, and TWU have cancelled everything, in what must go down as a dark day for acroynms everywhere. And Dallas Zoo has wisely chosen to shelter the many creatures it houses, possibly in an ark. We're still waiting on ark confirmation there.
Meanwhile, our neighbors beyond the wall (if you can call Arlington a wall, which it definitely isn't) are clinging on for dear life.
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) December 5, 2013
ICE LIGHTNING, GUYS. THAT'S ALL WE NEED.
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) December 5, 2013
Delkus, meanwhile, has only taken his goddamn jacket off.
— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) December 5, 2013
Some of you may have thought I was dead. You are wrong. I have braved not only I-35, but Harry Hines Boulevard, and an unnamed suburban Wal-Mart to bring you this update.
I can report that the shelves are being cleared by frantic shoppers. First to go are the beers, which are being pounced upon by people who have no clue that the only way to buy is the best ABV to price ratio.
Meanwhile, shoppers crowd around the checkouts, seemingly unable to riot in the traditional American sense during an emergency.
I am now safely ensconced in a bunker somewhere north of Dallas, selflessly putting myself between the storm and downtown. I will report from the scene.
Continue over the page to read the morning and afternoon's coverage.
Actual useful update time: A man whose name cannot be mentioned, but whose name rhymes with "Bobert Wilonsky," suggests that WE HAVE ONE HOUR UNTIL FREEZING RAIN. ONE HOUR. Freezing rain will start to take hold on the roads at about 7 p.m., and by 9 p.m., we are in for a whole world of pain, as the city becomes entombed in ice, Superman moves his Fortress of Solitude to Garland, and Santa opens a branch of his operations in trendy Bishop Arts.
There's even something called Ice Force One ready to go. I have no idea what this is, nor will I do any research, but I can tell you that I imagine it to be a single gold ice-spreader, piloted by Barack Obama himself.
We're worried about you guys. What's going on where you are?
What's the latest where you are, people? Is your house on fire? Are you unable to get out because your door froze? #IcePocalypse2013
— Dallas Observer (@Dallas_Observer) December 5, 2013
Some people are already dead. God bless.
@Dallas_Observer I'm under an Encino-man like layer of ice with only my fingers thawed to Tweet this message.
— Sara Ortega (@sarafortega) December 5, 2013
Some famous Internet writers do not understand meteorology like what I does.
— Alice Laussade (@thecheapbastard) December 5, 2013
BUT MEANWHILE -- IT BEGINS. R.I.P. GRAPEVINE, WE HARDLY KNEW YE.
It is sleeting in Grapevine. Here we go.. #wfaaice
— Cynthia Izaguirre (@wfaaizzy) December 5, 2013
I haven't been outside yet, because we've just been sent news of a harbinger of the apocalypse. Photographer Ed Steele has provided proof that the Krampus is stalking Denton Square. What the Krampus is, I am not entirely sure, but I've never seen one appear WITHOUT an impending apocalypse.
Editor Joe Tone reports he just saw a man outside jogging, shirtless. Whatever the fate of this brave idiot, we salute him. The man, not Joe.
Jim has been reassuring us on Twitter. With one hand he gives, and with the other he takes away, because Friday morning's going to be really terrible.
@Dallas_Observer no it doesn't you good. Early Friday morning worst impact. Stay safe
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) December 5, 2013
That just means we'll have to keep this live blog up for a good while yet. Does anyone know any fireside stories? I'm going outside. I might be some time. However, I might also be back very soon. We'll see.
WFAA is terrifying us with an amazing palette of colors. We are considering an office re-design in line with these wonderful hues. Wintery, yet graceful. Strong, yet subtle.
We've reached out to Jim Cantore for an exact date and time on the apocalypse front of things. We'll let you know if he decides to talk to us, but given that he just gave us a public "whatever," we've probably closed that avenue already.
UPDATE: Jim is not pleased.
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) December 5, 2013
Jim's getting excited.
Light rain has begun in #Dallas.
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) December 5, 2013
Others are calling out Jim.
— Derek Pettifer (@DerekPettifer) December 5, 2013
Meanwhile, the storm has discovered the power of social media.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Hi, Dallas. I'm about to drop in for a visit. #Cleon
— Mr Cleon WinterStorm (@DallasCleon2013) December 5, 2013
We turn to Ron Paul for his verdict on the storm.