Spring storm provides unscheduled break

U.S. Air Force Academy employees in Colorado Springs, Colo., carefully make their way home during a snowstorm March 26. Personnel were released early so that they could get home before the worst of the storm hit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. Air Force Academy employees in Colorado Springs, Colo., carefully make their way home during a snowstorm March 26. Personnel were released early so that they could get home before the worst of the storm hit. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- There are likely already as many stories about the spring blizzard of March 26 as there are people who were on the Academy at the time. 

Thursday afternoon most departed early and only mission essential members reported to work the following day. 

"It was rough driving home in the blizzard after the early release," said Senior Airman Joshua Gabert, with the diagnostic imaging department, 10th Medical Group. "There were a lot of abandoned cars along Pine Drive. I put my truck into four-wheel drive and took my time driving home." 

Academy and downtown roads were a sheet of ice with blowing snow that greatly reduced visibility. 

Airman Gabert's family resides on the Academy and they made the most of it. 

"During the blizzard, my wife and I took advantage of the time indoors and began packing some things for when we move later this month," he said. "Besides packing the house up, my wife, daughter and I relaxed and spent time together." 

Community center library aide Melanie East put her truck in four-wheel drive. 

"I drove slowly past several abandoned cars pulled off the side of the road and made it home just fine," she said. "I enjoyed the fact that my whole family was home safe and sound! We watched movies with the family, and I read a good book."