Woman Stranded For Three Days During Iowa Snowstorm Survives
Thanksgiving is a big time of year for travel. There are tons of people on the roads trying to get to their families and friends for the holiday and a 72-year-old Canadian woman was one of them.
According to the Des Moines Register, Terry Harnish from Nova Scotia was headed to visit her friends near Fairfield, IA (where she lived for five years in the 90s) on Thanksgiving day when she took a wrong turn on a dirt road outside of the town. That's where the first of many problems began. Harnish told the Register that she "encountered several inches of mud on the road when her rental car started to fishtail." She attempted to turn around when her Nissan got "stuck in mud up to the wheel wells", as stated in the report.
Harnish realizing that her vehicle was stuck and that she was without a phone, tried to walk to a nearby farmhouse. Those efforts quickly went downhill since the mud was so thick that she kept getting stuck. She had also recently had her knee replaced which wasn't helping the situation any. Harnish recalls losing her balance, falling face first in the mud, and laying there for TWO hours before she gained her strength to get up. She knew that returning to her car was her best bet so she struggled through the mud to make her way back. When she finally did make it back to her car, the next few days were spent turning the car on and off periodically to try to keep warm. She also snacked on a bottle of kombucha and the Swedish cake marzipan that she had with her in the car. Early Sunday, just before the massive snowstorm was supposed to hit dropping temps to 28 degrees, she ran out of gas.
Harnish's friends filed a missing person's report with the Fairfield Police Department. Officials began searching the area and a missing person's alert was broadcast. Unfortunately, the road that Terry Harnish was on was too far off of travel-able roads during this time of year, so efforts from the search came up short.
Oddly enough, it wasn't until Sunday's blizzard rolled through the area that she was rescued. Harnish saw two teenagers driving snowmobiles, so she turned on her hazzards, flashed her lights, and honked her horn to get their attention. Thankfully, they noticed her and got help. The father of the two teenage boys came with his tractor to take Harnish back to town. It had been more than 78 hours from the time Harnish left the Maharishi University of Management where she was staying until she was rescued and returned to town. That's THREE days stranded in her vehicle!
Thankfully Harnish suffered no injuries and remains in good spirits.
I'm doing well for a 72-year-old spinster," she told the Des Moines Register.
Terry Harnish, who is a professional storyteller, will definitely have one for the books! This certainly was a Thanksgiving that she will never forget.