Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Like a Tonka Truck for Grups

We’re supposed to get another 2-4 inches of snow tomorrow!! Weatherfolk say 100% chance. That’s got to mean something, right? I love the snow we’ve been getting these past couple weeks … it’s like New England snow! Fluffy and powdery and still white more than a week later.

So much better than the snow we usually get out here, which isn’t really even snow …. it’s actually wind-driven sleet and ice that sheaths everything in two inches of frozen armor that’s almost impossible to remove without a flamethrower.

The only problem is that this area isn’t very prepared for street cleanup. I do believe I’m spoiled, seeing as I’m used to the enormous spreader/plow combos that tackle just about every type of snow Mother Nature cares to visit upon her peeps, running throughout the storm as well as after, because if there’s one thing New England weather has taught New Englanders, it’s to stay ahead of the weather.

I remember listening to the big plows blast by, all through the night, lit up like the brightest Summer day, whilst ‘sleeping’ in my toasty warm bed, hoping for a school closing the next morning. No such luck. Eight inches of newly fallen powder overnight? No worries! Roads are clear. Get up and get a move on kiddies!

And all those stories Uncle Paul would tell, about how he’d been plowing 18 straight hours, preceded by 4 hours of spreading, preceded by 5 hours of sleep, preceded by 12 hours of plowing, etc. He loved blizzards! He knew exactly how many hours of spreading and plowing he needed in order to make enough to cover the expenses running his leviathans for the year, and at which point he’d start to turn a profit. And we had some exceedingly snowy Winters back home.

Maybe it’s because New England big bad weather systems are hurricanes, and Midwest big bag weather systems are tornadoes … perhaps its that lack of prep time that has shaped the weather-minds of people out here into the, “Oh, well … if its going to happen, we’ll just have to hope to survive it.”

Really? Really. C’mon, people! Send someone to New England, or Colorado, or Minnesota … somewhere they know how to deal with snow. That way you’ll understand why a bunch of pickup trucks with plow attachments aren’t going to cut it. And of course the salt won’t work if it’s too cold … but if you’d been plowing and sanding from the get-go, the roads wouldn’t be rim-deep in powder. Der.

But, on the plus side? They shut everything down here, so at least I don’t have to worry about some idiot who can’t drive. Take last night: everyone was back to work after the holiday, and apparently they all stayed late to catch up on work, because when I was on my way home at 6pm, the roads were a gridlock. Took close to two hours to get home.

Why? Because people forgot how to drive after dark on frozen roads. Apparently, since it wasn't actively snowing, they decided it was okay to drive like it was a sunny Spring morning. First, I couldn’t merge onto 70 because it was a parking lot, so I exited onto 35, which became a parking lot at the top of the entrance ramp. Sigh. So I got off on 31st (surface street) which wasn’t even plowed! Days after the last snowfall!

So I dropped onto 71, which was clear, but busy, then exited onto 63rd … also barely plowed … and finally onto 150. Screech! Major something up ahead, with Police, Fire, the whole shebang.

So, this snow we’re expecting tomorrow? Yeah, supposed to be followed up by -35 degree wind chill Friday. That’s ‘negative thirty five degrees’. Isn’t that, like, frostbitten-nose-walking-out-to-the-mailbox weather?


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