Sunday, December 18, 2005

Heck of a Snowstorm!

Wow! That was something else. I was really amazed about the things I saw the day of the 41 cm (16 in) snowstorm that blew through here Friday morning. It's not that I had not seen that much snow before, just how quickly it arrived, how people and the city dealt with it, and the aftermath or lack of.

I went to sleep at midnight Thursday night. I purposely looked outside because I knew that the snow as coming before sunrise and I wanted to see if it had started. No snow yet. When I woke up at 6am, there was at least 15 cm (6") and by the time I got out to start clearing it away an hour later, it was about 20 cm (8"). We allowed extra time for the morning commute and it seemed to work out fine. I got to work right on time 90 minutes later. It was slippery and I plucked a 60 pound bag of sand in the trunk for more traction. We followed the city construction grader plows up St.Laurent til we got to Ontario. We sat at the light and cars were sitting diagonnally criss-cross up the slope to Sherbrooke and none were moving. We managed to get over to Berri and take it's gentler slope.

At work I could see all the city snow removal equipment working at full force clearing streets and sidewalks as the snow as still coming down. I ventured out (without my camera unfortunately) and had fun pushing through the snow. It reminded me of cross country where our coach would take us running up and down the beach on Sunday. Except this time no one was yelling at me to pick up the pace. The sight of a city covered with a 16" blanket of new snow was astounding. Just everything was covered. Then every so often people were digging out their cars and cleaning them off with shovels. Not brushes, shovels.

It only took me 20 minutes to get my car cleaned off, dug out, and pulled out of the space. It was fairly easy since all the snow was light and fluffy. Every street width was reduced. Two lane streets became one lane streets. Some one lane streets became obstacle courses with cars parked diagonnally. It really was like a war zone. The commute was amazingly good. We think everyone else went home early. The only thing that slowed us down was the road conditions. Though when we got home there was a three foot high line of snow blocking the driveway. And it was hard pack from the snow plows. So I dug out the bare minimum and left the rest for over the weekend.

This whole thing has been quite an experience. Definitely early for this much snow, but good exercise. Let's just hope it's a while before we get another.

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