Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Last One ?

Okay, so what is a snowy day like for a morning television reporter?

Let's start at the beginning.  I got to the office at 2 AM Tuesday, about a half hour earlier than usual.  I was worried about driving to the station on snowy roads, but my fears were unfounded.  My eight mile trip was a breeze, with nothing more than a little slush on the ramps.

Then, there was the discussion over where to go.  We look for the harder hit areas, and it appeared Monroe County got the most snow.  Photographer Corey Burns and I jumped in the truck around 3:30 AM and headed out.

We thought we were in trouble.  The roads weren't bad at all, and we weren't seeing much snow.  That all changed when we got to the higher elevations.  Interstate 380 started getting slick around Tobyhanna, and it got worse as we approached Mount Pocono.

Once we got off the highway, there was another decision-- where to set up.  There are some basic criteria.  We want to be close to, but not on, a highway.  It should be lit so you can see the pre dawn activity.  We knew we'd be there for hours, so proximity to a bathroom is important.

The facilities were in a 24 hour McDonald's along Route 940.  It's important to not leak and run, so I always try to buy something as a courtesy.  Believe me, you haven't lived until you've had a hot Sausage McMuffin, fresh out of the fryer, on a cold and wet morning.  It was outstanding.

It was your typical "Snow Dog" performance.  We walked, talked, and showed you what was happening.  We didn't see a flake of snow during our visit.  The snow had stopped before we got there.  However, we did encounter something worse-- freezing rain.  The broadcast was a success on two levels.  Rain and electronics don't mix.  Corey managed to keep everything dry and operating.  Plus, I managed to stay on my feet and not fall down.

The morning broadcast ended, and we worked on a piece for noon.  Just before we left, the freezing rain turned to sleet.

A change in location was appropriate, so we set out for Interstate 84 in Mount Cobb.  That's when the snow returned.  It snowed non stop during our drive.  We saw a couple vehicles off the road.  Traffic crawled.  We made it in one piece. 

I banged out a story on my laptop in the truck, handed the script to Corey, and a noon story was born.

We were cold and wet.  It felt good to drop the mast of the truck at 12:05 and head back to the office.  It was a long day.

The first "Snow Dog" reports of the year were way back in November.  It hasn't been a severe winter, but it has been a long one.  As I write this, there's a chance for a storm early next week.  Ugh!  I hoped to retire the road reports for the season.

Wait and see.