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Monday, March 20, 2017

Unfinished Monday: Blizzard Edition

The snow started falling one week ago tonight...

A lot of things impressed me, and here is a partial list:  the volunteers, young and old, who shoveled the area around fire hydrants...  neighbor helping neighbor...  stranger helping stranger...  people stuck at work for extra hours, or even days...  the work of the road crews and first responders...

I spent one night in a hotel, and that was more than enough.  Other than out of town assignments, this is the first time a storm has kept me from getting home.  As I noted last week, I slept poorly.  It wasn't the hotel's fault.  One of the factors was the lack of a radio.  I always sleep with the radio on at home.  I guess the days of clock radios in hotels are over.  There was a very nice clock on the night stand.  No radio.  The hotel had wi fi, and I could have punched something up on my phone, but I didn't want the hassle.  Mistake on my part.

Was the snow removal a perfect operation?  No.  There were things that could have done better, but show me any venture, personal or professional, public or private where there wasn't room for improvement.  I trust the Blizzard of  '17 will be used as a teaching moment.  At least, interstates weren't shut down and drivers stranded, as in past storms.

It seems like most of the problems were in the cities.  As one mayor noted, the snow couldn't be pushed.  It had to be picked up and carried away.  Try to do that on a narrow street with cars parked all over the place.  It's not easy.  Outside of hiring an army, I can't think of a solution.  If you have one, I'd love to hear it.

For a writer, the words for this part are difficult to choose.  The storm was serious business.  People died.  Property damaged.  Crashes.  Injuries.  We haven't heard the last of this.  Schools have to make up days.  Roof damage.  Removal bills.  I don't want to make light of the situation, but working for my little slice of the blizzard was rewarding.  We got some good information out there on a timely basis.  I upped my social media game.  I watched coworkers rise to the occasion.  I got to know some a little better.  I don't want to use the word "fun" when so many were experiencing so many horrible issues.  It reminded me quite a bit of covering flooding back in January of 1996, when I was down the street.

I guess, to sum it up, it was an interesting and fascinating experience.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for spring.