Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow Day

It was a day to dread, both personally and professionally.  There were predictions of a nor'easter striking our area beginning early Tuesday morning.

First, I don't like driving in snow and ice.  Second, the story presented a number of news related challenges.

Strangely, I enjoy my drive in to work, and I often take the long way, using the opportunity to gather some thoughts and enjoy some quiet time.  I left for work early Tuesday morning.  On the way, some mist started hitting my windshield.  A couple of turns put me on the short route to the office.  Quiet time wasn't worth sliding in to a tree.

When I got to the office, producer Thomas and I discussed our options.  We checked the forecast maps and looked at the radar.  This looked to be a high elevation event, at least at the beginning.  We settled on Mount Pocono as the place to be.  A shopping center parking lot off Route 940 is one of my preferred locations.  You can safely be off the road, but still be close enough to see what's going on.  There's enough activity to make for a decent background.

Then, there's the story telling.  It's hard to see cold, changing temperatures, and ice.  I grabbed a big thermometer from the newsroom wall and taped it to a tree when I got to Mount Pocono.    That would help tell the temperature story.

Strangely enough, I carry a regulation size and weight, but orange, hockey puck in my bag.  In ice storms of years past, I slid a soda bottle across the ice to demonstrate the effect of freezing rain.   The last time I did that was an ice storm in the Bear Creek area back in February of 2013.  I vowed that day to try something different.  An online search turned up the orange hockey pucks.  I placed the order, and this was the first time I had the chance to slide one across a glazed parking lot.

The snow and ice eventually turned to rain.  It warmed slightly, and road conditions approved.  We moved to Mount Cobb for our noon broadcast, put together a quick video tour of conditions, including the whopping one inch of accumulated slush, and we were good to go.  It was a relief to hand off the story to others.  I was cold and wet. It felt good to go home and change in to some dry stuff.

The ride home was uneventful.  It was foggy and the road was wet.  No problems, other than the drivers who still refuse to obey state regulations and turn on their headlights when it rains.

The snow isn't over, but at least it falls on my off day, when I can watch and not get behind the wheel.