Nemo Doesn’t Make The Old Man’s Top Ten List

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As it is with all major storms, “Nemo” left behind a major mess in New England.  My neighbors to the southeast really got nailed.  More than two feet of snow, blizzard conditions for many, extremely bad road conditions and power outages at a time when the extreme cold is deadly.

I’m in Vermont – less than an hour’s drive from the Canadian border.  We’re quite thankful that we only got 16-20 inches of fluffy snow, as opposed to 16-20 inches of wet, heavy snow or two inches of solid ice.  My “plow guy” only had to clear the driveway three times, which caused my checkbook to smile.  I’ve seen storms that required twice that many visits just to keep my 110 foot vehicle access to the main road wide open.  In my younger days that job would have fallen to me and the kids, operating snow shovels for hours on end.  A debilitating back injury for me, and the kids all moving out to start their own families, put an end to that.

It’s always fun to research the major weather events I’ve lived through here in Vermont and – for five years – in Texas.  I’m constantly changing my “top ten list” as new events are experienced and documented.  Oddly enough, Nemo wouldn’t even make the list.  We dodged a bullet and we know it.  The same cannot be said for the folks in southern New England, who didn’t need this devastation on top of Hurricane Sandy.  Again, our snow removal crews and power companies are sending much needed help to our neighbors.

This is how it was done back in the day.  A team of horses pulled the snow roller and the roller packed the snow to allow sleighs a smooth ride from here to there.  It’s interesting to note that whenever the roller arrived at a bridge, the men climbed down and used shovels to put fresh snow on the wooden planks.  This was especially tedious work at covered bridges.

Image credit:
University of Vermont Libraries Center for Digital Initiatives

Because of need, we have scads of heavy duty snow removal equipment constantly at the ready, along with highly experienced operators who are prepared to open our roads and keep them open from the start of every storm to their conclusion.  It’s not uncommon for these men and women to plow, sand and salt our roads for 14 straight hours, grab a couple of hours sleep, and then head right back out and do it again.

Every once in awhile the local, private snow removal guys will get a little silly in the middle of the night – line up their pickup trucks on main street in some small town – and proceed to plow the entire street right down to the blacktop.  (Nobody said it has to be all work and no play).  Hospital and nursing home parking lots have also been “mysteriously” plowed clean of heavy snow on many an occasion.  They’re not supposed to do that, of course, but who would be fool enough to stop them?

Have a tale to tell about bad storms in your neck of the woods?  Tell us about it in the comments section.

You can follow Dell on Twitter @GoldenEagle and Sarah @IndieSentinel.

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