Minnesota Farmer


Snow, Cold, but no Blow
December 29, 2009, 5:58 pm
Filed under: blizzard, Farm, Holidays, Minnesota, snow

The week has provided us with snowfall of record proportions for our area.  The weather has now started to get a bit colder with highs in the single digits above zero.  The weather man has predicted wind several times this month, but has never delivered.  Because of that we have not yet had a true blizzard despite what some may say.  That does not mean that life has not been a challenge.

Yesterday morning a light wind started some drifting and the sun broke through creating a beautiful looking day.  One of my elderly neighbors decided she would go see the doctor, but neglected to check to see if her road was open.  Her SUV almost made it to the highway.  When I chanced by a pair of young snowmobilers were trying to dig her out with their hands.  Since I had the tractor with the blower attached and a snow shovel in the rock box, we made short work of getting her on her way.

This brings up a couple of facts of life out here on the prairie.

  • If you do not live on a major road, do not expect that the roads will always be open.
  • A SUV does not guarantee you can make it through the drifts.

With the volume of snow we have had many county and township roads are really in tough shape.  Many places already have banks of snow pushed up higher than a tall pickup.  When the wind does blow we are really going to have some plugged roads.  Very few townships have the money to keep the roads open on a “normal” winter.  They are really going to be hurting this year.

I’ve seen to many people who get into a vehicle and just expect that since they have 4 wheel drive they will get there.  Unfortunately a 4X4 will many times only get you in deeper.  The confidence of 4 wheel drive also seems to make people think that they can drive faster on bad roads.  They forget that they cannot stop any faster and end up in a ditch or a collision.

This winter is going to demand a large amount of caution from many folks.  I’m afraid that, despite the many warnings, someone is going to lose their life this winter.  All of the elements are already in place.  Please be careful out there.

Michael

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