The Blog

  • February 9, 2013
  • A Busman’s Holiday

    One of the first things you discover when trying to cover a natural event like the Blizzard of 20013 is how ineffective visuals are.  At my house we have three feet of snow according to the still unofficial estimate.  This might be the area — along Route 95 — in all the mess that picks up the most snow.  We’ll see.  Pictures and video just don’t do it justice.

    When you have that much snow walking through it becomes difficult, something like walking in an equivalent volume of water at the beach, but in some ways more difficult.  It’s cold for one thing but it’s also far from uniform.

    I had to dig a path from my garage to the street to take my dog outside and for him I am sure the surroundings resemble the trenches of World War I, he simply can’t see anything above but a snowy sky.

    For me, digging became an exercise in archaeology — the top layer of snow was cold and dry, light and fluffy but the deeper you go the wetter the snow becomes and it’s thick and heavy.  It’s still snowing here just outside of Boston at about 11 AM on Saturday morning.  I hear that the storm is over in New York City.  But here, the high tides which came at ten, along the coast are causing flooding in the sea-side communities and we’re thinking about the next high tide tonight.

    The storm surge out in the Atlantic is said to be at 32 feet and though some of that dissipates as the surge moves toward land, what finally gets to the coast is still enough to cause a lot of damage.

    There are also about 407,000 homes without electricity at this moment and it will take a while to restore power.  You can’t really work on the wires until the snow stops and in some cases the cables are underground which will require digging through snow and frost in the soil.  Don’t ask.

    No matter where you are in this, it will take days to dig out, to make the roads passable, to make front doors open again and rediscover walkways hidden under the snow — to begin the process of getting back to normal.

    I know you can read all about this in more detail on-line but I am a writer and this is what I do when I don’t have anything else.  It’s a real busman’s holiday.

    Published: 11 years ago

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