Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ice Storm 2009 01 06

Today, we had an ice storm. It was just a thin sheen of ice, hardly nothing, but it was bad enough. Since it was so cold, it was like a skating rink everywhere. The salt trucks were even having trouble driving including one that slid off the road and overturned. I hope the driver was OK. I hadn't heard anything about what happened to him.

At work it was a disaster area. Thank God I got the rood closed off early since it was right after I closed it off, the storm hit. It was raining real hard for a bit then it would go to a drizzle. After all was said and done, there was a thin sheen of ice. It was patches of ice really. Some spots were dry and others were covered with ice. When I went to lunch, it was not bad. After I got back out, it was like a skating rink. I was driving around the north end of the mall and I started to slide. It wasn't like a normal slide. Even though I was going slow, I lost all contact with the road. I started going sideways and took my foot off the gas and just let it slow down. It got past there and I went really slow after that. I started to check the sidewalks and my boss called me on the radio and said to be really careful. As he said that, I stated to slip on the ice, and he was watching me on that camera. He said, "Like that! Now you know to be careful." It was kinda funny.

Anyway, after that, I had to start getting the sidewalks taken care of because the maintenance people weren't able to get in. So I was starting to salt the sidewalks. I got a couple of entrances salted. Then we had to address the service tunnel. Since we are in a relatively built up area, we have no loading docks. Instead, we have a tunnel underneath the mall, where our loading docks are. It is reached by a long, sloping ramp and it was covered with ice. I had to block that off because if a truck tried to use it, they would slide down into the garage door at the bottom. As I got my next bag of Calcium dumped into the spreader, the Mall Operations Manager called me on the radio and told me that he was in and he would take care of it. Since I had already dumped a 50 lb bag of calcium into the spreader it was a little hard to change my mind then. So I decided to start on one of the other sidewalks. I got that one pretty good. After that it was over with for me. The maintenance people were taking care of things.

So I drove around in my truck listening to my portable scanner. I have a walkie-talkie type scanner that I have programed with all the local police, fire and public service frequencies. I also have the TV station News helicopters and field reporters programed in. So I spent the rest of the morning for about an hour listening to all the people struggling to deal with the problems caused by the ice. There were 50 to 75 separate accidents including a couple of police cars! Yep, people hit some police cars.

After that, I got off work and I drove home in a roundabout way to avoid the traffic problems. I got me some gas on the way out since I was pretty low. And I got home OK. That was my day after I got home and went to sleep.

I have been sitting here watching TV. I woke up at 8 and watched a PBS program on the failed Franklin Arctic Expedition. They were one of the first ones who tried to search of the Northwest Passage. For many years their fate was unknown. There had been reports from Inuit natives (Eskimos) that they had managed to make it to one island and there their ships were crushed in this ice. All of the members of the expedition perished. Some resorted to cannibalism. The sad fact was that they had the most advanced technology of the day. Their ship was was equipped with an iron reinforced bow, and a steam engine to allow them to try to break through the ice. They were the first long range expedition to use canned food. This proved to be a detriment to them, because the cans were sealed by lead solder and that caused lead poisoning. Then they suffered from scurvy and all together added up to them suffering from paranoia and dementia. They couldn't survive. It was so sad.

Then I watched something about Katrina. There is an old man that was the only one to come back to his neighborhood. He built his house himself and since he wanted to do it himself he had a lot of difficulty getting assistance. Its so sad about the Katrina survivors. I couldn't imagine going through that.

Well, that's about all for my day. I am sitting here writing now.

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.