Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Christmas?

As everyone in Waterbury knows, we had a major snowstorm yesterday, dumping approximately eight inches of the fluffy white stuff on us very rapidly. I had hoped to run my errands Friday morning and get home before it started, but I only got one errand done before the snow started. The roads were slippery almost instantly. If I had gone directly home then, I would have been fine, but I still needed to buy cat food. There had been only enough for the cats to have a light breakfast that morning. If I had dared go home without food, I probably would not have survived the night.

Normally, it takes me ten or twelve minutes to get home from PetSmart. Yesterday it took two hours. I should have left my car in one of the parking garages and walked home. Fortunately, I bought a packet of Cracker Jacks along with the cat food. Unfortunately, I put them in the trunk, since I didn't expect that getting home would take so long. By the time I got to the mall block of East Main Street I was starving. Traffic was going extremely slowly, with long pauses of two to five minutes, so I hopped out of the car, slid cautiously along the iced-over roadway, grabbed the Cracker Jacks, ignored the driver two cars behind who was outraged that I would do such a thing and started honking at me, and settled back in my seat with time to spare. That same impatient driver got mad at me again when we finally got to the intersection with Route 69, where we were both turning left. I stopped when the light turned yellow, because otherwise I would have had to stop in the middle of the intersection. Impatient driver started honking again. Bear in mind that traffic was going at most 5 mph. Nobody was going to get anywhere quickly. When the light turned green again, the impatient driver decided to try passing me, and didn't seem at all subdued when he started sliding back and forth. Of course, he also was not subdued by the sight of another car that had slid into a snow bank. I really was amazed by the several drivers who seemed oblivious to the road conditions. I was even more amazed that I made it home without getting rear-ended by one of them.

Today the roads were slightly better, especially since all the drivers were going slowly, cautiously and considerately. I thought the roads were be better than they were by mid-afternoon. Does Waterbury not have enough snow plows, or are the plow drivers all on strike? My street and all the other side streets in my neighborhood haven't been plowed yet, although they do all have a little bit of sand on them. Sand really isn't enough. When I came home today, I saw a big SUV attempting to push a little car up a side street. I don't know if they succeeded. More surprising was, yesterday, seeing that someone had actually tried to drive up Niagara Street, but watching an SUV try to push a car up a snowy street was almost as impressive. I also saw cars repeatedly getting stuck in the same pile of snow at the corner of East Main and the little street that runs from the highway between the mall. The third time I saw someone stuck there, the police had arrived to help out. Wouldn't it have been better if someone had plowed that spot earlier on?

Tomorrow, we'll possibly be getting more snow, followed by rain. That should be a real mess (as if it weren't bad enough already!). The rain is more worrying than the snow. Everything, including storm drains, is still buried in snow. The rain water won't have anywhere to go, just flood and then freeze. But maybe it will help clear off a layer of snow.

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