The storm hit here during the day Thursday...by the time I got up mid afternoon (night shift) it was a winter wonderland outside. Colleagues told of the efforts they went to just to get into work on time. Some leaving home 3 hours early for their usual 30 minute commute just to arrive safe and sound. My own drive in was slow and steady with thankfully only a couple of white knuckle moments. I do however confess to uttering a few expletives at a few passing truck drivers who insisted on barrelling down the highway at ridiculous speeds, whilst the rest of us were inching along.
Being an essential service, calling in a "snow day" simply isn't an option. Authorities were urging people to stay off the roads and only travel if it was absolutely necessary. The ice rain hit around midnight and from then onwards the rest of my shift is just a blur of frantic calls from citizens as the weight of the snow and ice brought down trees, split hydro poles in half, brought power lines down, caused electricity transformers to explode and the Don River broke her banks in a number of areas causing flooding.
Midway through the night frustrations were starting to show. The calls waiting in the 911 queue were at an all time high as we tried to answer them as quickly as possible - it was a total nightmare - our time was being eaten up not by trying to answer the lines, but in trying to advise both the city works department and hydro-electric. Eventually they both simply stopped answering their lines and tempers on the floor were running very short. How nice to be able to just "switch off" the phones when the pressure is too much.
This evening watching the news there have been many news stories detailing the damage left by the storm. Thousands of residents are without power and some may be waiting until Sunday according to Hydro to get power back. Check out this great video/news story from CITY TV.
My thanks and appreciation goes out not only to my colleagues - our humour helped us make it through the night - but to the guys and girls on the road who were detailed to endless calls for live hydro wires down, power outages, trees down, car accidents and flooding in addition to all the usual calls they attend. Crime doesn't stop unfortunately, but thankfully it slowed a little for us last night.
There were numerous calls last night that caused us all to stop, laugh and shake our heads at the sheltered, pampered lives of some people. One indignant woman called in a noise complaint, the excessive noise outside was preventing her from sleeping and she was insistent that we attend immediately and deal with the situation, as her peace, quiet and the enjoyment of her home was being interrupted by this horrific noise pollution. The source of her displeasure? A snow plow. She objected to the snow plows being out at night, plowing the streets, the sounds of their blades dragging across the road surface was keeping her awake. She didn't feel this work should be done at night whilst everyone was trying to sleep.
I shake my head ...oh to be so blissfully ignorant...oh to have such a pampered and perfect life.