on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Severe Snow Advisory

In IICD Massachusetts on December 14, 2007 at 10:29 pm
The snow won’t stop falling.
It really won’t stop!Let’s recap the day…

We began with a team meeting at 9am in the Bella Vista common room. After a long discussion regarding an impending storm we decide not to go to Boston because a severe snow advisory had be posted. Our supervisor walks in and asks us why we’re not going to Boston, we explain that going to Boston today would be risky. After getting a lecture about the importance of fundraising we are told that we must go out today. We decided to go to Albany again since that city only had a snow advisory, not a severe snow advisory.

So according to the national weather service, the snow was supposed to fall by noon and would be heaviest between four and six. We decided we would head into Albany (40 mins) and then leave Albany by 3pm to be back on the mountain before the severe snow. Our supervisor was not happy that we were cutting fundraising short, but that was the plan because clearly we were the only people looking after our own best interests and well being.

We head out. All is well. The roads are clear, we are talking and making plans, then suddenly and without warning, the sky turns dark and snow begins to blow everywhere. The wind is getting crazy, the snow is accumulating and it isn’t even eleven am. By the time we skid into Albany, there is already a few inches of snow. The snow is falling steadily. Not a good start!

We break off into teams and begin our door to door/ business to business work. After a few minutes we are all covered in snow. I had snow accumulation on my eyebrows, above my lip, on my eyelashes and I was soaking wet. I had on two shirts, two sweatshirts and a coat and I was wet. I had on a pair of pajama pants, a pair of sweat pants and some jeans and I was wet. We were all soaked and we couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Finally, after all of the stores started closing (about an hour into our fundraising and only fifteen dollars later) we decided to head home. At this point there is about a foot of accumulation and beneath the snow, was ice, lots and lots and lots of ice. Cars were spinning out around us, the sky was dark, there was fog, the wind was blowing and we couldn’t see, I’m talking zero visibility. All around us cars are pulled off to the side of the road, trucks are stuck, buses are stuck, it’s chaos. Then we slide of of the road and get stuck.

Tamika is driving and the rest of us get out to push. It takes so long because we have no tread, we are pushing a van on ice. It’s terrible. But miracle of miracles the van gets unstuck and we get back in and continue on our fateful journey.

We are on interstate 90, and as we drive underneath an overpass a huge avalanche of snow from a plow above comes down. This causes a white out which causes people to swerve and panic. A nasty accident unfolds directly in front of us. Two cars, collide and fall off of the side of the road onto a shoulder, but we couldn’t stop because we’d get stuck so we kept on going.

A few moments later, rounding a steep curve (we are going maybe 15 mph) we spin out and we are just twirling and zig zagging and luckily we stay on the road and there were no other cars around us. So we continue.

By now, we have driven for about three hours and we’re still in New York and the windshield wipers are frozen and our windshield is frozen and Tamika has her head out the window as we drive and I’ve got my hand out the window trying to de-snow and de-ice the windshield. It’s just too much and we decided we can’t handle it anymore.

We pull into a gas station and call our supervisor to see if we can get a ride. We are told no and that we would get a call back. We wait ten minutes, nobody has called, we call again and we are told that they are unable to make it down the driveway of the mountain to get us. We’re all fuming, but have no choice but to continue on our unsafe path.

We get back on the road, we’re driving extremely slowly and it takes us about thirty more minutes to get back to the base of the mountain. As soon as we pull off of route 43 onto the driveway we spin into a snow bank and get stuck. So out we go again, pushing and pulling and heaving and hoeing and nothing. We give up. Once again the car would be abandoned until the morning.

Eventually, after three out of five of us call consecutively to request assistance, we are picked up at the bottom of the mountain and driven to the top and are asked “oh, it’s not really that bad out there is it?”
We were fuming.

This place is getting too crazy for me. I can’t wait to break for Christmas. Three more days of fundraising left, three more days!
Just put my ticket to Angola in my hands and let me be off!!!!!!

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