Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When the Snow Hits the Fan, I Can't Work From Home.

     When the winter weather takes a serious turn and begins to dump snow and ice over The Mercury's coverage area, I can't work from home. I'll will check twitter out for any possible leads, but the scanner and my contacts are what I use most on days when storms dominate the news. The pictures snapped on a phone looking out from inside a warm house doesn't cut it.
     I clean off my car and dig in for a long day of navigating the area for any news that occurs.  I hit the streets and my SUV has been great, chewing up the snow as I travel over hilly highways.
     Who do I blame for one of the nastiest winters in decades. Is it Old Man Winter or Mother Nature's fault.  And where is that rodent declaring six more weeks of bad weather.
     During one extremely cold Sunday night, just sitting down to watch the pro bowl football game and a major fire call came in. I  bundle up and took the time to pull on winter boots and a heavy coat. Normally I will fly out the door unprepared for the elements but it was near zero outside. Hurrying from my parking spot along Route 662, I high stepped it through deep snow, shooting photos along the way. It erupted in flames as I got to the building. By the time I finished recording the scene, sending out videos and stills from my phone on social media sites and talking to the news desk, I discovered that my socks were off inside my boots and pant legs were covered in snow.
     It was time to head home and send some photos from my real Nikon cameras. The desk waited for the breaking news photos redoing the front page for the late remake. I transmitted a bunch of photos within a half hour and we got the paper out on time.
     Most snowy days I wear a hat, gloves and a hood so the icy stuff isn't blowing down my neck. But the long days do take a toll and wear me down. After snapping photos at most of the winter storms I'll arrive home but don't head inside for hot cocoa and cookies. It's time to fire up the snowblower and shovel my place before the day is done.
     I see a number of people outside while I make my rounds and surprisingly they aren't negative about the weather. They matter of fact state it's winter and this is what it's supposed to be. At church this past Sunday, people didn't drag in they were chipper and smiling.
     The roads are torn up from the salt, freezing temps and plows scraping the highways. Dodging potholes are part of the daily commute.
     Predictions on the storm ahead is for over a dozen inches of the white stuff accumulating. The area suffered one of the worst ice storms in recent history and most of the residents just got their power back, some were without electricity for a week. I'm sure those folks are keeping their fingers crossed that they don't have to deal with another blackout.
     At a hardware store yesterday, customers were like busy bees buying shovels and other accessories. Luckily the Douglassville store got in a precious supply of salt. It was a flurry of activity and you could see the helpful workers were tiring from a long day of loading heavy bags into vehicles.
     We'll see how storm number twelve affects the area. And for the record, I've decided to blame the old man for the damage of the winter of 2014.