The Consequences of a Heavy Snowfall

Snow-covered carYesterday, Wisconsin was walloped with several inches of wet, heavy snow. In fact, my city received some of the heaviest snow totals, ~19 inches, mostly from the overnight snowfall. Confounding the heavy snowfall situation, I have a steep driveway and a corner lot. While I do not have sidewalks on both sides of my property, the corner of my lot that lacks a sidewalk is also the dumping grounds for the snow cleared from the side street. Therefore, clearing out my driveway and the sidewalk can be time-consuming, even with a more moderate snowfall, because I am equipped with a shovel and a small electric snowblower with a cord that does not quite reach the corner.

With the foot and a half of snow my area received, I struggled to clear my driveway. After two hours and fifteen minutes of work with a shovel and my trusty electric snowblower, I had only cleared about two-thirds of my driveway and a tiny portion of my sidewalk (and righted my bent-over young Ostrya virginiana). I was eyeing the end of my driveway with all the snow chunks left by the snowplow and the corner of my lot under about the same amount of plowed snow—this all on top of the 18 inches I had not yet cleared—and wondering if it was going to take me three or four hours to clear out all this snow. Despair set in.

However, I was saved from this weighty fate by a kind stranger wielding a Caterpillar Multi Terrain Loader. In less than five minutes, the man and his trusty machine cleared out the end of my driveway hidden under more than two feet of snow and ice-like chunks. When I offered him $20 and asked him to do the corner of my lot, he refused the cash and removed a similar amount of snow and ice chunks in only a few minutes.

When he was done with my sidewalk, the man headed north in his maneuverable multi terrain loader to see if he could help out any other neighbors. I have no idea who the kind man was, but I am grateful he and his machinery stopped and offered his assistance. Certainly, my arms, back and legs thank him for the help. Final time invested: three hours to completely clear my driveway and sidewalk. Help removing the heaviest snow: priceless.

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Sara Klink

Scientific Communication Specialist at Promega Corporation
Sara is a native Wisconsinite who grew up on a fifth-generation dairy farm and decided she wanted to be a scientist at age 12. She was educated at the University of Wisconsin—Parkside, where she earned a B.S. in Biology and a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology before earning her second Master’s degree in Oncology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She has worked for Promega Corporation for more than 10 years, first as a Technical Services Scientist, currently as a Scientific Communication Specialist. Sara is camera shy but may succumb to peer pressure and post an image.

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