January 1, 2009

A frozen hell full of snow

By ALLAN TINKER

Another seven inches of snow hit the middle of North Dakota this past weekend, as well as other areas. It was the latest in a series of snow punches that has muddled the plans and operation of businesses, schools, work and social life for most of the state. Snow again appeared, with wind, on Tuesday, Jan. 13, as according to the forecast. Local schools have closed early or not been open at all for two or more days, the latest closing on Monday, January 12, with more closings likely if projected snow arrives later in the week. The schools have two days "built in" for storm days, these now exhausted. Sports games and tournaments have been postponed or cancelled; snow plows are working around the clock trying to clear roads before the next round of snow closes them tighter. Farmers are digging out hay piles, feeding livestock that have appetites greatly increased trying to keep warm in the frigid temperatures and extreme wind-induced chill levels. Often the machinery has to be dug out and a road to the hay made as well, consuming endless hours of repeat work that erases in the steady winds that blow daily. Township roads drift across minutes behind the blades of the big snow plows; ditches and road edges blend, making travel difficult in bright daylight and the glare of the snow and nearly impossible in dusk and night-time travel that blurs any defining contrast of road edges or obstacles.


The Weather Network