*Snow & Snow Removal in the Northeast*
By: Eli
17 February 2003

Ok…. Warlord was hinting to us northerners to do articles on our snow and winter weather. What’s it like here in the frigid Northeast and how we deal with it. For you folks in the NY region and down the coast you just got slammed with some snow and ice. We’re supposed to have 1" tonight and 2-5" tomorrow. The little amount of snow that just fell on you is nothing for us…just another day in paradise. I’m guessing we’ve had a total of about 10 feet fall this year. Most people around here own snowplows and/or have friends who do. (Good friends to have)

Here are some pics, advice and stuff:

I arrived "almost" home one day to find this- it was blocking my road

This pay loader is now approximately 18,000 lbs of stuck metal


Yup…she’s hung alright!!


Even the big Tonka Toyz get stuck on occasion

(Note that the snow banks in the left bottom pic are half as high as the loader…there are bigger in the area.)

The operator had turned to dump his bucket and slid on the ice into a D-E-E-E-E-P snow bank. A pay loader hinges in the middle. Even using the bucket to try and pry himself out and pivoting around he just dug it in deeper. The plow crew brought in a dump truck but weren’t able to haul that puppy out. They finally resorted to an excavator and dug it out….6 hours later……..it was finally free. Heh heh heh.

To date this winter has been the coldest in over 100 years!!! BRRRR! We’ve had a lot of snow. Fortunately we only have to plow it out of the way and make room for more, it doesn’t have to be loaded into dump trucks and hauled away. (I can’t imagine how you city dwellers deal with it all)

My road on the west side is famous for drifting in. The plow crew uses a pay loader to dig through the deep drifts. For smaller amounts a regular plow truck is used.

A northerly wind blowing across my road creating snowdrifts

Estimate= 35MPH winds & subfreezing temps

And even the tarred roads drift

At times the snowdrifts are so intense that it’s a total whiteout. I’ve lived here 21 years and know these roads well, but in a whiteout situation it doesn’t matter if you’ve driven the roads for 65 years. You cain’t see nothin’! These pics were taken on a good day. There are times when you start to wonder if the road still exists.

I and many other northerners own 4wd or front wheel drive vehicles. I prefer 4wd. I think that anyone in this area who buys a 2wd vehicle, especially rear wheel drive is a fool. They are so easy to get stuck. Even local police depts. have 4wd vehicles. There is even a 4wd ambulance in the county.

Driving in the snow-

If you do have to drive in the snow, take it S-L-O-W. There’s no need to go flying at 55+ MPH. That’s what causes accidents and deaths. Slow down and take your time. Many people think they’re Billy Bad@$$ and have super powers or something. I see people who pass me cuz I’m doing 35-40MPH and they’re in a big rush to get nowhere. A couple miles down the road...guess what…yup, you’re right, they’re off the road. Hardy Har Har Har!!!.

Example: During the last snowstorm JW and I were on our way to plow out a few driveways. The road was slippery so we were doing about 40MPH. Some idiot in a sports car passed us and took off. 1.5 miles down the road he was head on with a pick up truck. I was tuning the radio to one of the county Law Enforcement frequencies and getting ready to call the Sheriff’s Office. As we got closer we realized that the 2 vehicles didn’t actually hit. They were right nose to nose…how they stopped just inches from a head on collision, I don’t know. Pure luck I guess.

Some schmuck in a big rush to go nowhere other than:

  1. The hospital in the back of an ambulance
  2. Jail, wearing matching bracelets in the back of a cruiser

For nut heads like that I prefer option B.

Alternate Transportation-

Snowmobiles are used frequently. Almost like a second vehicle and in some cases, better gas mileage. They are used for general commuting, recreation and Search & Rescue.


If a storm is in your area-


Get the point? STAY HOME!!!!

I’m involved with emergency services and am out in these hellacious conditions frequently. IT’S NOT FUN I’ve seen many people stuck, slid off the road or involved in an accident for no reason. They just had to leave home and try their luck driving. They leave home for no reason other than to drive and see what’s happening.

Now that a person is in need of help emergency crews respond and we put our lives and equipment in danger all because somebody couldn’t stay home and ride out the storm. While we’re tied up at a needless accident, ol’ granny could be having a heart attack and really need an ambulance, but has to wait for the next closest (putting them at risk).

I refer you to all of the home preparations articles in the AlphaRubicon. At least have food, water, flashlights, batteries etc on hand. There is no need to make a store run in the middle of a blizzard for a can of Spaghettios and a gallon of milk. You risk your life, the lives of any other motorists and the lives of rescuers if you need rescuing.

Don’t worry about going to work unless your job is a necessity. Some of us do have to be out in the worst of weather when it’s not fit for man nor beast because we are the emergency services, but if at all possible stay home. I think a grocery store check out line can function just fine minus 1 bagger (or whatever your occupation may have).

If you can’t resist the urge and really must go outside just to see what it’s like…shovel your driveway or your roof off- be careful not to fall, cuz then the rescue personnel have to respond and thus starts the cycle.

Taper1’s roof after JW shoveled it prior to the antenna erection


Yes we do have to shovel our roofs off occasionally. Almost fell off mine once, it’s a 20’ drop to the ground…ya wanna talk about makin’ a really deep snow angel. HA HA. Heavy wet sticky snow may be too much weight for the roof. Lightweight power can accumulate forever as long as it doesn’t start to melt and become heavy. Having 3-4 inches on the roof is good, hey…cheap insulation!! :o)

If ice starts to accumulate near the edge, GET RID OF IT. Put the Ice Melt to it. Ice will cause water to dam up, leak underneath shingles and start dripping through your ceilings. How do I know this???

That’s the quick and dirty on our winter.

Remember that Common Sense Prevails!!!

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