Where Has SBK Been?

Hey, did you know it can snow in New England in October?  I always thought it might be a possibility, but what we experienced up here in Massachusetts last week was unlike anything I have ever seen.  This year, I have sat through a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, and now one of the nastiest winter storms of my career.  Hey, Mother Nature, I am waving the white flag!

My Saturday was just like any other: I spent it on the streets, responded to a call or two, and was ready to head home, shovel a few inches of snow off my front walk and enjoy the first snowfall of the year the best way I knew how: with a glass of wine and some dinner.  Things took a turn at around 5pm though when the snow picked up.

With many of the leaves still having yet to fall, trees began to be weighted down.  Many of them broke taking power lines with them.  By 8pm, most of my city was without power including my house.  It is an eerie feeling when you are sitting on a main artery of a city surrounded by lit street lights and there, 100 yards down the road past an intersection is nothing but darkness.  At this point, I saw no reason to go home so I turned my 12 hour day into a 24.

In comparison to the tornado that struck my city on June 1, dealing with the October snow storm was much more challenging.  When the tornado hit, we had our damage path, we knew what the threats were, and we figured out what we had to do to work both in them and around them.  What we found in the snow storm was the damage was much more wide spread, and the environment was constantly changing.  What was a clear intersection just 5 minutes prior could now be blocked with a tree or downed power lines.  Keeping track of street closings and hazards was a logistical nightmare.

I spent the next week (yes, week) couch surfing with friends or sleeping in my cold house.  Although it was a stressful seven days as I waited for Western Massachusetts Electric to get the power in my neighborhood squared away, I was once again reminded of the family atmosphere in EMS.  All over Facebook, people were offering their homes and warm showers to colleagues and friends.  Personally, my week would have been a lot more difficult without some of the great friends that I have.

Saturday afternoon, just four hours shy of one week, my power was restored.  Things in the city have slowly gotten back to normal.  Streets are cleared, and the last of the city had its power restored sometime around Sunday or Monday.  (Sorry, I stopped paying attention once I had mine on.)  My property and house held up nicely despite having a rather large piece of my neighbor’s tree resting on my roof, and thanks to more seasonable temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s in the week that followed almost all evidence of the snowfall is no more.

Now that things are normalizing a bit both at work and in my life, it is time to get back to this writing thing that I love.  I lieu of a true EMS related post today, I ask you to check out Brandon Oto’s blog EMS Basics and read his great review of the Massachusetts EMS Conference that was held last weekend.

Finally, I would once again like to thank my friends who were so supportive last week.  Because of them I had warm showers, cold beer, and an intact roof.  They welcomed me into their homes and made dealing with the stress that came along with the storm that much easier.  Thanks, guys!