From April 16, 2015
Most winters the highways in and out of town shut down at least once, if we’re lucky. Some winters the highways seem to be closed more than open, but not so this winter. This year, the roads hardly closed at all and the few times they did, it wasn’t for long. Our typical snow storms simply didn’t come. No blowing white outs. No black ice. No blizzards. No snow.
The mild winter put us at ease, causing us to underestimate the magnitude of this storm and its strength. It caught us unaware and really, rather unprepared. No one thinks about these big, dangerous storms in April. No one thinks about closing roads this close to summer. But today, the roads should have been closed. Today, we should have accepted this winter interlude to spring and acted as if it were December.
Today, there were a lot of should haves but should haves are useless in hindsight. They can’t stop accidents like the one we say today.
Wind and snow make a deadly combination on the highway and blowing snow creates white outs in unexpected places. This afternoon, more than fifty vehicles came out of a white out and into a pile up. Semis were destroyed, their contents blown across the prairie. Private vehicles were lost in the wreckage. The entire road was blocked.
The accident could not have worse, except for one miracle: not one life was lost.
Tonight, as this day comes to an end, I send my wishes to all those injured and give thanks that they will all return to their families.