Thursday: Snow … Warnings Ignored
It is Thursday night. There is snow all over the place. It is piled upwards of ten feet on some streets. Cars are buried where they stood, when the plows went through earlier today.
Tonight, snow plows are working full-bore to clear streets after an EPIC snowstorm Tuesday night.
Because God Forbid, the St. Patty’s Day Parade on Sunday, gets cancelled because of snow piled ten feet high on the roadsides.
Preface … Over the weekend prior, Environment Canada and our own weather personalities were warning that BIG SNOW was coming, but that far out, they could not tell us how bad it would be. Updates were coming frequently through Tuesday night.
In the end, more than 40 cm of snow fell in blizzard conditions for more than eight hours. Overall, it snowed for more than 20 hours.
Snow began to fall around noon on Tuesday and as the night wore on, conditions got worse. Now I remind you, dear reader, that we were warned. At the midnight hour, Tuesday night, our local news radio station was live, ON AIR, calling the shots, over night.
When blizzard snow falls on a highway, all bets are off, for whomever is ON those highways, when conditions deteriorate quickly. Hundreds of cars, trucks, taxis, you name it, got stuck on highways that were NOT being plowed at all.
Absofuckinglutely cars buried in the snow. Stuck, as in Not Going Anywhere !!!
The Provincial Government in Quebec City is in charge of clearing highways. And the City government is in charge of local roads. They don’t share responsibilities.
Around midnight, the radio man was taking calls from people, live, On Air, who were stuck in their cars, as the snow piled up around them. Help did not come fast enough.
The radio people were trying to find solutions to getting people off the streets from people who had been on the streets but got home, hours later. Solutions were not coming, because help was not coming either.
People stuck in their cars stayed in those cars ALL NIGHT LONG, until daybreak on Wednesday morning. No Food, No Water, running out of gas, and some perished in their cars. Some left their cars, and tried to get out on foot, because, either they were out of gas, or they were freezing to death.
The radio men were asking residents, out and about, if anyone knew where the trucks and plows were, as it went, people were calling with only one response to that question…
The Trucks and Plows were sitting in Tim Horton’s Parking Lots, idle, while their drivers were drinking coffee as the city went to hell and people were stuck on roads they should have already been plowing, but weren’t.
Two Montrealers’ DIED in their car, snowbound on the highway. People were sitting in their cars for more than ten hours at some points along the timeline. Those two people were stuck as their car was snowed over, with the car running, trying to keep warm, carbon monoxide poisoning, coming from the car exhaust, stuck in snow killed them.
I listened to the radio all night long. And it wasn’t until around 4:30 a.m. that someone actually called the S.Q. (Provincial Police) and the S.Q. called the fire department to go save people on the highways.
The two branches of government dropped the ball, because neither could do anything properly to get people in from the cold.
ON TOP OF THAT … Adding Insult to Injury …
All the cars who got towed off the highways were slapped with a towing ticket of over $200.00 EACH. That did not go over very well. The Provincial Government coughed up the cash to pay every single ticket handed out to people who got stuck.
Let me tell you that people are pissed. And as of tonight, heads are rolling across the board because of the ineptitude of our local and provincial leaders.
All the warnings that came, were not heeded. People got in their cars, thinking that they would get from point A to point B.
Obviously, NOT …
This little blizzard of a snow storm caught everyone off guard.
The plows and trucks did not get out in time, and people are dead because of them.
There is blood on the hands of snow clearing folks tonight.