Many faces of snow

8 years ago

Many faces of snow

Walkabout: PI
Happenings in the Star City

    We’ve all heard it. We’ve probably all said it: “Two feet of snow? If that happened here in The County, you’d never see it on TV.”

    And it’s true, that kind of snow doesn’t faze us. We’re used to it. Road crews and utility workers have the expertise and equipment to handle it, and many problems associated with it, fairly quickly.
    This past weekend’s blizzard along the East Coast, however, was a horrendously different story, in an area where they aren’t used to it.
    Winter Storm Jonas was responsible, according to a report by The Weather Channel, for 40-plus related deaths, not to mention accidents, record flooding and much more. And, in its wake, the storm left tens of thousands of people without power.
    Here’s where that expertise comes in, along with a real truth: in the midst of trials, there’s an immense pulling-together and a lot of people wanting to help.
    Some of the Star City’s electrical workers joined that effort this past weekend, lending their talents to help folks in the badly stricken Delmarva Power area get back online.
    “We were just really happy to be able to help during a time of need,” said Emera Maine Communications Specialist Bob Potts Monday evening. “We were happy not only to send our crews, but knowing our crews were going to be of such great help. They’re so used to working in these kind of conditions. They just sort of said to each other, ‘We got this. Let’s see what we can do and go down to help.’”
    Presque Isle and Bangor crews went south Friday, worked Saturday, and by Sunday things were “in pretty good shape,” Potts said. They worked doing much of the same work they do here, such as clearing branches off lines, cleaning up fallen trees and restoring downed lines.
    Emera Maine, Potts explained, belongs to an organization called North Atlantic Mutual Aid Group, which is comprised of utilities in New England and the mid-Atlantic. The utilities come together and back one another up in a coordinated effort during emergency situations, he said, with line crews, trucks, whatever is needed.
    Just recently, Emera was on the receiving end of some assistance from the large wind storm that hit the area, and crews from Atlantic Canada and elsewhere in Maine arrived to help personnel restore power to thousands of customers.
    “Here in Maine, we’ve had our share of bad winters and have had mutual aid,” Potts added. “For us to be able to pay it back for a change, we jumped at the chance to be able to go and ‘pay it forward’ by helping out some of those who have helped us in the past.”

Snow fun at the Park

    Now for a whole different aspect of snow. Even though it’s the middle of winter, that doesn’t mean Aroostook State Park is hibernating.
    Quite the contrary; skiing and snowshoeing trails are available, and plans are underway for the 9th annual Aroostook State Park Family Fun Day to be held next month.
    According to the park’s latest trail report, dated Jan. 20, trails are groomed in most places with fair to good conditions. Because of large areas of water erosion and the minimal snow base, the Maple Trail is not groomed yet. Skiers in all downhill areas are urged to use caution.
    Snowshoeing trails, however, are open and boast good conditions.
    The report adds that the sliding hill is not yet open because of unsafe ice conditions, but if temperatures continue to fall the hill should open within a week.
    State Park Director Scott Thompson indicated the park is getting ready to host its annual Winter Family Fun Day, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
    “Spend a winter’s day at the park,” he said in a press release. “We have everything you need to have fun with the family, outside in Aroostook County’s winter wonderland.”
    The day will feature cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating if conditions permit, sliding on the hill and snowmobile “tote rides,” along with guided nature walks. There will be bonfires and hot food, and, added Thompson, “Smokey the Bear comes out of hibernation and the Maine Warden Service will join in the day’s fun.”
    Those who have no skiing or snowshoeing equipment needn’t worry; the park will have equipment and instruction available. Participants should wear warm winter clothing and come ready to have fun.
    For adults ages 12-64, the fee is $1.50; all others are admitted free. Lunch will be provided. For further information, contact the park at 768-8341.