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Our friend Peter Kirk on his blog “Gentle Wisdom” has written a “local” post, bemoaning his community’s lack of ability to deal with a four-inch snowfall a couple days ago. He says that since the snowfall, it has been raining, which has melted nearly all the snow. But it seems the real problem is that the borough council is refusing to send out the garbage crews to collect the garbage because of the supposedly “dangerous” conditions.

Well, I’m sure there is probably some merit to their argument, however little it may be. England doesn’t usually see any major snowfall. What they saw this week was the most snow they’ve seen in eighteen years! I’m sure they’re not really equipped to deal with it properly.

Here in Minnesota, one of the northern tier states of this country, snow is expected every winter. In fact, large amounts of snow are expected. We’re used to it. We have the equipment to deal with it when it comes. Four inches would constitute a typical snowfall, which would only cause a few hours of disruption. (After all, it is snow, and it is slippery. Usually.) Sometimes we get 15 to 20 inches of snow and more. Those are major events, which can sometimes disrupt travel and services for a couple days. But we take it all in stride. That’s part of living here, and we know it and accept it. (That doesn’t mean we like it though.)

What gets me are the nuisance snowfalls, where we get one to two inches every day. You’re always out there shoveling it off the sidewalks, the driveway, the steps, and whatever you want to remain snowless.

What we have here in Minnesota, that’s actually to our advantage at times, is the cold. We just got through a January in which we never got above the freezing point until the last day of the month! That’s unusual! And much of the month we were far below freezing, in fact, much of the month we spent below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s cold! So you are wondering how that could be an advantage? That means the precipitation comes to us as snow. When it’s that cold we almost never get ice storms/freezing rain. It all comes as snow, and usually very light, dry snow; not wet and heavy. It’s much easier to deal with that way, as long as the wind doesn’t pick up and blow it around causing poor visibility. Of course, there are other disadvantages to such bitter cold, like frozen pipes and even frozen sewer lines; vehicles that won’t start and folks who freeze to death because they weren’t prepared. But all in all, we do fine up here.

What we rarely have is a four inch snowfall that all melts in short order. In my humble opinion, and it’s only my humble opinion, the borough council in Chelmsford should suck it up and tough it out. Sure, take a little time off when it snows like that, but then get the job done.

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