Going Going but gone?
The weather in Southern Ontario, Canada is finally warming up. Yeah!. However, we need to be aware of what that also means. Sure, the snow is melting, but we don’t want it to end up in our basement, attic or other rooms. On last evening’s late newscast on Global TV, a few tips for trying to prevent basement flooding were presented. Here they are and I’ll add a few of my own as well as my comments on the first three.
- Clear snow piled up around windows and around the house.
- Clear eaves troughs. Could be tricky if you already (like me) have ice jams that are now melting and the water is trying to get out through the downspout. What happened on one side of my house is the big chunks of ice (after expanding one portion of the downspout and lowered its position because of the weight) broke and fell out of the downspout. My handyman had put up roof ice pellets which worked at first, then we got some more snow that turned to ice and… he is looking into deicing cables but we are hoping all the other measures will work and the cables can wait to be bought and put up until fall for next winter (which I don’t even want to think about).
- Street flooding. This is the one that gets me about whose responsibility it is. I do it anyway but it really is city employees and any outsourced contractors who should be doing this job. Shovel snow (and ice and the salt) off the cache basins. Clear a pathway by the curb at the end of your property so when snow melts the water can flow into the cache basins.
- Clean any snow around the ground opening to your downspouts.
- It doesn’t hurt to shovel the rest of your driveway or patio if you haven’t already.
- Make sure that your children, pets and you, too, stay away from so-called frozen lakes and the like. They may look frozen but when the weather warms like this, the ice layer can be thin and crack under any weight.
- Wear boots because of all the puddling.
- If driving, be kind to pedestrians and drive slowly through puddles. Most of us don’t like being splashed.
- And enjoy the sunny warmer weather while it lasts. It is still only March and skeptic that I am I’m not convinced that winter is over, although I would like to be proved wrong here.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes
Southern Ontario got blasted with a big snowstorm Sunday night into Monday – the first big one this season. Unlike winter sports enthusiasts and people who just love snow, I was and am not happy about all this. When I see people-on-the-street interviews on TV I just want to throw snowballs at the interviewees happy acceptance of snow.
Maybe if they had to shovel several driveways of snow in an afternoon they would change their minds. No, I didn’t. Had enough trouble shovelling my own driveway etc. Got part of it done and then came inside for a break. One of those itinerant snow shovellers knocked on my door to do the rest and $30 less later (Canadian so not really that much with the loonie’s rate under 80 cents on the dollar), it was cleared.
But my mind filled with worry isn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I may hate winter with a passion, but I can accept the deep-freeze temperatures as long as we get little or no precipitation. And we were doing so well in Toronto, Canada up to Sunday. Small or smallish amounts of snow would arrive and then it would gradually warm up and the snow would disappear. Sure, it looked bleak outside but when I walked around I was grateful that it was dry. Even the smallish amount of snow we got last Thursday could have melted slowly.
Then we got dumped with 20 cm. Sunday into Monday morning.
So why do I worry?
- Getting it cleared out, obviously.
- Being able to get around for errands, meetings and to see friends and family. That includes public transit, some of which can’t seem to handle even small amounts of snow (like the buses in my area).
- Connected to the above, there is the risk of falling in slush, ice (when that snow freezes over), etc. I’ve already fallen on ice once this year, although before the big snowstorm. Luckily my thick coat saved me from injury.
- The snow ploughs cometh and park the ploughed snow in inconvenient places. I have to keep an eye on where so they don’t cover up the cache basins in case of…see No. 5 below. And yesterday a big road plough backed up and hit a car behind it. I didn’t see that but I sure heard the woman yelling at the plough driver. I was backing her 100 per cent.
- The inevitable meltdown (of the snow, not me), which will probably include some rain somewhere down the road and then I have to worry about water getting into my basement. Why? The ground is frozen; there is a lot of snow on the ground, and when rain falls on it, it can’t all get absorbed into the ground. The evestroughs and downspouts are filled with ice and get blocked. Often we get a snow and rain mix (one after the other) to make it even worse. With the little snow we had up to Sunday and slow melts in the sun, even some rain would not have poured water into my basement.
- When accompanied by high winds, there is the worry of fallen trees, fallen tree branches, fallen utility wires, and power outages.
Although I see no beauty in snow, I was glad last evening after dark when I saw three boys around 12 or 13 throwing snowballs at each other from the snow piled up by the snow ploughs. At least they weren’t indoors on the computer. However, I was not outside, but looking out the window in my front door.
Remember, snow is a four-letter word.
Shovels up or should that be down?
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes