Waterloo, Ont., digs out after a March 2008 storm.
(Submitted to CBCNews.ca by Diane Trussler)
Your snow stories
The top reader tales from across Canada
March 12, 2008
Last week, we asked you: Tell us your best and worst snow stories. You answered with everything from neighbourly snow-blower stories to memories of frozen feet and being stuck in the ditch. Here are some of your top tales from around the country.
One winter sometime in the mid-1990s, we had a massive blizzard roll over Coral Harbour, Nunavut, for a few days.
By the time it was over, there was 25 feet of snow in the middle of one of the hamlet's main intersections. Many houses were partially buried, and some tool sheds and cabins went missing till spring. I watched the snowplow (well, actually it was a front-end loader) clearing a path through the 25 feet of snow.
They would scoop out a cave about 10 feet long, then whack the bucket of the loader from side to side, thus causing the roof of the cave to collapse. Then, after removing the snow from the collapse, they would repeat the process. And thankfully, Arctic snow hardens enough to support most vehicles, so they do not need to plow down to the ground, but merely level it.
Most people had carved stairs in the snow leading DOWN to their front doors. Some of the luckier ones, like me, had very high porches that we were able to walk level from.
It seems misery loves photography, as well as company. CBCNews.ca readers from across the country submitted compelling photos from the recent stormy weather.
c miske, calgary
My heart melts when I think of last fall, early in the morning, everyone else asleep, my little girl, aged two, and I looking out our back door at those first few fat flakes of snow falling down. Her turning to me with big big eyes and saying "Wook Mommy, wook! What's that?"
Back in 1995 or so, I had an acreage in central Alberta on which I had the pleasure of raising a few miniature horses. They were out in the pasture behind the house and it was surrounded by a five-foot fence. The leader of the group was a little troublemaker/escape artist named Justin who was 33 inches tall.
This particular year, we were getting what seemed to be an inordinate amount of snow and I watched with some concern as the fence got shorter and shorter as the days passed. Sure enough, one morning after another snowy and windy night, I opened my front door to meet Justin looking up at me with a smug look, obviously feeling pretty good about himself.
He always met me at the step when he got out, just to let me know who was smarter. Looking in the pasture, it was plain that the fence had entirely vanished beneath the snow and the whole gang of eight minis were out having a snow day by the haystack.
The best winter I remember is 1997. (I'm not too old.) My dad had to shovel the snow off the roof of our house, and I got to jump from the roof into the snowbank. We only have a one-storey house, but it was fun. That is, of course, until my mom came out of the house and saw me jumping off the end of the carport. I never got to do that again…
I was working the car wash from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It was -35 and that was without the wind. After the car wash, I then went to work at the gas station [full service]. My feet were already wet from the car wash and I was stuck working alone from 7 p.m. to midnight.
After a couple of hours of pumping gas, my feet were so frozen that I had trouble walking. I tried to call the owners and managers, but I couldn't get hold of anyone. I called my dad and he came to the station and pumped gas for the rest of my shift.
I sat in the car with my mother who had made a concoction of hot coffee and a little rye and had some warm blankets for me … that was my last shift at that service station.
My worst snow story is back in the '70s when my brother and I were playing and wrestling in the snow. I pushed him into a drift and he fell face first and got his mouth and nose full of snow.
He had started to turn blue around his mouth before he and I got his airways cleared. My brother doesn't even remember this day, but it was the scariest moment of my life!
I love it, I love it, I love WHITE GOLD, at 90 bucks a load with my dump truck I am laughing all the way to the bank. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Every driveway on our street and the adjacent street was cleaned out by neighbours with snowblowers. I couldn't believe driving not two streets away that many people were blowing their own driveway out and when finished, putting the snowblower away without helping neighbours who didn't have a blower.
What's with neighbours these days not helping others out? Who cares if you don't know them, simply offer to help.
Driving from Moncton to Woodstock, N.B., in a massive snowstorm that ultimately dumped 74 centimetres on us, my ex-husband was DETERMINED we were going home that day. Well, we got about 15 miles up the highway and went into the ditch. We then had to hop through the snow in the median to flag down some truckers.
My three-month old daughter and I jumped in the first truck, and he waited for the next one. We had to spend the night in a truck stop with about 10 other families. All in all, it was a pleasant stay, and a lot of the truckers offered blankets and pillows so I could be comfortable feeding the baby. But I now refuse to drive to Moncton between November and April!
Mr. Surinder Sharma, Ottawa
The bad weather brought out the kindness in people. I saw neighbours helping each other, people pushing cars stuck in the snow, people walking by and smiling and taking pictures. Neighbourhoods cleared snow from their streets instead of waiting for city crews.
What a marvelous triumph of human spirit over nature's fury. With one of the biggest storms behind us, let us stick to the lessons learned. Be kind, enjoy time with your loved ones, be strong, think of what you can do for the city (country), not what the (city) country can do for you. Looking forward to summer now.
- Natural Disasters
- Autumn: Why leaves go red
- Extreme heat
- Forest fires: Urban areas
- Snow: Reader's stories
- Little-known facts about snow
- Summer solstice
- Summer weather
- Wind chill
- Wintry blasts of the past
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