911…Say What? Snow Edition

MUTCD_D12-4.svgSometimes when you answer the phone your first reaction is “Say What?”. These all come from the last couple weeks here in the North East. If you’ve been living in a closet you may have missed it, but we have been hit with over 100 inches of snow in 2 weeks. That’s a record snow fall by far, and has brought along a special set of challenges.

  • “Is there school tomorrow?” “When do I have to move my car?” Seem to be regular calls into 9-1-1 whenever a snow storm comes around. Despite all of the public education we do about who to call and when, there’s always a handful.
  • Just after the first storm a woman called 9-1-1 with a noise complaint. Simple enough, however she was livid, and I mean beyond belief, that there was a loud group of kids sledding in the park.
  • Without fail after every storm there are a flurry of calls about snow removal. Neighbors blowing snow into the street, homeowners not shoveling sidewalks, and my personal favorite the neighbor “throwing snow onto another’s property”.
  • A male party called in upset that the snow plows had covered the end of his driveway with snow overnight. When instructed to contact the Department of Public Works, he insisted that a police officer come and clear his driveway. He was aptly informed that officers do not carry snow removal equipment and would not be responding to his request.
  • In a city over 400 years old streets are tight without snow. Once a storm comes along and residents dig out “their” spots things can get testy. Officially the city has outlawed “space saving” and will remove any item used to save a space.  A party called in upset that someone was parking in “his” space. We informed him of our stance on the issue, and that if we had to respond neither party would get the space. The caller then related that there “would be bloodshed” if he did not get his spot and hung up. An officer was dispatched and spoke with the party. Apparently we misunderstood his use of the term “bloodshed” and he promised there would be no further issues.

Unfortunately I could go on and on about the snow. The way this winter is going I may just have to.