The Greenwater Report for
January 16, 2007

Greenwater Provincial Park, Tuesday, January 16, 2007
January 14th, 2007: It was -37° this morning, making us about the coldest spot in the province, except maybe Stoney Rapids. There ws no wind at all, and it was clear except for a frost fog, likely from all the furnaces running flat out. I went for a morning walk, but a short one.

We made a fast trip to Tisdale on Tuesday. After searching high and low in Porcupine Plain and Saskatoon for an essential part for my snow blower, I found it at G & R Small Motor Service in Tisdale! Which once again points out the fact that one should start looking close to home. G & R has a good reputation, and why I didn’t check there earlier I’ll never know. Gary was familiar with the make of my blower too, which is more than I could say for the people in Saskatoon.

The roads were quite icy. In some places they were solid ice, in most of it there were ruts worn down to pavement. Driving with speed control was not recommended. It looked as if several vehicles had to get pulled out of the ditches.

Speaking of which, Highway workers, who had been on strike earlier in the week, went back to work voluntarily Tuesday night. Terrible weather in the forecasts and a rash of highway accidents blamed on weather were the reason. We all heaved a sigh of relief. I think it was a very good move politically. Any deaths in those accidents while the operators were on strike would be blamed directly on the Union.

We woke up Wednesday to a dilly of a blizzard, with lots of new snow and a very strong wind from the east. Jenny phoned; when she drove to her store in the morning, from the Co-op store she couldn’t even see the intersection, a half block away. Jenny drives a SUV so I warned her about the statistics – of the rollovers in a recent string of weather-related accidents, 45% were SUVs. Part of that is due to their high centre of gravity, but I’ll bet most of it is over-confidence on the part of the drivers. “I have four-wheel drive and great, huge knobby snow tires. I can handle anything!” Except ice, that is!

The blizzard continued until about nine PM. I don’t know how much snow fell, but when I blew the driveways the minimum depth would be about eight inches. Drifts were up to two feet high. It was pretty hard to find anything on the news except the blizzard, rated as the worst since 1955. When they rate blizzards, they take into account temperature, wind velocity, amount of snowfall, and duration. We can now say that we survived the Great Blizzard of ’07!

Thank heavens we were at home! Many people spent hours at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, or in their cars and trucks. Three deaths were blamed on the blizzard, the usual case where people get stuck and try to walk to safety.

Thursday morning was calm and sunny, but the temperature was -33°. I blew out our and the neighbours’ driveways and found it quite comfortable outside. As long as there’s no wind! By the way, my repaired snow blower worked like a dream.

Back to Tisdale on Friday. We had planned to go to Saskatoon to visit with Doreen’s nephew and his wife, but the temperatures, and the ground-drift between Crooked River and Tisdale, changed our minds for us. We then went to Porcupine Plain for some groceries, and home. It took us a long time to get from Tisdale to Porcupine Plain, but it was not because of the weather, but because of the photo ops! The snow sculptures along the way were beautiful, but one didn’t stand out in the wind with bare hands for long.

We were impressed with the progress made in both Tisdale and Porcupine Plain in cleaning up after the blizzard. They seemed to have all streets and avenues open, though I doubt if they had time to do driveways. In Porcupine Plain, they were just finished hauling away the huge windrow on McAllister Street. Fifty years ago, that blizzard would have spelled the end of wheeled traffic in town for the rest of the winter!
Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 1000, Porcupine Plain, SK, S0E 1H0
telephone (306) 278-2249

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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