It seems like snow banks along area roads have never been higher than this winter. Those piles stand as a fitting testament to the dedication and hard work of dozens of plow drivers, heavy equipment operators and mechanics, as area public works departments have toiled away in blizzards and sub-zero conditions to keep our roads open and safe.
They have faithfully fulfilled their responsibilities despite the weather extremes, during a brutal pattern that has visited storm upon storm on Down East Maine. The constant wear and tear on equipment, the brutal temperatures and sheer snow volume have taken a toll on trucks, motors, plows and other equipment. It also has been a test for the crews who have worked double shifts, long into the night, over weekends and on holidays.
And plow operators are not the only stalwarts who have braved these adverse conditions. Fuel delivery drivers, tow truck drivers, and police, fire and ambulance personnel who have responded to emergencies ranging from traffic accidents to a shivering lost dog trapped on an ice floe during a snow storm, also have themselves at risk to help others.
Not too long ago, even a single major snowstorm would have brought wide swaths of Maine and New England to a standstill. Today, folks grumble should there be delays of even a few hours or a single day. Such lack of patience fails to recognize the miracle that this winter as extreme, had so little effect on our day-to-day activities.
So, a tip of the our warm winter hats to all who have worked hard to keep us safe, warm and able to move about with little interruption, no matter what Mother Nature has thrown against us. Thanks to you, the rest of your neighbors remain safe, warm and productive.