Well, winter is still not here and we have had one of the biggest ice storms in recent memory. Here in town we were very lucky. very little icing, but a lot of water running off the frozen ground causing wet basements and flooded streets. For once the warning from the National Weather Service was accurate. On Thursday afternoon they reported that the valleys would have little to no icing, the upper elevations would have heavy icing they were right.
Every morning before I leave for work my wife and I say our morning prayers yesterday they came in handy. I work in Worcester and in the 9 years the bank I work for has only delayed opening once and that was after a 22 inch snow storm. As alot of people I have several routes to get to work in the morning some slower than others. Drive times range from 35 to 50 minutes depending on lights and school buses. I knew I didn't have to worry about the buses so I was going to go the way with the fewest hills. I left about 6:30 AM and got about four miles from home into West Dudley were I had to turn around because the road at one point had flooded out scratch that route.
I then decided to go over Dresser Hill in Charlton and just like the NWS said, as I went up in elevation the ice was weighing on the trees and power lines. When I reached Charlton Center I had to slow for a power line down across the road. As I proceeded around that obstacle I noticed the road ahead that leads to route 20 was closed. I turned to go on route 31 that also leads to route 20 but that road too was closed. So I went down the little side street that eventually comes out to route 20 following other cars. I got about a half mile down the little country road when traffic a head came to a stop. In good weather I don't get right up to the next car so on days like this I leave even more space good thing. The tree of on my left about three feet in front of my car, and maybe ten feet behind the car in front of me picked that time to lean its top over the road blocking travel. As I finished turning around on this narrow country road I looked in my mirror and down came the tree.
Just then my cell phone rang it was Laura, telling me she had been listening to the radio and that the roads in Worcester were all ice, and to come home. I got home as soon as I could.
I was home just after 7:30 AM I had gone around trip of 18 miles in one hour.
I called work and found out we were opening at 10:00 AM. Shortly thereafter our phone rang it was our son Bill, saying they had lost power, and Nathan's day care in Sturbridge was closed, could we watch him. Of course grandma would be more than happy to watch our little buddy. I knew I had to get groceries on the way home from work tonight but that wasn't good now. So off to the store to pick up needed items. Once I got back it was time to leave for work.
On this ride in the roads were better but I, still ran into one detour, this time in Dudley. The ride in was uneventful as most people decided to stay home for the day.
Once at work I found our mortgage company 800 East West was there. They had lost power at their corporate site in Marlborough, so some of their sales staff came in to set up shop. To show things happen for a reason we had scheduled four people out and another three called in unable to make it. East West had sent seven sales reps out to set up shop in our area until power was restored and their systems were up and running. They had just completed an updated disaster recovery plan two weeks ago.
Four of our branches were closed for power outages and many others were running. on a handful of staff. Our call center staff were busy fielding calls but all in all it was a quiet day with few people out on the roads it means fewer problems with people shopping and doing business.
By the end of the day the ride home was pretty routine. Much of our surrounding area is still without power and will be this way for days. We are okay here, and hope all those less fortunate take the proper steps to protect themselves and their loved ones especially at this time of year.
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