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Ready, set, snow! I’m ready, how about you?   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Safety, Weather

Hard at work
Clearing snow can be a big
Post by Dan Kolbet
If you’re anything like my two kids (OK, me too), you’ve been anxiously anticipating the pending snow and disappointed by the wimpy dusting of snow we received last night in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. Now, ask me again if I’m excited about the snow after digging my car out of a ditch or spending hours shoveling the driveway or sidewalk and I might be singing a different tune.

But, at least today – pre-snow – I’m excited.

Snow in the Northwest, at least over the last few years, hasn’t been all that friendly. It comes like a led blanket filling the streets and making travel plans slower, if not non-existent. We bought new tires for my wife’s car this weekend and those chains we bought last year are still in the trunk, hopefully for good.

The snow blower is prepped and ready to do the heavy lifting. I got a funny look from my 4-year-old when I pulled the noisy contraption out of the shed in October and fired it up – you know, “just in case.” Better to be over-prepared, I said. She told me not to block in her Barbie Jeep in the garage with my snow blower. Fair enough.

Big snow, little meter.
What you can't see in this picture
is that the snow piles on either side
of this gas meter are about 30 feet
We never had a regularly-in-operation snow blower when I was growing up. Excluding me, of course. The driveway also had those pesky little blacktop bumps that always seemed to mess up my rhythm and jam the shovel into my gut when I got going too fast. I can still feel the handle of that wood and plastic shovel that I cursed every snow day for ruining my fort building and sledding.

But alas, I’ve graduated to a real snow blower that’s pushing five years now - a gift from my mom one December. And no, it didn’t make up for not having a snow blower for the 18 years I lived at home. It was close though, especially over the last two years of record-breaking snow.

The point of my trip down this snowy memory lane is to remind you to keep a clear path to your electric and gas meters. If you miss it on the first big snow, you might never remember to do it. One shovel-wide path is enough. I job-shadowed a meter reader this summer and saw how tough it was to get to some of the meters. Some people tend to pile up leftover items on the side of their houses, making the trip to the meter a treacherous one. Now pile on a foot of snow and it multiples the danger.

It’s not just meter readers that need to get to your meter. Gas and electric service personnel may also need to access your meter this winter – and that’s a safety issue for your whole house.

So, believe me when I say that I know how much work it is to keep the snow in its place, a safe distance from sidewalks, driveways, walkways and to your utility meters. Yet, I think a little extra effort is certainly worth the peace of mind it can bring you.

Let it snow.
Posted by  System Account  on  12/14/2009
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