I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 4:16 AM GMT on January 18, 2012
Our Friday boat was late. Pretty common right now. It normally starts unloading at 7 AM Friday. Today it would be 9 PM. Weather had delayed the arrival.
We would get our first containers around midnight, and the last around 4 AM. And one of our customers made it clear they were waiting for our freight to leave. They knew the boat was late, and were OK with that. But they wanted that freight.
I volunteered a couple of our guys to arrive at 4:30 AM. The wind was blowing and sleet was going (on). I was up at 4AM dealing with the phones.
Something happened, as usual. That boat was still here at 6 PM. It was unexpected, but it turns up we were up too early...
Recently everyone was removing snow. Big piles everywhere. Even today I saw front loaders taking it away. But it is melting. Temps around 38 the last few days. Hold off on the snow removal, it will be water in a couple days. But the thinking is what if another storm hits...
The roads are fine. But our freight yard is a huge plate of ice. And wet. As well as my driveway.
One of my employees fell three times as he walked through the yard to his home 5 minutes up the hill. When I drove through the yard, I did not notice I was in a full slide sideways until it was too late. I was going 5 mph. And the result was nothing. It is a big yard.
But driving into my driveway was a bit more troublesome. The last 100 feet are uphill. And I have to slow down at the beginning, at the curve. It is a challenge to turn into my driveway. Just as I arrive, I start to lose traction. I got stuck in a simple area. Just wet ice. I was halfway in the road. It took a few minutes of micro-positioning to get up into my driveway. Back and forth a bunch.
There is a decent amount of falling ice coming off all the roofs here. Especially the metal roofs.
Each roof has metal ridges going up and down the entire surface. Ice forms, and eventually melts. Usually the sun comes out and warms that metal roof just a bit. The ice thaws and releases from the roof. Then it slides down and off. Sometimes it is a chunk at a time, sometime it is a 30 foot ribbon of ice all at once. And SOMETIMES the vibration starts the whole mess dropping at once. I have to wonder if anybody has gotten hurt, or worse. Yesterday I walked in
to the car repair place. I had to step over a pile of ice chunks that were all along the front of the building. BIG chunks. I would guess some were 20 or 25 LBS. They fell from a roof 20 feet above. My buddy inside said they all fell at once. I have experienced that noise at our warehouse. It is a roar that lasts about 15-20 seconds.
There are signs posted on a few buildings around town...BEWARE OF FALLING ICE. Most of the time, 99.999%, they are just a waste of space. But for those rare few minutes, they are very important. Just like TSUNAMI ESCAPE ROUTE.
Hope to have a response from my email to Healy when I go in tomorrow.
Happy 70th Muhammad Ali (another Louisville Boy).
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