Conor Feehan: I’ll stay a step ahead of the snow to avoid another long, cold trek home
An 11km walk in driving snow is no joke, as I learned the hard way back in the winter of 2010.
This week we find ourselves under threat of the ‘Beast from the East’, with talk of snow accumulations worse than 1985, a time when the blizzards were welcome because I got about a week off school.
Now it is different, however, and I’ll be keeping my eyes on the skies for the next few days to see if the clouds start to empty.
That day back in 2010, it caught everyone by surprise. Yes, there was snow forecast, but nobody expected so much to fall so quickly.
Sensing that time might be against me, I left work at lunchtime and struggled across the quays to my bus stop. The snow was falling hard as I trudged along, and there were people jumping on buses trying to get out of town.
I could see buses struggling along the roads, their wheels spinning from lack of grip. It seems even the councils were caught out and didn’t get to do any gritting.
By the time I reached my stop, the word was spreading that buses were cancelled or severely curtailed, depending on where you were going.
I shifted my focus to taxis, but every one of them was full.
I thought I’d make my way out of town and flag one coming back in, but in the end I had to walk all the way home.
A coat, a hat and a scarf kept the worst of the elements off my head and body, but in my light leather shoes with thin soles my feet were like the proverbial blocks of ice.
As my journey went on the snow got heavier, and it took me around two hours to get home. In the latter stages, the roads were empty, except for a few lucky ones in four-wheel drives.
It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but the cold and the inconvenience was massive.
So my advice to commuters this week is keep an eye on the weather apps, bring extra layers of clothes, and find yourself some warm boots!
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