Blizzard of 2013

The northeast area of the United States was hit by an incredible blizzard. Where I live in Manchester, New Hampshire we had about 21″ of snow in about a 24 hour period. Through more snowfall, wind blowing snow around, and cold temperatures (low 20s) I spent about two hours clearing out the driveway with my snowblower (best purchase I’ve ever made.

Front yard and mailbox buried by Blizzard of 2013
Front yard and mailbox buried by Blizzard of 2013

 

Car Buried in Snow
My Subaru completely buried by Blizzard of 2013

 

Taking advantage of New Hampshire

Living in the small state of New Hampshire all 28 years of my life, I just realized how little of the state I really have visited.

Outside of a couple of youth hockey games when I was 7 or 8 in Berlin, I never been north of the White Mountains. Never been in the Great North Woods, never been to Pittsburg, NH. Along the same lines, outside of visiting Keene every year or two, I have no idea what towns are around that city and what is in them. I don’t recall ever being in the Rochester area either.

Until four years ago, I had never been at the top of Mount Washington. Tomorrow, I am returning via a trip on the Cog Railroad, which once again I have never been on before. Afterwards we are going to the Mount Washington Hotel to have a late lunch. Only a few weeks ago did I see the hotel for the first time.

Power back on

Power was turned on at my condo about 3 hours ago. The condo is slowly heating back up, we just hit 60 degrees (it was just below 50 at its low point). We had to throw out all of our food earlier today and once we had power back, did a trip to the local grocery store to get the essentials from the next few days.

According to PSNH, about 173,000 are still without power (after a peak of nearly 400,000 just 2 days ago).

Speaking of which, my winners/losers in the media for their coverage of the ice storm and its aftermath.

Winners:

  • PSNH (local power company) – I had decided a few weeks ago to follow PSNH’s twitter account. It seemed like it was only used occasionally for press releases, but they were my power company so why not follow them? Turns out, they used their twitter account non-stop the past few days, passing along any updates that they had in outage reports and in a few cases, actual outage information. For those of us who’s only contact with the outside world was our phones for awhile, this was invaluable. They were remarkably candid as well, clearly admitting that the damage was unlike anything they had seen, that they had manpower shortages, and the limits of their resources. The person(s) using the account were very personal, replying to many people’s questions. Perfect use of twitter and a company understanding the web.
  • Union Leader (local newspaper) – I hate their politics and their web site is really bad design wise, reminding me of the late 90s (that is not a good thing). But I have to hand it to them, they had a fantastic blog (that is a link to today’s blog) on their web site that they posted frequent updates to from towns around the state as soon as they got the information. Their staff really stepped up to the plate and delivered. There web site by Friday afternoon and Saturday morning had links to other stories, such as how safe is your food in the refrigerator without power and so on. Along with PSNH’s twitter account, nearly all of my information came from them.

The Loser:

  • WMUR (local TV station) – Most of Friday morning in the aftermath of the ice storm, they were completely off the air (and as far as I can tell, there is still no explanation on their site saying why this occurred). Not a good start for what is essentially only TV station in NH. Not much of an improvement afterward though. Their web site hardly ever had fresh content, with no storm blog that was constantly updated as tidbits made their way in. It was common to read 5-8 hour old stories on their web site with little town specific information, unlike the Union Leader which seemed to have updates from towns across NH every hour or two at times! No live video or audio feed on their site either! Combined with a very confusing and cluttered web site (go into storm mode, with only storm related info on the page, get rid of the rest of the crap), it is clear they don’t get that this is the 21st century!