Spring Blizzard?

StormStayI’ll start off by saying I don’t travel nearly as much as many of my clients. I have only travelled 2,000 km inside of a week on a couple of occasions. If you’re not battling fatigue or weather issues, travel is not usually that difficult. This week, the weather has made travel extremely treacherous. I haven’t heard of any fatalities over the last couple of days with the crazy spring blizzard we are experiencing, but I have talked with a couple folks who felt like they dodged a serious collision. When a Saskatchewan blizzard blows in it can be nasty!

Even though they can predict likely outcomes of the weather it often doesn’t mesh with our schedule or agenda. I drove up to Lloydminster on Tuesday afternoon/evening to speak for a client first thing Wednesday morning. The drive up was fabulously calm and sunny, just an all-around great day for travel. It was the last day of winter, and the evening was nice and long with sunlight past 7:30, which seems somewhat odd with so much snow on the ground.

Wednesday morning arrived, I spoke for Husky Energy at the Upgrader then left Lloydminster to get to an afternoon speaking engagement in Unity. Many of the folks at the Sifto Salt Plant were curious about my drive, but it was fairly uneventful. By mid-afternoon the wind turned the country side into blizzard conditions and chaos. The roads became completely impassable with huge snow banks covering many of the roadways in central Saskatchewan.

RoadClosedThe police closed many highways, but a number of people decided their timeline and destination trump the road conditions. I have decided to sit here stranded in Unity Saskatchewan waiting for the weather to clear. I had many conversations with other travellers and stranded workers today, but the winds only let up long enough to see the roads were still impassable. I’m hoping tomorrow is a better day and I can head on down the road, but we’ll have to wait and see since there is snowfall in the forecast. 🙂

Whether you’re driving for work or personal reasons it makes sense to pay attention to the weather forecasts and road conditions. I have stated on numerous occasions that the most dangerous activity that people perform with great regularity is driving a vehicle. According to the US Bureau of Labor over 38% of workplace fatalities are a result of occupational transportation incidents.

Have you driven when it wasn’t safe to do so? Were there other alternatives to that travel? Would you say you put a greater priority on your agenda than on your safety?

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