Saluting an underappreciated group

Published 8:29 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

This won’t take long, and we won’t get too caught up in the whole thing, but there is a group of people that really deserves our thanks right about now. You might have to cut this out and show it to them later, though, because most of them are still out working right now, while you (and we) are sitting in our warm homes birds and squirrels play in the pretty snow outside our windows.

We refer, of course, to all those people who have worked throughout and following the snowstorm that blanketed our area with six or more inches of snow beginning late Friday night and finally concluding around dinnertime on Saturday. Among them are police and firefighters, and we surely want to give them their due, but the particular people we’re referring to today all too often operates in the shadows and all too rarely gets credit for the work they do.

While many of us were outside building snowmen, clicking photos of the grandchildren having fun or throwing another log on the fire, there was a dedicated group of workers struggling against the wind to clear the roads around Suffolk. And almost as quickly as they could plow, they’d see the wind blow snow back onto the roads.

Email newsletter signup

And still, they worked on, dumping a total of 736 tons of abrasives (mostly sand) onto Suffolk roadways and 334 tons of salt. And that’s in addition to the brine-spraying operations that started at about 4 a.m. Friday in an effort to provide a salt-layer base so the coming snow and sleet would have a harder time adhering to the roads.

Working 12-hour shifts around the clock, these fine folks continue to do everything they can to make the roads safe to (eventually) travel. Tonight they’ll do this in temperatures that are expected to fall to 7 degrees.

If that weren’t so cold, we take our hats off to this underappreciated group of people. Instead, we’ll raise a mittened salute to them, shake a muffler or scarf and say a great big THANK YOU!