Pulling together in winter's grip

A snowstorm can bring out the worst in drivers, especially those who aren’t used to driving in the white stuff and its harder, more slippery cousin. But this week’s unusually big hit from Mother Nature’s winter coat seemed to bring out the best in the people of the Delaware shore area, as neighbor pitched in to help neighbor and county, state and municipal employees gave their all to help keep people safe.

The shovels, ropes and trucks came out, freeing neighbors’ driveways from as much as 13 inches of accumulated snow, pulling vehicles from snow drifts and out of ditches that had loomed underneath the deceptively pretty fluff on the ground and making sure that most drivers were able to keep on the road, even if they might have been safer staying at home.

Delaware Department of Transportation workers, and county and municipal employees from across the area, all stayed up late or even overnight to help plow the roads free from the ongoing snowfall and apply salt and sand to help keep those drivers safe.

Local and state police also kept a close eye on conditions and worked to keep the public safe and informed as they ventured out or stuck it out at home.

And, as always, our volunteer firefighters and local paramedics were on the job, not only responding to weather-related emergencies but making sure that even with the better part of a foot of snow on the ground, people in need of help could get to the hospital and get needed medical attention.

Last Saturday’s snowstorm may have been the biggest snowfall the area has seen in about a decade, but the area’s residents rallied to prove that they could handle it, and then some, as they cast aside their own worries and took care of each other.

It was then, with pure delight, that many of us found the time to enjoy the unusual deep covering of snow: watching the kids go sledding down Sussex County’s rare slopes, taking part in snowball fights and building a snowman or two. And, as always, the area’s natural beauty was only enhanced by a pristine layer of icy white.

This weekend looks to offer yet another of Ma Nature’s winter spectacles. Here’s to enjoying it while it lasts, and to appreciating those who give of themselves to make sure it’s something we can all enjoy in safety and comfort. Be careful out there, and have fun.