By: Jaclyn Kotora, Contributing Writer (‘23)
After multiple monstrous snowstorms, people don’t need a groundhog to tell them to expect six more weeks of winter. On February 1st, after over 24 hours of continuous snowfall and high wind, northwest Bergen County recorded a total of around 20 inches of snow, one of the state’s highest snowfall totals seen in years, leaving driveways and sidewalks buried by the heavy white blanket.
Students at Indian Hills share their snow cleanup experiences, expressing their unique strategies for this tiring task. In a poll of Indian Hills students, 35% said that they shoveled every hour or so throughout and after the storm to avoid the snow building up. 18% said they waited until the snow stopped, then cleaned up the aftermath periodically, taking breaks throughout the day. Alternatively, 24% expressed that they shoveled it all at once. However, thank goodness for snow-blowers and plows, 24% of students didn’t have to shovel at all. Despite the different strategies, a large majority of people said that it took them a total of 2-4 hours to clear their property, taking up a large portion of the snow day.
Fortunately, students weren’t alone in this laborious task, as 82% shared that they got help from friends or family, which is bound to create some interesting memories and experiences. One student who wished to remain anonymous shared, “At first, I thought of it as a chore, but in the end, I realized the nostalgia and memories it brought and continues to bring me: my family and I actually working together while talking, playing games, and competing to see who can shovel the most. Although now it may seem like the worst part of a snow day, I know I am going to kind of miss it in the future. Not shoveling during the winter is like not going for a swim during the summer. Although tedious, winter just doesn’t feel the same without it.”
Jaden Mayer-Costa, a junior at Indian Hills, shared a funny memory from the cleanup, saying, “My sister accidentally hit my brother in the head with her shovel, which left a mark. Pretty funny, but my mom didn’t think so.”
What I found inspiring is how everyone seemed to come together and help each other. I saw neighbors grab their shovels and snowblowers and help an older man clear his driveway. I saw my neighbor clear my sidewalks after watching me struggle. I saw plows and public workers continuously clearing the streets throughout the two-day storm. I even saw a man helping a plow clear out a large parking lot with nothing but a small shovel. Especially after the rough year where it seemed like our country was falling apart, it was admirable to see so many people working together as a community.