St. John's shovels on April Fool's snow day

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Bruce English of St. John’s had been shovelling for 10 hours by mid-afternoon Tuesday. He had muscled through the city’s messy streets just after 4 a.m. for a shift that ran until about 1 p.m. English clears snow for Metrobus during the winter.

It was heavy lifting for residents as the cleanup after the storm began Tuesday. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Although his work day ended in the early afternoon, English’s snowclearing didn’t. Instead, he arrived home to snow-covered sidewalks and, as a result, powered up his snowblower.

English, who lives on a corner lot, had roughly 60 metres to plow and was just getting started when he spoke to The Telegram. He said he keeps the sidewalk clear 12 months a year — a habit English has kept up for the past 25 years.

“(It’s) no big deal. Another extra half hour to an hour, whatever, depending on the amount of snow,” he said.

When asked about the sidewalks elsewhere in the city, English replied, sarcastically, “What sidewalks?”

Meanwhile, in the city’s downtown, nine-year-old Hailey Hawco was home from school for the day and helping her father shovel.

After hour two, Hawco said her shovelling was going “good.” If not for the storm, Hawco said she would be watching TV or, as her father piped in from behind her, at school.

In comparison to past winters, Hawco thinks this season has been colder and snowier. But she has enjoyed some of it — from making snowmen to sliding.

Elsewhere in the city, Tina Smith started clearing a walkway to her home at around 3 p.m. Similar to Hawco, she was also home for the day — but not because school was cancelled. Although Smith was scheduled for a 9 a.m. shift at Lawtons Drugs, her car was still blanketed by snow hours later.

“It doesn’t look like I’m going to get in this afternoon — not with all this snow,” she said. “The road only just got plowed a few minutes ago.”

Smith expected to be shovelling for “a good two hours ... with sensible breaks.”

“I was actually just going to go down to  Tim Hortons and get some coffee and donuts for my break between shovelling.”

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Recent comments

  • Elizabeth Kennedy
    April 02, 2014 - 09:25

    With all of the snow and school cancellations, why not make up at least some lost schools days. It is written into many of the teacher contracts in the Northeast US and into districts' master calendars. One hundred eighty days, mandatory. Even starting as some private schools do, making up one day for every two missed seems like a good beginning. School is more important not to make up.