Storm left woman trapped for days

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Nearly nine-day ordeal ended happily, thanks to people’s kindness

Lydia Kettle was at her wits’ end when she called The Gulf News asking if she could tell her story.

Lydia Kettle, 60, was trapped inside her home by snow for nearly nine days and was running out of food supplies when she made a call that she says saved her. The power of social media helped find volunteers to get Kettle out of her house.— Photo by Chantelle MacIsaac/The Gulf News

Choking back tears, she explained she had been trapped inside her home since March 26, after the first of the big storms on the southwest coast.

Her home is just off a main street, but is tucked in between other houses, and the heavy snow and strong winds had completely filled in her driveway and yard and prevented her from being able to get out of the house.

Kettle called every contractor in the phone book, looking for someone to plow her out.

She said she was either met with no answer on the other end, or those who did answer said they were too busy to do her driveway.

The Town of Port aux Basques explained that because it was a private driveway it wasn’t its responsibility, and although it could sympathize, it was also extremely busy, digging out fire hydrants and other town properties.

Kettle was running out of supplies and feared the worst, thinking that if something did happen to her, there was no way an ambulance could get to her.

“Some asked me why didn’t I try to climb over the snowbanks,” said Kettle. “I might not look it, but I am 60 years old and I am frightened to hurt myself.”

A call was issued on Facebook, and from there the ball started rolling on rescuing Kettle.

Although several people asked how they could help, one phone call made all the difference.

Valerie Clarke called to ask how much snow needed to be removed.

Kettle would have been grateful for a walking path, but after explaining there was at least seven feet of snow to be removed, Clarke made a call to someone she knew with a front-end loader.

The equipment was at Kettle’s property in no time and removed a significant amount of snow from her driveway, giving her more than a walking path.

“I am crying again,” said Kettle. “But this time they are tears of joy.”

Once the lane was clear, Kettle was able to get out of her house to see how much snow she had been trapped in.

“It’s unbelievable, and I thought a few people might have been able to shovel this,” she said, looking around.

Kettle said  she is grateful for people’s kindness and feels as though a tremendous weight was lifted off her shoulders.

“I was getting really worried. There is nothing like looking out your window to a mountain of snow and not knowing how to get out,” said Kettle.

“It does go to show there are good people around, and I cannot say thank you enough.”

The Gulf News

Geographic location: Port aux Basques

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