The storm drifted in last night, a wondrous, silent tableau of countless snowflakes — each unique — drifting through the yellow glow of the streetlights.
Anyone lucky enough to be out and about, stood with faces upturned, marveling at the profound beauty of the world.
But not quite safely tucked into their beds, a dozen Payson town employees looked out the window and groaned.
Another stormy night in Rim Country.
At least 6 inches in Payson — more like 18 up at the Sunrise Ski Resort, which now has a 90-inch base. Drifts up to 4 feet in Pine.
No doubt, the snow’s a blessing in a drought-prone land, especially in the high country where it dramatically increases how much precious water gets to the roots and reservoirs. We’ll remember the snowpack fondly come May and June, when it defers the fire season.
But last night at about 10, it was the relentless, fluffy enemy for a dozen street workers who rolled their eyes, answered the phone, then trudged down to the town garage to fit their pickups and dump trucks with snowplow blades.
They worked all night, while we all snuggled in and watched the snow pile up on the windowsill. Some restless souls watched the Christmas red lights of the plow trucks trundling along through the snow-hushed silence of the night.
They cleared all the roads to the fire stations and medical center, then they cleared the roads connected to the highway, then they cleared the priority one roads again.
They kept at it all night, got some sleep this morning and will be back at it again this afternoon.
No overtime, of course. Tough times, boys. Mind you, back before the town council voted to approve layoffs and deep budget cuts — a crew of the road guys in their black cowboy hats came up to the mayor after the meeting and said they’d all cut back their hours if it would save the jobs of fellow town workers.
Instead, they drove the trucks all night — for whatever comp time they can work in.
As a result, this morning we could get to work and write our editorials and tally up the overnight accidents and road closures.
So now that’s done and the paper’s nearly ready to print — we just wanted to say, thanks, guys — before we head on out with a camera to celebrate winter — here at last.