Holiday chill-out

From left, Shyonna Rumball, Jenna Cornea and Phoebe Whalen ‘Pizza Elves” of Papa Bella’s Pizza 425 Mill St. pass pizza out to customers during the recent Christmas Eve Winter Storm. Photo: Patrick McAbee.

By David Fleet
Ortonville —The right mix of near blizzard conditions on a holiday weekend resulted in some difficult working conditions for those trudge on in the snow.
According to the National Weather Service area snowfalls ranged from 3.5 inches in Clarkston to 5 inches in Lapeer to 4.3 in Flint. Southwest to west winds at 20-30 mph with gusts topping 40 mph drove wind chills down to near 20 below zero.
And while some area residents remained nestled in their homes, others were enduring the late December chill.
Mark Bell, owner of Papa Bellas’ Pizza, 425 Mill St., Ortonville made work optional on Friday as the snow and wind continued.
“I worried about workers driving in to Ortonville,” said Bell. “But on Saturday, Christmas eve the weather and roads started to look a little better. We made some deliveries but many customers decided to drive in and pick up dinner. It turns out to be a fun day at work, many of those working dress up in Christmas attire, they were all in a festive mood. Many customers stayed at home and just went out to grab dinner.”
Marty Short, a retired firefighter who served for the past three decades as an area tow truck diver for Hempton’s Auto Repair and Towning, Goodrich, has seen more than his share of snowy nights.
“Roads around wide open fields are the very worst,” said Short. “The four-wheel drive vehicles are the worst and seem to be in the ditch more often. They drive faster thinking they can stop faster with all four wheels working. The often land farther off the road. Also, those with small cars are pushed off the road by the high winds, like we had this past weekend.”
“Just slow down if you have to go out,” he said. “Also, give us some room along side the road when we’re trying to get a motorist out of the ditch. I’ve had my truck hit by drivers who just are not paying attention.”

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