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Storm of the Century of the Week: Is there any better way to kill snow?

February 15, 2007

Well, it’s over. The first winter storm of the season has come and gone.

Walking down the street (LNP)

Yesterday was an adventure in my newspaper-working life. Due to the excessive ice on the roads, I was stuck in my Southern York home updating the LancasterOnline website via VPN (the “mobile command center” I like to call it), then I went outside to clean off my sidewalk and driveway.

I’m glad I didn’t give it a go and try to make it to work, or else I would have been trapped on the interstate with six miles of other shivering friends.

The six inches of heavy snow laden with ice BROKE MY SHOVEL in half! It was a heavy-duty shovel too! Now I need to go buy an new fancy shovel with the ice-cracking steel edge.

And just think … a week ago, these shovels were on clearance sale, due to the warm winter so far.
I want to know … is there an easier way to remove heavy, caked snow like this?

I was thinking maybe a propane torpedo heater on a cart? You could roll it slowly down the driveway and melt the snow, then spread some salt in its place so it doesn’t re-freeze. Granted, it may take a few gallons of liquid propane to clear the average driveway.

Looks like the Navy already did something similar:

Barr (1988) states that on the USS Carl Vinson:

A-6 Intruder

“The best snow removal device was the A-6 attack aircraft with its downward angle exhaust nozzles. The A-6 was used to clear the entire landing area by taxiing into position, being tied down, and clearing a segment of the deck.”

Cool! Where can I rent one? Here’s a patent application for a snow-removal device that uses STEAM as well. So it’ll press your clothing while you work?

Or maybe I need to look into a radiant-heated driveway like this one?

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