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Office Administrator Nearly Perishes on Daily Mail Run

The Weather Network has predicted a classic Canadian winter weather this year, a sharp contrast to the exceptionally mild winter season last year. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when an arctic vortex swept through yesterday morning. The day started with a mild -12 (-18C with wind chill), but by mid-morning, a heavy band of snow squalls whipped through the region. In addition to the new snowfall, winds were flying across the open fields surrounding the building at over 55 km/hr. This created a spectacular and blinding display of white from every window, and covered the parking lot laneways with deep snowdrifts. These photos were taken in the minutes leading up to one simple office administrator’s daring, near-death escapade in the frozen north.

Normally, Jenn hops out of the car at the red mailbox to collect the previous day’s mail and deposit the outgoing mail, first thing in the morning. But she had already braved the elements the previous day to collect the mail for the bookkeeper, who works every other Wednesday. The bookkeeper had been unable to attend on her regularly-scheduled day so the pile of bills was extensive. Wanting to drop the signed cheques in the mailbox before the mailman arrived, Jenn ventured out in the cold.

First Jenn had to use her full body weight to push the front doors of the building closed before turning her body against the wind so it could blow her to her car. Slick conditions on the pavement made it easy to skate her way there. “I held on to the car door but the force of the wind still nearly ripped my arms off at the shoulder,” said Jenn. Closing the car door presented an even greater challenge. “I literally grabbed the door handle with both hands and threw myself across the front seat to close it”.

The red community mailbox is located on the east side of the building, but was no longer visible from inside Jenn’s car. “It’s a 30 second walk to the mailbox but I decided to drive. I’m glad I did!” Jenn’s car slid down the driveway but got bogged down in the drifting snow. ” I was worried that if I got stuck, I would never make it back to the church on foot. No one knew I had gone out there so no would be looking for me”.

Fortunately, Jenn was able to stop next to the mailbox, and the building provided enough shelter that she was able to get to the mailbox and drop her envelopes in the slot. “I didn’t take the time to see if any mail had arrived,” she said with a laugh. Jenn safely made it around the church to the front doors, but nearly got stuck again on the last corner. An hour later, her boss  did get stuck in the same snowdrift, but with the help of a local police officer who just happened to be on site, was able to dig his way out.

“After that harrowing experience, I was worried about getting home. I didn’t go back to the mailbox for any incoming mail – it’s not like it’s going anywhere.”

Environment Canada is predicting another  15-20cm over night Friday, changing to freezing rain Saturday afternoon. Happy Weekend!