Snow brings out the best in Tri-Citians

Helping a snowbound Burbank neighbor

Snowbound Burbank resident Judy Toebe gets more of a response than expected after calling the Walla Walla Fire District 5 fire station asking to borrow a snow shovel.
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Snowbound Burbank resident Judy Toebe gets more of a response than expected after calling the Walla Walla Fire District 5 fire station asking to borrow a snow shovel.

Mother Nature is showing the region her fierce and blustery side, hitting us with one winter storm after another.

You’d think the weather would beat us down, but in truth, as a community it is lifting us up.

People are jumping out of cars to help strangers stuck in intersections and snow drifts. Neighbors are working side by side to shovel sidewalks around their homes, and those with snow blowers are heroes on their streets and cul-de-sacs.

Everyone is focused on the snow, and it’s bringing out the best in people.

Sure, there are drivers who are impatient and zip along too fast for the conditions, and there are people who only think of themselves.

But most Tri-Citians don’t behave that way.

The relentless snow and freezing cold are bringing opportunities for kindness and generosity, and good hearts are shining through.

Law enforcement officers out helping others found they are not alone in offering assistance. A Kennewick Police Department post on Facebook said:

“This weekend, amidst all the horrible road conditions and accidents, officers were warmed by the encouragement of all the goodness in our community.”

The post went on to say that officers witnessed “the absolute GOODNESS and kindness that poured out from our community … Time and time again, people came to the aid of one another, without one expectation or even exchanging names.”

And police officers throughout the area have needed help getting unstuck.

A Good Samaritan helped out Richland Fire and Emergency on Sunday when a crew responded to a medical emergency in the Badger South development.

Streets there were too snowy for an ambulance, requiring a wait for a snowplow to arrive. That’s when a neighbor offered up his snowmobile, allowing a firefighter to get the patient to a waiting ambulance.

“We have seen so many people helping complete strangers over the past couple of days,” the Richland agency posted on social media.

Trios Health workers made it to the two Trios hospitals in Kennewick over the weekend with the help of The RattleSnake 4x4s Club.

The club drove 300 miles and delivered more than 20 medical workers to the hospitals and then gave them rides home after their shifts, according to social media posts by Trios Health. The club also helped out getting staff to and from Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Snow Stuck helpers
A group of Good Samaritans help free a motorist that became high-centered in deep ruts of snow in Kennewick this week. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Franklin County and Benton County sheriff’s deputies also posted reports of citizens helping each other out. We’ve seen this unselfish response before in our community during past winter storms, and it never fails to renew our faith in humanity.

In addition to acknowledging Tri-Citians’ good nature, we also want to say how much we appreciate those who are working during these hazardous conditions.

Not everyone can hunker down and stay home until the storms pass. Many hardy souls have braved the freezing temperatures and hazardous driving conditions to make the rest of us safe and comfortable.

The road crews and first responders are amazing, and we appreciate all you are doing to keep us safe. Pharmacists and hospital staffs don’t get to skip work because of the weather, and we appreciate your dedication.

Grocers and employees at department stores keeping their doors open so the rest of us can get food and supplies are deserving of our gratitude, as are tow-truck drivers, mechanics, electricians and plumbers.

Mail and delivery workers and even our Tri-City Herald carriers are struggling through the snow for their customers.

We could go on.

As the snow continues, so will the resolve of the community. This harsh winter weather is easier to bear because we are sticking together.