A fresh blanket of snow

Alison slowly woke up from her cat nap on the sofa. She sat up, stretched out, and glanced outside. “Whoa, it’s still snowing?”

“Yep” answered her brother, Brendan, as he entered the room. “According to my phone, eight inches on the ground since last night.”

Suddenly, an idea entered her brain. “Hey, we should go shovel out the driveway.”

“So Dad doesn’t have to.”


The two of them pulled on their boots, coats, hats, and gloves. They marched out into the garage and picked up matching shovels. Alison went for the patio and adjoining sidewalk, Brendan for the main driveway.

20 minutes later, the pair had a decent chunk of it done, and even helped a passing motorist get unstuck as well.

Then out of nowhere, a booming crash and sudden stillness occurred. Alison and Brendan turned to see that a power line had been ripped down by a falling tree.

Alison immediately and instinctively held out her arm to halt Brendan from continuing to walk further. “Don’t go near it.”

A couple of neighbors emerged from their homes, obviously curious as to what had happened. One of them yelled out some good advice: “Stay back kids!”

“I’m calling 911!” Brendan yelled to everyone. “I’ll call Avista!” answered the next door neighbor. Once those two calls were done, the only thing left to do was keep everyone away from the potential danger until help arrived.

Soon enough, an Avista truck pulled up. The crew used special equipment to safely handle the situation.

Talking with other neighbors while watching, Alison noted that the downed wire was touching a metal fence and buried deep into a bush, which meant either one could have shocked someone who touched them.

Fortunately, nobody did.

Brendan and Alison finally turned toward home—and of course, the rest of their shoveling.

Learn more about downed power line safety.

Stay safe


  1. Safety
  2. Winter