Overworked and underpaid since the frigid advances of the New Ice Age overtook their town two years ago, the snowplow drivers of greater Shreveport say that if something isn’t done soon to lighten their workload, they’re planning to walk off their jobs and to leave Shreveport ground commuters defenseless to face the snowiest August on record.
“We’ve had it!” said Jerry Vanderbreem, a senior snowplow driver in the greater Shreveport fleet. “The snow’s been non-stop for eleven months, and we’re not getting enough sleep! We need more trucks, we need more drivers, and we need them now, or else we’re walking!”
Across the snowbound nation, and in many areas around the globe, the New Ice Age has plunged many a snowplow crew into a nearly around-the-clock call of duty, to clear roads for the some 70 percent of the global population still using ground commute methods in the emerging Hovercraft Age. State and federal agencies met in sleet-bound Miami, Florida this week for yet another ‘dress-in-layers” emergency meeting to discuss the mounting problem in the nation’s southern latitudes.
The conference comes on the heels of last week’s devastating and shocking wave of human stampedes in Jacksonville, Florida, where 11 retail workers were crushed do death as customers mobbed retail centers demanding winterwear, flannel apparel, and woolen longjohns. Similar riots in Atlanta, Georgia were postponed last week due to heavy snowfall.
But facing the brunt of the workload are the nation’s snowplow truck drivers who, because of the manifestation of wintry conditions, have been called to duty for longer shifts and fewer days off.
“We’re not unreasonable,” insists Vanderbreem. “We know that the nation’s transportation system needs its roads to be cleared for commuters and transport. We just need more trucks and more drivers, and city governments are responding to the need instead by sticking us with more road hours. It’s a bad remedy. It puts more fatigued snowplow drivers on the roads. Fatigue makes you hallucinate. We had a guy last week, thought he was driving a giant waffle iron. It’s not good, and it’s not right. We need relief, damn it!”
Federal officials say that in some hard hit areas — like Albuquerque New Mexico, which saw 119 inches of snow fall over a four-day period last week — , military personnel will be summoned to help with municipal snow removal.
In other New Ice Age related news:
-Two residents were killed and two others were seriously injured when a giant slab of glacier ice collapsed in Bronx, New York. Authorites confirmed that severed cold caused a splinter of the Yonkers Glacier to fall 115 feet onto a residential area in North Bronx, crushing three homes and causing the casualties. Researchers say it is difficult to predict whether or not future such tragedies are likely to occur along the rapidly-hardening Yonkers Glacier, a new lobe of the Hudson River Valley Glacier System.
-The men’s ice hockey team from the Bahamas advanced to its first ever World Hockey Cup Final Four, defeating the Czechoslovakia 5-4 in a thrilling overtime shootout. The Bahamas team, comprised largely of refugees from heavily-glaciated Canada, are now expected to face the winner of the upcoming quarterfinal match between Guatemala and the United Arab Emirates.
-A 28-year-old stuntman has survived a first-ever unaided jump off Chicago’s Sears Tower, the city’s highest edifice. Stuntmaster Travis Doorland survived the leap from the 1,450-foot-high roof to the top of the Lake Michigan Ice Sheet that has inundated Greater Chicago, a dropping distance of about one-and-a-half stories.