We’re a liability to insurance companies out here in the outback. We love to hate insurance companies, in general. When I used to tell people that I worked for attorneys, some huffed in disgust as they lumped all attorneys together in a pot of “deplorables.” My response was always, “When you need a lawyer for a legitimate reason, you will look for the best one you can find.” Same with insurance companies: when you need them, you need them.
Insurance rates are high in the Methow. If it’s not the exorbitant cost of repairing vehicle damage from hitting a deer, it’s damage from wildfire and mudslides, and, in a winter like this one, it’s collapsed roofs, water damage from ice dams or burst plumbing. If you are a victim of any one of these weather-related perils, it’s worth a check into your homeowners’, auto or renters’ policy to see if there is any relief by filing a claim.
Around the valley, structures such as outbuildings, carports, barns and garages have been collapsing under the weight of the wet, heavy snow and build-up of ice resulting in damage to vehicles, equipment, and other items.
Fortunately, there are folks who will remove the snow. It’s not always easy to find snow shovelers who will actually show up, for whatever reason. For sure, it’s hard work and climbing on roofs can be risky business.
As our roofs were stacking up 2-4 feet of snow and 4-6 inches of ice dams, we knew we needed help. Two respondents fell through. Then we found Jose Pimentel, who does construction work during the less snow-laden months. He answers his phone, (509) 341-4015. He comes when he promises. He brings help for the job. Once the roof of the house was cleared and the temperature rose, down came the ice dams in a clatter. They were huge slabs and would have killed a human or animal had one been under them when they fell. Paths that had been cleared to the front door and off the back deck had to be abandoned, now covered with several feet of snow and ice.
Attention turned to the barn where the side opposite the paddocks slid with the above-freezing temperatures. The other side with snow brakes was looking ominous. Visions of the barn falling over backwards were warning us to do something. Jose, help! He and four others showed up the next day and climbed up with their snow scoops and shovels. In a little over an hour, they had the barn roof cleared. The cupola and weathervane emerged from under a deep cover where they had disappeared after the recent snowfalls. A sigh of relief.
It’s not a very pretty sight outside right now. It’s the dirty snow time that we usually see in March. The lane is a slushy, mushy mess. The trees are still trying to shed their leaves, covering the withering snow with litter. Spring can’t come soon enough for me. I do hope that it melts in a reasonable manner, so we don’t experience the next peril of a mudslide from the Cedar Creek burn. As Gilda Radner, an early Saturday Night Live comedienne, named her memoir before she sadly died from cancer: “It’s always something.”