EDITORIAL – The good, the bad and the tragic of this winter storm

Downtown Kamloops on Sunday. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

A FEW THOUGHTS on the nasty storm that descended upon us Sunday.

The good news is that most people seemed to take it seriously and heed advice to stay home. That wasn’t good news for merchants, whose stores were pretty empty, but it showed that people were being smart.

There were plenty of stories about neighbours helping neighbours shovel out their driveways, and drivers helping each other when they got stuck.

Nevertheless, the Coquihalla was taking its toll, and a tragedy in Rayleigh received a lot of attention. A horse was killed by a CN train and the rider was taken to hospital.

An initial police report was devoid of details, which is often the case immediately after something happens.

Social media were alive with comments questioning why the man was out riding in the storm, especially near the rail tracks. Some of those comments were hurtful.

There are times when people should just keep their mouths shut until they have some facts upon which to draw conclusions. As it turns out, the man was helping round up some horses to get them to shelter.

And here’s my annual complaint about the yard-tractor warriors who insist on pushing the snow from their driveways out onto the street. It’s illegal and dangerous. If you’ve ever been driving along and suddenly struck a frozen mound of snow stretching across the road, you will know this. Stop it.

Finally, a shout out to the under-appreciated crews who go out in all kinds of weather, no matter what time of day or night, to keep our roads safe. They take a lot of guff from those who are impatient, but so far they’ve done a helluva job on this one.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8044 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – The good, the bad and the tragic of this winter storm

  1. Catherine Ward // January 13, 2020 at 12:59 PM // Reply

    Thank you for your wonderful words, especially regarding the horse and rider. The horse gave his life and his master his health trying to save other lives. The hateful comments reflect on the individuals who open their mouthes without engaging their brains. Strength and love to the Camille family. Pray for the young man to get well. They are hero’s.

  2. Sorry to hear about the horse and rider in Rayleigh, although he should’ve known not to be near the tracks of one of the most active rail links in North America.
    Otherwise, the weather is the perfect opportunity for a winter carnival, because joy and a warm drink make the weather just a frame of mind.

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