Snowmaggedon '17 officially ends
February 14, 2017
By Mike Weland
The state of emergency declared by Boundary
County Commissioners a week earlier was quietly
and gratefully allowed to expire Monday, and
while the work made necessary by the heavy drop
of February snow has by no means ended, the pace
has slowed to a more tolerable level much less
Life in Boundary County is returning to normal;
neighbors who took it upon themselves to let the
little things on their own places slide so as to
tackle the big things that threatened neighbors
are able to once again turn their attention to
their own tasks; people from miles away who
raced in to lend a hand are going home, grateful
they could help and knowing, if roles reverse,
we'll return the favor.
Some call what Boundary County just went through
as a challenge, and it was ... but those who
have long called this place home see how
everything just fell into place as an
affirmation of how wonderful this place is ...
how this is one of those seemingly rare places
anymore that still know that it's not the
disaster that defines us, but how we pull
together and respond.
"Love thy neighbor" could have been written
As a result of the declaration, 20 young men
came into the community, prisoners who are
serving time in Idaho State Prison in Orofino.
While they were here, though, few if any local
residents noticed their bright orange coats.
They boarded transportation today for the trip
back south, back to finish paying their debts to
society. It's not likely they left Boundary
While their work was limited to helping out on
official government buildings only, not a person
who saw their bright jackets questioned their
hard work, especially those who worked most
closely with them.
"It was my great pleasure to feed the crew of 20
inmates and two staff from Orofino for the past
six days ... even though it's been a lot of hard
work," said Alison Ashworth-Henslee, the driving
force behind Far North Deli. "I'll admit I was a
little sad to take them their last "Mom" dinner
She didn't have to do it, but like we all did,
she did it anyway, BBQ chicken, baked beans,
potato salad, rolls and hot chocolate chip
In Boundary County the step from "above" to
"above and beyond" is often too small to notice.
"Usually, I just said 'hi' and asked them how
they're doing," Alison said. "But tonight I
stopped and had a few words with them. Told them
thank you from all of us for their hard work and
how very much we appreciated all of their help.
Told them we hoped they only come for snow and
not in the summer (they're a firefighting crew
also!) They were kind and thoughtful and most
appreciative of my cooking ... I'm hoping the
taste of good Mom food will help them make
better choices when they're back on our side of
Laroy Dowd grew up in Bonners Ferry, but he's a
successful man now living with his family in
Rathdrum. When he heard of friends back home
needing help, he launched, on the spur of the
moment, the Unbury Bonners Ferry Work Party, set
to meet Saturday morning and work all day.
He was disappointed ... only about 10 people
showed up ... but they worked hard and helped dig out eight
"Thank the Lord," one lady said after the snow
was off her roof and on the ground.
There are many who don't know where the help
came from, they are just grateful that it did.
Firefighters from every department in Boundary
County gave up training to get out and do the
very thing they signed on to do. Our churches,
none seeking credit, just did what neighbors do.
Around 40 people from Mennonite Christian Disaster Relief,
who came from Washington, Canada and southern
Idaho, joined more than 40 people from the local
church, and together helped nearly 100 people
We took care of each other. That is what
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