Sheriff's Officials said that this weekend's past storm claimed the lives of two different individuals in Penobscot County, but not in a manner that you might initially think. It was actually the act of cleaning up all that snow that led to the deaths. And as such, folks from the Sheriff's Office issued a warning, in advance of this evening's storm, that people need to be careful when clearing snow.

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"Deputy sheriffs and emergency medical services responded to two separate incidents in which individuals suffered fatal medical events, while moving heavy snow. The incidents were unrelated; however, both involved the use of snow blowers."

man blowing snow

They detailed, on the Facebook Page, some tips to keep in mind while clearing the mess Mother Nature sends our way.

If you plan to shovel out your driveway and walkways, they recommend taking it slow and even stretching before and after you work.


"Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it's lighter. Push the snow rather than lift it.

If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel.

Lift with your legs, not your back. Do not work to the point of exhaustion."
In case you thought it a good idea to have a smoke or a snack while shoveling, experts warn against that, too.
Man cleaning snow with shovel in winter day.
It's also a good idea for folks to know the signs of a heart attack, so they can call 9-11 if they start to experience any of them.

For those who plan to snow-blow their paths clear, it's very important to understand how to properly operate your machine safely.

man with a snow blowing machine working in winter day

"If the blower jams, turn it off.  Keep your hands away from the moving parts. Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space. Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel when it is running."

You should also never leave your machine running and unattended.

snow clearing in the winter

The post included links to a recently published article about the risks of shoveling and heart attacks.

It also had some safety stats around snow removal put out by the National Safety Council.

The bottom line; an ounce of prevention can go a long way.

Stay safe out there, and good luck with the cleanup!

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