A snow day anywhere, whether it be a holiday or not, typically means a good time for kids, building forts, having snowball fights, basically being kids. However, in New York, one snow fort ended up being a snowy prison for hours after two children discovered that playing in the snow was not as safe as they believed.
These two boys were outside building a snow fort in Newburgh, New York. Having a good time playing, the boys were unaware that their fort would end up becoming a snowy cell. A plow clearing a nearby parking lot was preparing to dump snow onto an existing snowbank, unaware that the two boys were playing in their fort. According to officials, the plow covered the boys fort with snow from the parking lot, trapping the children.
The boys, a 9-year-old and a 11-year-old, were enjoying time playing outside building a snow fort. According to authorities, the boys did not return home after a day of playing in the snow. A mother of one of the boys was out searching for both of them after they did not return home by 10:00 p.m. before calling 911 at 11:50 p.m. when family members could not locate the pair of boys. Police officers searched the complex for the two boys, who are cousins, knocking on doors and asking children in the neighborhood if they had seen the boys. Eventually, authorities discovered that the cousins were out in the parking lot of a health center nearby, playing in a snow fort.
Around 2:00 a.m., officials found the boys in a snow bank at a nearby health center. An officer found a half buried shovel in the frozen bank and began digging. The officer then uncovered a child sized boot. Other officers and good samaritans searching for the boys joined the officer that located the boot and began digging. Some searchers were using their bare hands to look for the kids.
The boys were located safe in the New York snow bank that was once their snow fort. After being buried under six to seven feet of snow for hours, both were suffering weather related exposure due to the subzero temperatures,. Both boys were conscious and taken to the hospital, where one remains under observation. The mothers of the boys are thankful to those who helped find them.
Authorities believe the snow plow operator was clearing the nearby parking lot, pushing snow onto the snowbank on the opposite side from where the kids were playing. It appears that neither the boys or the plow operator were aware of each other and that was when the plow covered the kids fort with them inside.
The boys, along with numerous children, had been thought to be safe, playing and building forts in the snow that the city in New York State had received. Over a half-foot of snow had fallen in the city, which is approximately 60 miles north of New York City. The increased snow fall in the area, while enticing to play in, can hold dangers, both seen and unseen.
By Carl Auer