Jan 132017
 

North Carolina is funny about snow. They actually close the schools here because “it might snow”. Not “it has snowed”, not “it is snowing”, but only “it might snow”.

I understand why, now, having lived here for a decade: they have no idea how to deal with this stuff. I once spent more than seven hours trying to get home from work after an ice storm. Not just me, but everyone in Raleigh who left work that day did not get home until after midnight. Kids on school buses, moms trying to get home from the grocery, everyone, stranded on static, ice-locked city streets without food or bathroom for hours and hours.

The whole place just goes crazy.

This, by the way, was real:

This is how Raleigh reacts to one or two inches of snow. Not just cars all over the road, not just people stranded for hours, but also, bursting into flames.

This is why they close the schools now when it might snow.

We were projected to get nine inches last weekend. We didn’t get nine inches, more likeย an inch-and-a-half plus a light glazing of ice, but still, more than enough to close the city for four days.

Tuesday it finally broke above freezing and the snow started to melt. Except “started to melt” does not really describe it. Not here, not in the land of heat and humidity, snow doesn’t just melt here. It is more accurate to say that all of the snow attempted to jump up into the sky and instantly evaporate all at once.

 

The whole world, painted in black and white, coated with a fog so deep you could taste it.

 

 

By Tuesday night it was all gone.

Living in the South is so weird sometimes.

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  2 Responses to “A Black and White World”

Comments (2)
  1. I went to college in Norfolk, VA. One of my most vivid memories is of seeing a pickup truck with the VA DOT logo on its doors, inching down Hampton Blvd. at about two miles an hour, while two guys stood on top of a pile of sand in the back, frantically shoveling the sand onto the highway. If only I’d had a video camera back then!

    I also remember calling my work-study job to say I wasn’t coming in until the afternoon because we’d had a major ice storm, and the roads were in dangerous condition. My truly Southern boss was perplexed, since “I can see the road from my office window and it looks OK.” (This was a Monday morning and there had already been several HUNDRED accidents in the Tidewater area over the weekend.) About an hour and a half later, he called to tell me not to come in because he was leaving for the day: “It’s starting to snow and the edge of the road is starting to turn white!” Yeah. Major ice, no problem, but two flakes of snow and his whole world shut down. LOL

    Be safe out there!

  2. I’ve got news for “y’all” – it’s not just the (Deep) South that reacts this way. Pretty much the same things happen up here in the Great Pacific NW, too. About 1/2-inch of snow is all it takes to basically shut-down Portland (Oregon [“ORygun”, not “oryGONE” or “ORygone”], for those not familiar with the Great PNW). And while the schools don’t always shut-down on just the threat of snow, they have been known to. I don’t typically have a problem driving in the snow, per se – my ‘problems’ usually involve all the other drivers. One time (at band camp, er, I mean) while driving into work on a snow day, I was behind someone who thought it would be a really great idea to start slowing down while they were driving uphill in the snow (which, for all of you who have no idea about driving in the snow, that is probably the WORST decision to make). Ai-yi-yi. That’s when I decided I was never again going to drive into work on the first snow day – just too many id-…, um, un-thinking people out there.

    Of course, we tend to get quite a bit of freezing rain out here, which means ice, which is even worse than snow. And it tends to stick around for days, if not weeks.
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