Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day!

We don’t get snow very often down here. It can be a treat because we don't get it that often. It can also be a curse because it is disruptive. This one was a curse. We were told this was coming. But we don’t always believe it. In most cases, we get some snow that sticks but melts out quickly either because the ground is warm enough or because the snowfall is followed immediately by a warning trend that melts it quite quickly.

The worst possible scenario is that we have a snowfall that accumulates and is followed by a cold front that freezes everythi
ng solid. Sunday’s snowfall was one of those.

The rain started on Saturday – about 2 inches during the day and overnight. The snow started just after noon on Sunday. Big, big flakes. Wet and heavy. Bending boughs on pines and cedars. Bending the bamboo canes down to the ground. Flattening daffodils that had just started to bloom. Breaking limbs from trees. Weighing down power and telephone lines. Shorting power lines. An accumulation of 4-5 inches; equivalent to another inch of rain. Flickering lights threatening power outages. Loss of phone service for 24 hours.

Since I have to leave for work at 5:00 am, I have to decide the night before whether to go to work in the morning. It’s not a problem getting out of here but the condition of the roads getting to ‘work’ an hours drive away. All roads around ‘work’ involve negotiating at least one steep hill and a parking lot at ‘work’ can be also be slippery.

The major highways are plowed but local governments don't have the equipment to keep the minor highways and side roads plowed and sanded. W and I normally go out and check the road conditions late afternoon to decide if I should think about trying to get to work in the morning. Sunday’s run was made in 4-wheel drive. It was mushy and slippery in places. The local sheriff’s department had closed the highway north of us. Not sure why. Just north of us, however, the highway winds down a long, not-to-steep but winding road to the county line. The fact that an 18-wheeler detoured and took another road back to the south suggests that the road conditions were not good.

Snow Day!

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