Archive for the ‘sleet’ Tag

Jokes stop after real snow storm finally hits

I am always the first to squawk at reports of a big snow storm during our newsroom budget meetings.

I joke about the milk and bread syndrome and make cracks at the over-projection of snow, which always seems to disappoint in terms of accumulation totals. Coming from Boston I have seen snow and lots of it, but I can’t remember many storms that lingered as long as this one right here in North Carolina.

Having recently enjoyed sunny 90-degree days in Panama, I hadn’t really gotten back on track after the trip. My apartment is in disarray and I hadn’t been to the grocery store since before the trip. So, with the storm looming Friday, I decided to join the milk and bread goers and went for some last-minute shopping after work.

The store was a disaster.

I wasn’t grocery shopping in emergency mode, but I knew I didn’t have any food in my apartment so I had to go. The aisles were jam-packed with shoppers frantically tossing items into their carts. The egg aisle was the worst.

The shelves were covered in egg yoke and broken shells lined the refrigeration unit. Half-empty cartons were tossed all over the place. Not a single carton was left intact or available for purchase.

After waiting in the checkout line for close to 30 minutes I was finally able to leave the war zone. Later that night it began snowing and didn’t stop until Saturday morning, a little earlier than projected. We got about seven inches of snow and ice.

The roads were a mess Saturday afternoon as I drove to my girlfriend’s apartment. Later, we tried to pick up some dinner, but almost everything was closed and there were very few cars out on the road, which, of course, was unplowed. Getting in and out of my girlfriend’s apartment complex was the worst. A tall snow bank stood in the entrance and I really had to give the car some gas to get it up and over. After a loud thud, the car went soaring through the snow. Success!

Sunday wasn’t much better. Despite the sun’s presence for the first time in days, the roads were just as poor. Intersections were also dangerous as a collection of snow gathered at every stop light, including the Forestdale Drive and Church Street crossing. On a slight hill, my car started to skid a little before I regained control and smoothed things out. Snow in North Carolina wasn’t so funny anymore.

I thought for sure that by Monday morning conditions would be better, but they were almost worse. More roads seemed to be partially cleared, but black ice added to the mix. I left for work around 7:15 a.m. and headed down Haggard Avenue in Elon as usual. I tried to turn right onto Front Street, but couldn’t as my car started to spin out. I was able to straighten it out and get back on Haggard Avenue, so I just continued straight and went to work a different way.

I don’t understand why so few roads are plowed across Alamance County. It is kind of ridiculous. According to the county, plowing Interstate 85/40 and its on and off ramps took longer than expected over the weekend. As a result, only Highways 100, 70, 87 and 54 were finished by Monday morning. That left Highways 62, 119, 49 and most other secondary roads in the county to be plowed Monday. I won’t even try to explain why city roads in Burlington weren’t plowed. To be honest, the city can’t explain it, either.

I doubt all the roads will ever be plowed and the sun will do a quicker job than the snow plows, tractors and whatever else they are using to move snow off the roads. I understand that it doesn’t snow much here, but when it does the conditions end up worse than they should be. It seems that the system in place to deal with snow storms is flawed. I didn’t see a single plow or salt truck on the road while I was out driving this weekend.

I hope that the slow response time in plowing roads from this storm is fixed as soon as possible, especially because there is a chance for more snow at the end of the week.

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