Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Is All This White Stuff?


So... you may have noticed on the news that it done snowed in the South. Like... a lot.

Greenville is protected by the nature of its location from the worst of any weather pattern, but that doesn't mean we didn't still have us some fun. 

Now, we've known this was coming for a couple of days now. So when I got up yesterday and drove to work under that special steel-gray sky, I was well aware of what was likely to commence. Work was basically a waiting game to see what would happen; we ended up only getting out an hour early, but frankly should have been sent home at least two hours earlier than that if the goal was to avoid the mess.

When they let us go and I walked out into the parking lot, I looked at the amount of snow on my car, thought about the country highway I drive home on, and said to a coworker, "Well, this'll be nice and dangerous."

And it was, dear readers.

Although it's a highway in serious use, it's still a country road with lots of nice happy curves and hills. The snow was accumulating rapidly, but people had obviously been driving over it, which meant in-between the snow were tire tracks where friction had melted it and it had begun to re-harden into exciting, exciting ice. The South doesn't pre-salt or pre-sand; they don't have enough plows, salt trucks, sand, or even rock salt itself to do anything in advance. The stuff just... sits on the road until someone can get around to it later. And sometimes that "later" is "tomorrow morning."

I took it slow, and really it wasn't super bad. My only concern actually came from a guy in front of me who slammed on his brakes constantly.

For those who don't know how to drive in snow and/or ice, the number one rule is do not hit your brakes.

Just let your foot off the gas. You'll slow down, it'll most likely be fine. If you hit your brakes, you're going to spin out your tires if it's slick and lose control. So yeah. That was a harrowing adventure.

Today my work didn't open at all, which was probably the safest call; while the roads in Greenville were mostly passable, the country roads have lots of trees to shade them from the sun and things were still nice and slick and icy all morning.

The upside to all this madness has been that the dog got to play in snow for the first time. He enjoyed it heartily, until of course he suddenly didn't anymore and ran like the dickens to get back inside and away from it. Then, thirty minutes later, he wanted to try again. Same result.

Then he wanted to try again.

It was sunny enough today to melt most of it, but there's still a dusting for him to play in.

So what did I do on my grown-up snow day?

Uh... I did the dishes?

I ate a pear. That was exciting.

Oh! I went and put gas in the car.

Also super exciting.

(I may or may not have eaten a chicken taquito from the gas station. It may or may not have delicious.)

That is seriously the sum of my accomplishments for the day. It's been awesome.

If you northerners are up there laughing because cities have been shut down by what looks like very little snow... just read this. Oh, and look at the news in Atlanta right now, or this article from an Atlanta commuter who spent eight hours stuck in traffic. Or Birmingham. It was a vague inconvenience for Greenville, but stuff like this can very easily shut down a whole region; we've got nothing in place to deal with it.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, we northerners like to give shit, but obviously, all kidding aside, when a region gets weather that ordinarily NEVER happens there, then there's no way to be prepared. Really is crazy, dude. My brother got married in NC on the day of the first snowfall there in like five years or something, it was a total shitshow.

    But you know, honestly, it's still pretty dangerous driving in the snow, even up here! People are more prepared to deal with it, and we do have salt trucks, but man, while it's coming down, it's madness out there.

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