Southern Snowmegeddon 2014

 

Last week much of the Southeast was pummeled with snow, ice, and sleet. This highly unusual weather caused tremendous turmoil as many businesses and schools shut down and people were stuck inside their homes. In my area of South Carolina we received a total of approx 8-10 inches of snow along with periods of sleet and freezing rain. I am originally from New England so before anyone from areas that are used to getting significant snow start saying things like “Oh, those southerners just don’t know how to handle weather like that.” let me go ahead and go on record and say –  Your right!! 

Temperatures at and below freezing left roads covered as snow and ice accumulated. Beyond the lack of experience (and skill) of many southerners on how to drive in conditions such as this – the lack of equipment in many cities and towns didn’t help. I found many main roads to be somewhat prepped prior to the storm as brine was laid down, and then after it started more brine and then a few were actually plowed. The vast majority of roads were left untouched and with the icy conditions cars left on the sides of roads stuck was not uncommon.

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The total time period for the storm lasted from Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon. Grocery stores were mobbed as the storm came rolling in and bread and milk disappeared. It really looked like people thought the zombie apocalypse was coming. Reports stated that this storm was not going to be a few flurries – rather serious accumulation of snow and in some areas dangerous amounts of ice would be falling. The potential of power loss was real but in my area never happened.

I purchased a 2-door Jeep a year ago and this was the first major storm that I have had the opportunity to test it. Man – it did fantastic. I had absolutely no issues getting anywhere I wanted to go. Up hills, down hills, back roads – when in 4-wheel drive I felt like I had a magnet pulling me to the ground.

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A friend of mine told me a story where he saw a Dodge Charger get stuck going up a slight hill. A man with a 4×4 came along and asked the three teenage girls in the car if they needed a tow. They said yes. At this point he noticed they were wearing what were basically pajamas with sneakers and sweatshirts. He went on to give them a lecture on being unprepared for the weather and they shouldn’t have been out driving in these conditions anyways.

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Bad decisions such as the one made by those girls is what creates news stories about unneeded loss of life. People need to think! Even in my Jeep I had a get home kit with food and water, extra clothing, and the ability to create fire.

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I had the opportunity to take a few neighbors to the store to get supplies. Nothing really critical but I really enjoyed the snow and looked for every excuse I could to get out in it. Although many looked at the storm as nothing but trouble – some areas really looked beautiful. 

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This was the worst storm in 10 years in my area of the country. I would like to think that some people will have been woke up and realize now they should be better prepared to face the fury of Mother Nature – but not likely. I hate to be negative but my experience has shown me people forget and take things for granted.

If you’re reading this post – I know you are not one of them. 

Take care all – 

Rourke

 


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Agenda: Grinding America Down – Documentary available on DVD that really gives some interesting insight on what has been and is going on in this country. High recommended.

 


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22 Comments

  1. Aw, c’mon Rourke…you had to be shaking your head, but still laughing at them a little bit! I realize the south isn’t ready to deal with something like this, but I still have to SMH…

  2. I can see by your comments and pics that you were having a good time. Great feeling to enjoy the accomplishment of mastering what everyone else sees as adversity! D.

  3. Mine here in East Central Illinois has been a 4wd supercab Ford Ranger and I have no problems with mobility just with incentitive since I seldom lack anything making it necessary for me to brave such weather unless it is a SHTF situation. Will not own a Jeep since old Henry J sold it out. Loved them bac in the days when I also drove Willys Aero sedans.

  4. This was a joke don’t believe everything you here i live in the south we got 5 to 7 inches so call it what you won’t Bad No! The South receive all the fed Money so they had to make it look bad so the taxpayers you have to pay it back.
    Need to call your officials and find out how much money you receive how you’re going to pay it back are make your State return it .

  5. Everyone here in Taxachusetts drives a Subarau…unless you can afford an Audi or a Mercedes. One foot yesterday, unusually snowy and cold this winter. Al Gore came by to plow my driveway.

  6. ive lived in the northeast most of my life and learned how to drive in winter under those cond you learn QUICK what to do and what NOT to do one thing I learned is after some big mall is closed at night is how to CONTROL skids and slides by just going around and TRYING to skid and slide

  7. It has certainly been an interesting month here. Bad weather exposes weaknesses like few other things. 3/4 weeks ago when we got hit with what northerners would consider a laughable amount of frozen precipitation it caused such a disaster (mostly around Atlanta)that it made national news. Highways packed with immovable traffic, thousands stranded on the roads and in the schools OVERNIGHT! I don’t blame the people so much, yes they made silly, stupid mistakes, like heading out into a storm with little gas in their rides. But they.. as they always do.. were expecting the guberment to carry the day, the guberment didn’t and without that helping hand many were lost. Of course after the storm passed the real work of our state guberment started: making excuses, pointing fingers & blaming others and forming task-forces to find solutions. This past weeks storm went much more smoothly…. people stayed home…. A lesson has been learned, but can they remember it for long?

    John Gault …somewhere in Georgia…

  8. I hear you. Even if you know how to drive in bad weather, it is best to stay home because nobody around you can. Once they start tying up traffic, you are screwed. Being from Maine and living most of my adult life in the north, we have always prepped for bad winter storms. I moved to Florida in 2011 and was absolutely amazed that most people did not prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms. We bought in the middle of hurricane alley and immediately started looking into what we would need in this area. The most popular answer I got was don’t worry about it. We haven’t had a hurricane in years and there will be plenty of time to get what you need if one starts bearing down on us. On top of that, I discovered that if they do find supplies during the last few hours before the storm hits, they turn around and sell or scrap them after the storm passes. I have talked to a few people that have bought plywood to cover their windows several times in the same year. Needless to say, I have been the butt of quite a few jokes as I started building covers for my windows and doors, labeling them and storing in the garage. If they knew I was stockpiling supplies as well, they would probably sell tickets for the tour.

  9. This has been a colder than usual winter all across the Gulf states and the Southeast. It has certainly challenged a lot of folks’ driving abilities even here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

    The question I have is how long did it take the grocery stores in your areas to restock their bare shelves. My wife and I get to the stores 2-3 days ahead of a forecasted storm in order to not get caught up in the madness of the unprepared.

    We see stores usually taking several days to fully restock once the conditions are such that their trucks can run. It is now getting to be important to stock enough food early to be able to last till normal stocks returned.

    Also, it is very noticeable in the DFW area that bare shelves show that in normal conditions stores do not have more than 1-2 days of high use items on hand.

    For those of you who like studying the weather, Weatherbell.com is a forecasting company and Joe Bastardi is the Chief Forecaster. Weatherbell forecasts are very accurate and Bastardi is not a global warming advocate. There is a monthly or annual fee for all but the Saturday monthly forecast report which is available every Saturday.

  10. Born and raised in the south, Atlanta area. Took 17 hours to get home for a 67 mile commute. When traffic stopped I pulled over to the shoulder and took a nap, did that twice, just covered up with a blanket and caught some Z’s. The biggest problems I saw were to many tractor trailers that should not have been inside 285and people running out of gas. My tank never gets below half a tank. By cutting the engine off when there was no movement and when I was sleeping I used a quarter of a tank in 17 hours.
    I remember growing up we would get snow every 5 or 6 years, the kids and adults would play the next day and the day after the snow would be all gone. of course that was when everybody keep their pantries full and it was safe to make ice cream from the snow.

  11. I was pretty proud of myself. As I looked around in anticipation of the oncoming storm, there was nothing that I needed to go out to buy. When the power went off, it was no surprise and no big deal. Plenty of fire wood for heat. Someone on this blog had mentioned solar pathlights to use indoors during power outages. I had picked up a few the prevous week and had them charged up by the sun. They worked wonderful. Thanks to whoever you are for that gem. Also used a solar motion sensor light in the bathroom. No more worries about candles and munchkins and fire.

  12. Hey MsKy,

    This is so simpleminded I hate to suggest it but never occurred to me until in a CERT class. I have a bunch of solar flashlights and lanterns (yes, candles..bad…house fires)that I used to rush and put in the sun before a storm. Store them in a sunny window!

  13. Rourke-thanks for the great photos !!! I love our jeep.
    Here in upstate NY we had 29 inches ( 3-4 inches an hour-I was up most of the night watching it-first time I exp 4 inches an hr. and of course plowing)Then another 5 came two days later. We are expecting a few inches of flurries- and then more snow on Tues.Finally they closed schools here for one day of the big storm.It feels normal though-even though its a lot of snow. Grand kids came out and enjoyed sledding.
    Rourke and all of you in the south- I bet you were so glad to have been prepared. Scary to see those bare shelves though.The tv carried pretty good coverage .
    Take care everyone. Its time to get your seeds ordered and start dreaming of spring time.We will be tapping a few maple trees when the temps rise.
    This winter we have had more cold then in many years. weeks of minus 10,14, etc.
    Warm regards, Arlene

  14. What part of SC are you from. BTW I love my snow days. SC did better than Atlanta and Raleigh. I guess SC is not as dumb as what some think.

  15. We got hammered with all ice and then a light rain in the overnight breaking down the trees and power lines. Still thousands without power in Aiken SC. An area that prides itself on trees has not seen this type damage since Hugo.Twenty years with a power company and being raised on a farm helped our family and not bragging but our firewood and woodstove kept grandchildren and the wife and i warm and we did fine with our preps. I appreciate this site and thank you for making it available. Lastly …Ravioli in the can tastes pretty good cold or hot !

  16. Nice little excuse to go play in the snow! I noticed the Evening “News” liars being careful not to mention global warming but instead were squawking about “Climate Change”. I say we all go out and burn some tires to turn this mess around!

  17. Down here in the Midlands of South Carolina, the majority of folks heeded the advice of the Governor and stayed off the roads. It was really a big ice event for us. Lost power for a few hours, but was prepared for that. Found that my Toyota Corolla was able to make it through the worst of it.

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