Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh No! It Might Rain, Sleet, & Freeze!

Yesterday evening my 85 year old neighbor Jim called me and told me an ice storm is coming in and we will be ice-bound to our homes for at least 3 days. A friend, who also lives in this county, in an email, told me the same thing.

Of the three places that I keep tabs on the weather, it is as predicted here in Metro Atlanta, When I got up at 4:30 it was 33º and now three hours later it is 34º. They said it would be between 32 and 34 degrees, it may or may not get cold enough to freeze, but it would rain a lot. That is exactly what it is doing.

I wonder where my friends get their weather information? They seem to always get a paranoid version with a lot of negative wrong information.

My weather sources also said that north Georgia would have a blast of winter in the form of sleet and snow, and they did. It has already snowed 4 inches in Helen, Georgia.

With the exception of my Navy time I have spent a life time in Metro Atlanta and I think we have been snowbound where we could not drive maybe one time. We were out of power too, so we had to go out and eat, which meant driving, but that was later in the day.

The Georgia State Highway Department let all their road workers to home early yesterday so they would be on hand to do what they would need to do today, which I’m sure they are doing their share of making the highways clear about 30 miles north of here.

I remember when I was in the Navy and a big snow in Lakehurst, New Jersey. I had a PV544 Volvo at the time. The car was completely covered with snow. It wasn’t because the snow was five or six feet deep. It was because of the wind and snow drifts, in the barracks’ parking lot were huge snow lumps, vaguely shaped like automobiles. When you decided which car is yours you just start digging with your hands, hopefully with gloves on, until you can get enough of the snow off to make it drivable. I remember not being sure it was my car until I got the back window cleaned off and recognized the unique shape.

Then it was a team effort with everyone nearby to help each person get going. We, as a group, would push a car, to get it beyond a ice slippery hump, with the owner behind the wheel. After that it was easy going.

Also, at times we went to see my uncle in Carmel, New York. On the trip around bridges and hills there would be barrels of sand on standby I suppose the NY DOT strategically placed. They were ready. We don’t do that in Georgia…. Then when it snows we panic.

I remember one time in Marietta a new shopping center was being built. For a while, it would be the largest shopping center in the southeast. The name of it was Town & Country Shopping Center. They just paved the parking huge parking lot when we got a big ice storm in 1961. Of course schools were closed and most people didn’t go to work. Many of us met in the newly paved parking lot at Town & Country Shopping Center. With our cars, we would do all kinds of sliding tricks. Most of us, at that point in our lives, drove old heaps, so we didn’t mind getting a dent, like we would today. We would drive across the parking lot, building up speed, then slamming on the breaks and then slide, and if we were good enough maneuvering with the steering wheel, spin like a top and everything else. We learned a lot about the physics of snow and tires that day, which helped me year later to get to work at the Atlanta Post Office in the worse of ice storms.

One friend, Mark, had a new red Impala. He was sliding in a graceful way and hit the curb side of the walk in front of the stores and flipped, landed on its top and slid upside down through the new glass window of the new Kroger store. I forgot the details, but I bet he had one hell of a story to tell his insurance company.

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Blogger kenju said...

We have about 1/2 inch of snow now and it is supposed to change to freezing rain later. Pooh!

That story about the car flipping is scary. My boyfriend and I used to do the same thing in parking lots and deserted streets back in the late 50's. I guess we were lucky that we never had anything bad to happen.

8:38 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Yes, I would say you were lucky.
But, after it was over with Mark became a better driver because he learned real quick that you can't predict the auto physics and ice.

8:52 AM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Folks, every year I do that in parking lots to get ready for the crazies I just know are on the roads up here. Every year folks behave like they've never seen snow on the road before.

Practice makes - well, if not quite perfect, then at least prepared for most anything.

Plus it's a lot of fun. {-;

We're looking at highs around 10 degrees this weekend. Enjoy your rain and sleet, eh. :)

7:34 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I like the "plus it is a lot of fun" part.

12:02 PM  

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