Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Phenology: Bill Carrico on the Snow Emergency

As this web site has mentioned before, whenever Virginia sees anything remotely resembling what Northerners call winter weather, we call it a disaster--and it is, because we don't get this kind of weather every year, and are not prepared.

Gate City got up to six inches of powder last week, then six inches of wet snow (more fell, but it melted and packed down) on Saturday, then another inch or two of powder early Monday morning. Not bad--unless you were trying to drive on a back road, where slippery powder snow concealed a treacherous crust of ice. I didn't even want to walk out and see the inevitable idjits trying to drive under these conditions. I took two snow days at home and was, frankly, cozy. This is, after all, the kind of thing people in the Northern States expect to live with for one-quarter of the year, and in other places where this web site is read "winter weather" is usually worse than this.

Winter weather is usually more severe in Wise County than in Scott County. Higher mountains; rougher back roads. Wendy Welch described the situation in downtown Big Stone Gap as pleasant, with people finally putting those four-wheel nuisance vehicles to good use...but one person's jolly snow party is usually another person's snow disaster.

From Virginia State Senator Bill Carrico:

"CARRICO ISSUES STATEMENT ON STATE OF EMERGENCY IN WISE, LEE & DICKENSON COUNTIES

Richmond - Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) issued the following statement today concerning the ongoing states of emergency in the Southwest Virginia counties of Wise, Lee and Dickenson:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties as they continue to endure brutal weather conditions that have led to widespread damage and dangerous scenarios for many residents.  I want to assure them that we are working hard to ensure that all available state resources are leveraged to their full potential for the affected counties.  I would like to commend the first responders, local leaders, the National Guard, and the state agencies and officials who are working tirelessly to help manage the situation.  My office will continue to do the same, and we pray that weather conditions will improve in the very near future."

Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties have declared states of emergency after more than two feet of snow accumulated last week, with potentially more in the forecast.  Widespread damage is occurring to businesses and residences, along with power and water outages and transportation concerns.  The National Guard is in Wise County to assist in the damage clean-up and help county officials prepare for any additional accumulation.  In the county alone, officials estimate damage there to be millions of dollars in damage.

Individuals with storm damage to report are encouraged to call 276-328-2321. "

To which this web site adds: Youall know I don't have a lot to offer, but if anybody in Wise County has become temporarily homeless as a result of all this snow, their friends who have Internet access may Twitter @5PriscillaKing . (I'll even lean on people whose spare bedrooms have electricity.)