It’s amazing to me how the South responds to a “winter event.” A winter event is snow, sleet, ice or any combination thereof, and despite the fact we usually have 1-2 of these each winter, the Southern states are woefully unprepared. Consider the situation in Atlanta, Georgia, where traffic during the recent winter event became snarled and came to a full stop on the major roads. People either slept in their cars overnight or abandoned them to seek shelter. Winter weather preparedness is not at the forefront of people’s thinking in the South. Witness the run on stores for who knows what the minute snow is mentioned in the forecast.
Here in North Caroline, schools close if there is even a threat of a snowflake and stay closed as long as there is any snow on the ground. School closures when there is real ice and snow is a good idea, because many of our secondary roads are not plowed, but I remember sitting home with my kids when absolutely nothing precipitated.
I am by birth a hearty New Englander and I spent five years in Chicago, where snow is a way of life. Thus driving in it was never a challenge, but driving down here IS a challenge, not because of the snow but because of the other drivers. I remember one of my first winters here, driving down the road and seeing cars upended in ditches alongside the roadway, like so many tombstones in a line.
That is not to say I haven’t skidded myself, but I know how to get out of the skid, and I always carry a bag of kitty litter in the back of my car. I’ve always thought that driving courses, which are required for all potential drivers in NC, should have driving in snow and icy conditions a required experience in the course.
Now that I’ve written this, I’ll probably go out today and do a 360 in an intersection!