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Sunday, February 22, 2015

    I recorded 4.5 in. of new snow this morning.  There may have been more because last night was one of those windy, blizzardy nights not fit for man nor beast, and the snow got royally rearranged.  We haven't been socked with as much as our southern neighbors, but we do have enough snow so everyone except perhaps skiers, boarders and snowmobilers are ready to cry "uncle."

We have no problem with roads blocked, and even our cities and towns have been able to keep streets and sidewalks mostly open - we are used to this much snow or even more.  We are even able to cope with the extended bitter cold pretty well, although there have been more fires and I'm sure some frozen water pipes to contend with.  At that, we're fortunate.  Here's what Karen Cobb wrote today from Lynchburg, Virginia:
   Received an additional 5-6 inches with ice following that yesterday / last night. Power off briefly, but our roads a nightmare with the added ice coating.
   My friend's husband was trying to shovel stoop/ stairs- fell hitting head and breaking his arm. Ambulance came and got stuck on the hill so had wrecker come and pull ambulance to a higher street where it got stuck again.  Did finally get him to the hospital where he is now being treated. What a day, and black ice tonight all over as melting occurring.
   Definitely ready for spring around here, but know y'all deal with much more than this!
Take care,
Karen
While we do deal with more snow, we are better equipped and have learned lessons over the years.  For communities that don't normally have lots of snow, ice and cold to contend with, this is understandably difficult to cope with.  I hope Karen's friend's husband is going to be ok. 

Many sections of the country may have to consider reviewing how they equip themselves to handle weather in the future.  Unusual weather events seem to be becoming more frequent.  Just as some areas are thinking ahead trying to prepare for flooding events, especially along the coastlines, areas not used to cold and snow may have to rethink their winter routines and have  contingency plans.   Mother Earth's weather tantrums probably aren't going away anytime soon.

The good news here for today is that as forecast, we had milder temperatures - it felt like spring when it hit 30 degrees.  I'm not sure how high the thermometer went, but it was very pleasant not to have it so cold. 
 
Here's a picture of our driveways - well, actually, our neighbors'.  The snow banks aren't unusually high - yet, but they are getting there.  By the time March is done, we may have a heap more snow than this piled up.  The trick now is to keep the banks from closing in and making the driveways too narrow.  Jamie plows with "The Peach," and then Fred cleans up the sidewalls with the snow blower.  

I found this snapshot taken after a March storm in about 1944.  This was the bank left by the snowplow at our house on Cabot Plain.  That's my dad in the plaid jacket, my aunt and uncle, Jessie and George Bassett, and me holding my young cousin high on the snowbank.  

The big old tractor plow would have snow tumbling back into the road behind it as it broke through big drifts and then would return with the wing almost straight up to push the snow out of the road.  It took hours to go break out the road for only a short distance sometimes after a big storm with lots of wind.  The higher the snowbanks, the more drifting there would be with each storm.   This is the plow that kept our roads open in those days, taken on the hill approaching the Bolton farm.  The hills in the background are in Walden, north of Cabot Plain.  

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