The most significant snowfall in at least a generation (along with ice pellets and sleet) disrupted day-to-day life in the area, even preventing the Journal-Herald from circulating a print edition. But apparently there were no major problems. There WAS, however, lots of fun in the snow!
South Georgians were treated to a rare event Wednesday as 3 inches of fluffy white snow blanketed roads, fields and yards, the result of a winter storm.
Although there was a high anticipation of danger on the roadways, most folks just stayed home and played in the snow, according to reports from friends and families around the area.
Ware County Emergency Management Agency director Jonathan Daniell said the northern end of Ware County received the thickest coating of snow but that the entire county saw snowfall of between three-fourths of one inch to three-plus inches.
Daniell said a total of about 20 “fender benders” occurred as some drivers found their vehicles slipping and sliding on icy pavement.
“Thankfully there were no major accidents and no major injuries,” said Daniell. “I did hear of a couple where vehicles flipped on their sides but they were nothing seriously alarming.”
Brantley County Sheriff Len Davis said several minor accidents were reported there Wednesday but, “we didn’t have anyone transported by ambulance.”
Sgt. Terry Thrift, post commander at the Waycros GSP post, said, though he had no details, troopers in the area investigated several minor accidents (two involving log trucks) that resulted in no serious injuries.
Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal said this morning that the Jamestown Road is closed at the river bridges because of a heavy build-up of ice. He was not sure what time it will be reopened.
“Depends on how high the temperature gets today,” said Royal.
Daniell noted that temperatures are expected to reach into the 40s today and he is hopeful all of the road ice will be melted or evaporated by this afternoon.
Bridges were iced over and some roads were temporarily closed Wednesday, Daniell said, while the Georgia Department of Transportation delivered rocks, pebbles and sand to locations hardest hit. The bridges between Waycross and Blackshear were closed to traffic early in the day but re-opened later Wednesday after the surfaces were covered with protection.
Royal reported minor accidents with no injuries at several locations including the South Georgia Parkway West, U.S. 1, two at the Plant Avenue river bridges, one at U.S. 1 and Jamestown Road, one at the Alma Highway at Johnny National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings. They include the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.
The snowstorm shut down much of eastern Virginia, but some people were taking it in stride.
Mark Schoenenberger, 45, a NASA engineer who lives in Norfolk, Virginia, put on his cross country skis so he could make a half hour trip to the bagel shop for some breakfast for his family.
“It’s like ‘Yay, I get to go out,” he said.
The only concern he seemed to have was telecommuting while his kids were home from school. But “it’s just noise,” he said.
The storm will then be followed by a wave of bracing cold.
“We think there are going to be scattered records broken for low temperatures,” said Peterson, adding how the weather service expects 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the mid-Atlantic states will have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday.
State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places. There were concerns in Boston and elsewhere that if roads aren’t properly cleared, they could freeze into cement-like icy messes by Friday, given the expected low temperatures. In other areas, plummeting temperatures already have caused water mains to burst.
The storm has resulted in thousands of canceled flights at major airports such as Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport and disrupted the schedules at regional airports.
Amtrak planned to operate a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, was canceled for Thursday.
The coastal Southeast got a rare blast of snow and ice on Wednesday. Schools were shut down just months after hurricane threats. In Charleston, South Carolina, the weather service reported 5 inches of snow, enough for Chris Monoc’s sons, ages 4 and 2, to go sledding outside their home.
“They probably will be teenagers the next time something like this happens, and that’s kind of sad,” Monoc said.