Here in my part of South Carolina we are experiencing a winter storm. It isn't a surprise. Our weather people have been warning us for a couple of days and my sinuses have been warning me for at least three. Everything is closed, including my office, which hasn't happened since I've lived here.
So far there are about 7 fluffy inches of snow covering the ground at my house. I understand it's ranging to about 10 inches in the counties next door. The sleet and freezing rain are predicted to start soon and doubtless there will be power lines down. It sometimes takes a couple of days to get power back once it's gone around here. That's a drag since my house is one of those Gold Medallion Homes where everything is run by electricity. I have a fireplace, but previous owners put a cap on the chimney and bolted the flue shut so even if I had firewood, I couldn't use it. But I have lots of quilts, soft Freudian slippers I got for Christmas, water, and enough food to get by for a good while. I'm not too worried.
Coming from the reasonable North, it was difficult to understand how less than a couple of feet of snow could close anything down. But I understood more when I watched the local news this morning. A weather girl stood shivering in the street in her stylish, high healed boots, cute little hat and no gloves and explained that the State Police was asking people to stay off the roads.
The blue weather girl had to jump to safety when an SUV came twirling down the street toward her. Ten or so minutes later she came back, this time with gloves. The camera no longer showed her boots. She was standing next to a building and held up a long handled ice scraper and explained to her audience what it was and what it was used for. I shit you not, she actually did that.
Then they showed the big highway. One lane was packed and slushy from cars and big trucks sliding along. Evidently, both of South Carolina's snow plows were busy in Columbia. The weather girl read a notice from the State Police that explained about black ice and urged people to stay home. The Police notice stated that it didn't matter if you had four wheel drive, an SUV or how many Confederate flags your vehicle is wearing, it's just not safe to drive it right now.
Then the weather girl interviewed a young father in his pickemup truck with three small children crammed in beside him - no seat belts, of course. She asked him where they were going and he proudly told all the television audience that he and his children were going shopping for sleds. I'm not making this stuff up!
So now I understand why 7 inches of snow puts us in a state of emergency. It has much less to do with the snow and much more to do idiots. I understand tomorrow is supposed to be worse. As I said, I've got enough provisions to get by if the electricity goes, but gosh I'd hate to miss the local weather in the morning!