Thursday, January 21, 2016

Expecting a Snowstorm?



This afternoon, when Mr. H. went to Walmart to get the essentials we might need for the predicted winter storm, there were so many cars coming off the parking lot that he had trouble getting on it. Inside, bread and other items were low.
People go crazy in these situations!
It’s okay to be prepared, but some act as if we’re going to be unable to get out of our houses for weeks! It’s just not like that where we live. A snow storm here usually doesn’t keep us in for more than one day. By the time the cities salt the streets, usually soon after the snowfall, almost anyone who has at least front wheel drive can get out and do whatever he needs to do.
None of us who live in this area will ever forget another predicted storm. A warning about a potentially serious blizzard turned into something that people still joke about today.
In January of 1977, less than two weeks after Jay Rockefeller was sworn in as governor of West Virginia, and still in the midst of a frigid winter, the National Weather Service was suddenly predicting a huge winter storm to hit the state. Emergency announcements were being made on the radio stations. The new governor went on the air and warned everyone on that Friday afternoon that a blizzard was coming from the west. It was going to be worse than the infamous Thanksgiving 1950 storm that some of us had heard our parents tell such tall tales about.
When I arrived at the Real Estate office where I worked, our boss called us in his office and informed us about the predicted storm and told us to go home and get prepared. We’d close the office that day and he’d see us when it was all over. “Stay warm and safe,” were his last words.
 So home I went, making a mental shopping list as I drove. We’d have to have bread and milk, of course. Staples. Plenty of potatoes and other vegetables, canned goods – and a good assortment of snack foods for the children. It was hard to know how much to buy since we didn't know how many days (or possibly weeks) we’d be snowed in. After all, the governor had declared a state of emergency!
The inside of Krogers was crazy that afternoon. Everyone had heard about the coming blizzard and was stocking up for the inevitable isolation. I have never seen such crisis shopping in my life, as entire shelving units were being depleted! The lines at the checkout were horrendous! It was quite an experience.
However, by the time most of us awoke  on Saturday morning, it was apparent that the big blizzard had not materialized. For all the emergency proclamations by the governor, and for all the madhouse behavior at the grocery store, this supposedly gigantic blizzard was hardly worse than a typical winter snowstorm—it was measured in inches, not feet.
While we don't remember it for its epic amounts of snow, we will always remember the hype that went into Rockefeller's Blizzard of 1977.
amazon.com/author/peggytoneyhorton  
 

5 comments:

Dennis J. said...

I remember that. The governor must have felt like a fool, but it wasn't his fault. the Weather Service predicted it! The people tried to "kill the messenger." Good post, Peggy.

Jean said...

Oh, my! Sounds like a bad time. You wrote about it well.

Drema Ward said...

Remember that very well.

Karen Frazier said...

Remember Jay's blizzard . Bless his heart.

Vi A. Daniels said...

Well we sure didn't miss out on that storm. I was stuck in my apartment for almost 4 entire days!