Daily Archives: January 30, 2014

Snow Days: Closing up Shop in Virginia Beach and the Tidewater

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“Nature has no mercy at all.  Nature says, “I’m going to snow.  If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough.  I am going to snow anyway.”  ~Maya Angelou

We have lived in many places in our lives. Though my wife and I are originally from California we have lived in a lot of diverse places and climates. So weather, even though we have our preferences of what we like is really no big deal. We just take the time to get ready for it as best as we can knowing that we can’t control it.  

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We have lived a decent number of years in places where winter is really real, to include Germany, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As such we have learned how to drive in winter conditions and be safe. Little things like keep a safe following distance, slowing down, turning into spins to correct them when we hit black ice; these are standard operating procedure for us. We also do what we can around the house to make sure that we are ready, we have a snow shovel, ice melt salt, as well as food and of course plenty of beer.

We have been stationed in the Tidewater area of Virginia for some time now. During this time winters have generally been mild. On a few occasions we have had snow and ice. I think on two occasions we have had 5-7 inches of snow.

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The past two weeks have been a bit harder. The weather thanks to the Polar Vortex has been rather chilly. Last week we had about 4 inches of snow which due to the sub freezing temps stayed around almost a week. This week, after a couple of days break with mild temperatures winter hit again. This time is was a storm that came from the south which met up with an Arctic blast right over us.

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On Monday morning most forecasts called for 1-3 inches, but by Tuesday morning all the weather guessers were predicting 5-12 inches, a virtual Snowmageddon. Thankfully we are still better prepared than much of the South, but still this is such a rarity that things tend to grind to a halt here.

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And guess what, they got it right. Most of our area had snow totals of 7-10 inches. At my house we had 8-10 inches depending where in the lawn I measured. Drifts were higher.

The effects on us have been minimal, unless you ask our older dog Molly. I shoveled and put out more ice melt and salt and like I said we had food and more importantly beer.

However the region is in shutdown mode. Schools and local government offices have been closed and most will remain closed tomorrow. The military bases only have duty personnel, security, fire and maintenance personnel at work, with the main effort being snow removal. Last week we missed two days. This week it will be three as due to the conditions we will not go in tomorrow either.

Local businesses are either open with reduced staff or closed.

The main thoroughfares, the Interstate Highways, and major US and State Highways have been cleared, some other main roads are clear too. However most residential areas roads are in pretty bad shape. Since the snow was a dry powder a pretty heavy layer of ice formed beneath the snow, an ice layer in places 2 inches thick. Today it barely got above freezing so those roads are still going to be bad tomorrow. Thankfully we know how to drive in this crap.

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Molly our oldest dog made her peace with snow a few years ago. She is not happy with it but is obviously not impressed. On Wednesday morning I wondered if she was thinking something like “F*** this shit.” However, Minnie, our youngest has taken to the snow like a champ. The little 10 pound Papillon bounds through it and still does all of her tracking and patrolling.

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So tomorrow will be a day to take care of some stuff around the house as well as get an oil change and my annual inspection on my car.

Work will be sporty when I go back as we will be trying to get our students caught back up in this 10 week graduate level course.

So anyway until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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