How One Inch of Snow Can Incapacitate a City: Friday’s “What the frak?” moment

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………..

A Dusting of Snow: Because when you live in a city In The South, somehow an inch of snow can incapacitate an entire city.

Somewhere in the world, pigs are flying.  Not here though. It’s too damn cold.

We have snow in southern Texas… again – the third time in 7.5 years I have lived here that it has stuck to the ground.

Just the right amount of snow for doing donuts...

This time – thanks to insanely cold weather (for this area) that has taxed the unprepared Texas power grid beyond its capacity – it actually stuck to the pavement.

An entire inch of it – at least at my house.

So what does this mean for my city?

Closings: lots of them.

All schools? Closed.  Even the universities.

Government offices? Closed.  They just don’t have enough days off.

Any road with a steep hill? Closed.

Some exits, bridges, and ridiculously high curvy interchanges? Closed.

Designed high, sloped, and super curvy to create need for closings if slightest bit of frozen precipitation occurs.

As one who moved here from the frigid Canada-Is-Warmer-Than-Here-State – also known as Iowa – it completely baffles me how such a tiny, infinitesimal amount of snow can have such an impact.

It’s so rare that nearly every Facebook friend of mine that lives within Texas now has photos of the freakish white stuff on their Wall.

After my eighth winter here, I have drawn some conclusions:

  1. Southern cities are jealous of the snow days their northern counterparts receive.
  2. Therefore, they purposefully design the city with sharp curves, elevated highways, and refuse to chemically pre-treat the roads during the rare Snow Is Coming! events.
  3. They firmly believe sanding roads solves all issues.
  4. All it takes is the threat of snow to cancel anything school related – not so much for dangerous road conditions, but so children are not forced to miss the potential once-in-a-lifetime event of playing in snow before it melts.

Still… my city is practically shut down after one, maybe two inches of snow.

What the frak, y’all?!

What has made you go “what the frak?” today?

Also: If you haven’t already, check out my guest post over at Educlaytion today for his Friday Flick Face Off.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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13 Responses to How One Inch of Snow Can Incapacitate a City: Friday’s “What the frak?” moment

  1. Ironic Mom says:

    It’s a crazy weather year, isn’t it? We’re currently warm (for Canada in early Feb). And I’m glad. Hope y’all don’t have to call in the army…

  2. educlaytion says:

    Yeah, Texans are never known for being whimpy until a little snow ends up down there. We need 3-6 inches here before they even think about closing.

    • We aren’t wimpy so much as horribly unprepared. Snow truly is a freak occurrence here: it’s only stuck to the pavement twice in the eight winters I’ve been here – otherwise it melts on contact should it somehow managed to fall from the sky. The first time it snowed at 1 AM and had melted off the pavement before the sun rose. Budgeting funds on things like road treatments, sand, and snowplows doesn’t make a ton of sense.

      So nobody plans on driving anywhere, even those of us used to such conditions.

      I can deal with that. For the half a day it happens.

      Now in Iowa to consider closing… It had to be at least half a foot, and then only if it fell within a very short period of time (like an hour or so) or accompanied by 30+ mph winds causing white out conditions… I remember in January my freshman year in college and they still hadn’t canceled classes during a snowstorm – although if you went chances were you’d find a sign saying your teacher wasn’t there because they didn’t want to get stranded because the INTERSTATE was closed (when teachers were still learning this whole I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T thingy). I don’t really recall ever being canceled for snow there. Once for ice. Once for forecasted -80 below wind chill (-35 actual temperature).

      This is why I love Texas.

  3. Wait. You moved from Iowa and you said “y’all”. And, I’m impressed, you even spelled it correctly! Yes, in the Dallas area here and I pretty much agree with all said, except I only have to add that it irritates me when people who have lived in colder areas think it is not a problem to drive these southern untreated and not-built-for-snow roads (not to mention the idiots than can’t even drive in the rain). It is not the same, people! …as the several dozen semi trucks found sliding around and in jack-knifed positions on Tuesday and Wednesday in the DFW area learned. When they say stay off the roads, they really mean it.

    • I come by the word “y’all” thanks to two of my college summers: once spent working (door-to-door) in Tennessee, one in Alabama.

      Austinites don’t use “y’all” much, because many of us are not Texas (or even Southern) natives.

      One of my husband’s coworkers attempted to leave his slightly hilly neighborhood (Austin is not flat), and his car got stuck on the hill. He had to leave it there until the sun melted the snow that afternoon and just worked from home.

      It, along with a VP of his company who basically said “the roads suck by our building, don’t be stupid” convinced CG to wait for the snow to melt before heading into work on Friday. Prior to that he was scoffing about the people “scared of 1 inch of snow.”

  4. Lori says:

    HAHAHAHA!! I am fraking laughing because you are SO right? Seriously, we just had ice and people started going home at NOON yesterday even though the storm was not even to arrive until 10pm! And then, it did not even arrive!

    I laughed and laughed at the all day coverage of our dry city hovering around 32 today. It was really quite pathetic!

    • That’s what really gets me – the people that totally overreact, buy out the grocery stores, and head home to “prepare” for an inch of snow (forecasted to melt later that day) the day before it even happens.

      Or canceling snow on the threat of it.

      The snow that most of the time, doesn’t make an appearance.

  5. Christina says:

    We are pretty silly Kelly but I just love it. I could never handle Iowa, never, ha!

  6. Cori says:

    Seattle is the same way when it comes to snow … we completely shut down and it becomes a state of emergency…all for like 2″ of snow 😀

    • I’ve never been there, but to me, that far north = snow. It’s so weird to think of it as mild.

      Anything shutting down for that little snow was unfathomable to my born-and-raised-in-Iowa self. Until I moved to Texas.

      Now I get it.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. marinasleeps says:

    hey … I was scared for my life. One inch here is like 12 inches in Iowa!
    Dude … seriously it felt like the end of the world in Texas

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