Friday, February 4, 2011

The Great Ice Storm of 2011

I title this with a little bit of sarcasm, knowing that we have friends and family up north who endured real cold, ice, and snow this week!  However, we did experience our first south Texas winter storm over the past few days.  Monday the temperature was in the 70s, but slowly across Tuesday the cold front came through dropping us down into the teens and 20s for the rest of the week.  Much like our friends and family to the north, we haven't been above freezing in the last few days...however unlike our friends and family to the north, people here are major weenies about it.  The entire city of Corpus pretty much shut down throughout Thursday and all day today.  A&M-Kingsville closed as of 5pm yesterday...all in anticipation of snow.  

I think many of my students forgot that I am from Colorado, and spent 5 years in Indiana, so there's not going to be a whole lot of sympathy coming from me.  On Wednesday, within hours of the university announcing closing (not effective until 5pm Thursday, mind you), I had 14 emails from students telling me they weren't able to come to class on Thursday.  Excuses ranged from "I have children in elementary school, and since the school closed, I have no where to take my children" (completely legitimate and understandable - I offered to allow their children to come to class with them) to "the weather is too treacherous for me to drive to class".  We didn't get any precipitation with the cold until about 6pm on I'm not sure exactly what was treacherous.  Granted, south Texas does not have the equipment to handle ice on the roads (our version of a salt truck is likely someone sitting on the tailgate of an F-150 with a salt shaker), but at that time there was no ice to be handled!

The other amusing activity was heading to the grocery store.  We, unfortunately, needed milk - so I had Dan drop me off to run in quickly and grab some.  You would have thought we were going to be stranded in our homes for weeks with no electricity the way that place looked.  They had every line open (probably around 25), and the lines extended back into the aisles (probably 10-12 people deep in each), some with multiple carts full of food.  It was nuts.  I stood in line for 20 minutes to buy milk (and a few other I'm pregnant and that looks good items).  The best part is, we're supposed to have temps back in the 60s tomorrow and the 70s on Sunday.

Around 6pm last night, the "wintry mix" came and left between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of ice depending on who is reporting.  We both have the day off, and have opted to stay inside away from the crazy Texans trying to drive in this.  The sun is starting to pop through now, and there are patches of blue skies, so I anticipate everything being back to normal in a few hours.  

To remember this treacherous event in our's some pictures of plants around our house from this morning...

Bushes around our house that will probably die because we didn't cover them.
 One of our trees out front
 Trees in the back weighted down with the ice
 Random bird who didn't get the "let's fly further south" memo
 One of our trees that I've been nursing back to health since we moved in.
It has twice as many leaves on it this year than last...I fear it may bite the dust after this.
 Leaves on our palm tree...word to the wise, don't let these hit you in the head...

All in all, it's been amusing to watch these southerners respond to what is normal for about 70% of winter up north.  Our prayers are certainly with our friends and family up north who are dealing with the aftermath of a real ice storm (leaking roofs, broken trees, no electricity).  

1 comment:

  1. Hey now! Easy tiger, not all Texans are so bad. I am a huge fan of winter weather, but cannot seriously drive in it at all. I have issues driving in heavy rain and have been known to panic if my car sways slightly in heavy wind, let alone icy weather conditions. haha. Besides, it's a completely different thought process for southerners. The ice is not in the norm for us, so we seriously don't know how to respond to it. Those kids that are skipping your class are just lazy and lookin' for an excuse to high tail it :) Not that I EVER did that when I was in college....

    I always hate going to the grocery store during crazy weather prep. Hurricane season is still the worst, but I guess you gotta be prepared.

    I'm just annoyed that we didn't get any snow. :(

    Seriously, though, I think I was thirteen the last time we had ice like this. I was 20 when it snowed that one Christmas, and now I'm 26. So that's still only three notches of memorable winter weather that has hit south Texas in 26 years. Crazy.

    PS I'm not crazy, and boy, I got me some "that looks good" snacks. :) You're lucky you have that excuse. I wish I did! hahaha