The Great Snownado


Melissa Stagnaro

I didn’t need a weather bulletin or a phone call to tell me school was closed this morning. I just had to look outside and see that the plow hadn’t been by yet. As I drove to work over that still snow-covered road, my suspicions were confirmed as the radio announcer reeled through a list of school closings as long as my arm.

I wasn’t surprised, since I could see with my own eyes how quickly the heavy snow was accumulating not only on the road, but on every other available surface as well. And thanks to the Twitter updates so graciously provided by Norwich’s Emergency Management Office, I knew more was on the way.

But I still had to laugh when I heard that the City of Norwich offices were going to be closed for the day. I mean, after all, this IS Upstate New York. We have actually seen snow before. It’s not like we’re DC or Dallas – unaccustomed to anything but a light dusting.

And, until now, I’d always thought we were above inventing ridiculous monikers for storms – like “snowicane,” or “snownado.” Honestly, those kinds of blatant attempts to induce panic are just uncalled for. Not to mention a little too Charlie Brown for me. (Like: Oooh, look kids! It’s the Great Snownado, and his sidekick, Snowicane Sue.)

It has been awhile since we’ve been hit with a major storm, though. And by the sheer number of single and multiple car accidents I heard come over the scanner this morning, I’d say we may be a little out of practice.

My Explorer might be starting to show her age, but there is nothing wrong with her all-wheel drive. And I’ve driven in the snow all my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t exercise caution out there. Of course, it’s not always the conditions you need to worry about as the other people on the roads.

After we got word that there would likely be a road closure later in the day, Jeff gave me the okay to skate out early. (What can I say, I’ve got the longest commute.) I took him up on his offer, but I felt a bit like a pansy doing it. Especially since Route 12 was perfectly clear as I headed out.

It was all so beautiful, though, particularly the snow covered branches drooping over the Chenango River. I couldn’t resist stopping to take some pictures.

Once I hit my road, I was happy that I’d decided to head home early. It was pretty treacherous. But equally gorgeous. So I had to snap some more pictures. After I got home I went tromping through the woods on my snow shoes and took even more. It was all very “winter wonderland.”

The last time I remember the powers that be closing the roads – during the “Blizzard of ‘93” – we had something like 3 feet. We’re not even close to that. The snow is still coming down, but we’re not really snowed in. Even though technically, as the roads are closed, we are.

I’m making the most of it, curled up with my laptop by the fire, watching the Olympics (those men’s aerials blow my mind!) and enjoying some homemade curried chicken soup.

Yep. Life is good.

I say, let it snow.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.