Snow and sleet aren’t new to Havelock. Talk with anyone who’s been around here for a while and they will tell you about the great Christmas snowstorm of 1989. They’ll talk about the three-day snow and ice storm in 1980 in which 21 inches fell.
Still, those types of storms are rare, and we should consider ourselves lucky that this recent streak of wintry weather — three storms in two weeks — hasn’t amounted to anything close to those epic storms.
This winter has been a particularly harsh one for most of the country. The Great Lakes are 78 percent frozen. Wind chills in the upper Midwest have reached mind-numbing levels of 50 degrees below zero, or even lower. Erie, Pa., has had more than 100 inches of snow this season.
We assume most folks around here are happy we haven’t had anything like that.
Our neighbors to the north chuckle when we react to snow and ice the way we do. They can chuckle all they want. It simply doesn’t make financial sense — or cents — for us to have dozens of snowplows at the ready for winter storms.
Road crews did the best they could this week with what they had at their disposal. Though main roads got plowed, the snow and sleet was just too heavy for crews to efficiently handle.
Some residents may be quick to point the finger of blame for frozen roads, but even plowed roads often contain ice. It’s up to individual drivers to take proper precautions to protect themselves, their cars and other drivers around them. If you don’t trust yourself on icy roads, then don’t drive on them. If you do drive, know the safety tips. Drive slowly, don’t follow others too closely and tap the brakes lightly instead of slamming them hard.
After all, this is Eastern North Carolina, and usually a quick thaw follows our winter storms.
If there’s any good news in all of this, it’s that spring is just about a month away.