The Times West Virginian

Opinion

January 24, 2014

Stay warm; stay safe; take care of each other as we wait for spring

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Thursday’s high temperature hit only 14 degrees, with a low temperature of 4. It’s not a record-breaking low, as that -3 degree day in 1977 made the record books. But is quite far from “normal” for our area, which should be a high of 39 and low of 21.

But nothing has been quite normal since a storm system dumped 6-8 inched on Marion County Tuesday. We had an unseasonably warm Monday before we were pummeled with snow Tuesday and then watched the mercury drop after the snowflakes stopped falling.

The result was a mess on the roads. It wasn’t just about scraping 8 inches off roadways, but a layer of ice beneath. When the snow stopped coming down, road crews were facing temperatures where salt just doesn’t work. A little snow left on the roads almost gave cars a little more traction during morning and evening commutes when temperatures were in the low teens.

We know it’s easy to be frustrated by the condition of the secondary and neighborhood roads, but we hope that residents will offer a little patience considering this is the most significant storm we’ve had in a few years.

And speaking of consideration, we also hope readers and businesses will remember to keep their sidewalks clean for pedestrians. These sub-freezing temperatures and low wind-chill favors are tough enough on those who have to walk to a destination without having to walk through 8 inches of frozen snow and large mounds left behind.

And speaking of being a good neighbor, we know this community cares about one another. We know that there are residents who shovel their own drives and then shovel their neighbor’s drive, too. We know there is always someone willing to drive an elderly neighbor to an appointment, to keep a child at home during a snow day for working parents, to pick up a few staples on a trip to the grocery store or any small act of kindness.

There’s not going to be much improvement over the weekend, as temperatures will stay well below freezing, and another system is expected to dump several more inches through Saturday.

So we offer these bits of advice. Stay warm. Stay safe. Take care of each other.

Spring will come soon enough.

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