Editorial: Darts and laurels
Laurels to the fact that most Rowan County residents didn’t lose power because of this week’s snow and ice. That’s a bright, warm contrast to the shivery ordeal many experienced back during the great ice storm of 2002, when 46,000 Rowan residents suffered through outages that extended more than a week. As of Tuesday evening, Duke Power reported about 730 customers without power across North and South Carolina, including nine in Rowan County. Apparently, one brush with extended powerlessness is enough for many folks: More than 7 million portable and standby generators are expected to be sold this year, according to industry researchers. Generator sales have more than doubled in the past five years.
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Dart to drivers who don’t slow down on slippery roads. Southern drivers know how to deal with heat and humidity — crank up the AC and fill up on iced tea — but we’re less practiced at the slippery stuff. Fortunately, local authorities reported few serious accidents resulting from the first storm of 2011, although major metro areas such as Charlotte had the typical flurry of weather-related accidents. • • •
Laurels to the state and local road crews who were out spreading brine and sand before the storm hit, and have literally worked around the clock to clear major thoroughfares such as I-85. It can be frustrating if your street still resembles an Olympic bobsled run this morning. But storms that linger, giving areas more than one dose of snow or ice, make the street-clearing operation more difficult. Ultimately, even equipped with scrapers and sand spreaders, road-maintenance crews are at the mercy of Mother Nature, just like the rest of us. It takes some sunshine to speed along the final cleanup, and it looks like we’re due some today.
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Dart to the temporary shortage of snow sleds in local stores. Most people don’t associate the sunny South with the need for snow gear. We seem to live in a time of weather extremes — hot, hot summers and cold, cold winters. With that in mind, households with children around should probably keep a list of goods to have on hand in case of a snow emergency: flashlights, bottled water, nonperishable food, rock salt shovels and — before Bernhardt’s runs out — sleds.