Beaufort County ahead of the game

Published 6:06 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014



National Weather Service gave us predictions of snow, and residents of Beaufort County duly responded by clearing every bread and milk shelf at every grocery store in the county.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, every county resident was braced for the storm. At noon Tuesday, eyes were cast skyward, everyone pondering the same question: where’s the snow? By Tuesday late afternoon, everyone was, once again, shrugging their shoulders at nature’s ability to fool the forecasters.

It was only when afternoon wore into evening that the ice began to fall. Most of Beaufort County was already home, tucked in, with the heat cranking. And a lot of Beaufort County was wondering why school was cancelled Tuesday when there was not a flake of snow or a pellet of ice in sight. Why were businesses and government offices closed down tight so many hours before the storm?

It seemed like a bit of an overreach.

Or at least, that’s what many thought. But knowing what we know now, it seems as though shutting down early was the wise course of action.

Look at what happened farther south: snow, sleet, ice began falling earlier than predicted. In some places, people hedged their bets. In some places, DOT was behind the curve. And what happened was chaos — roadways littered with vehicles, abandoned by their drivers when tires proved no match for snow and ice; people on major highways trapped overnight in their cars, some of them with dire medical issues. Teachers and students spent the night trapped in schools, sleeping on the floors, because there was no way to get children home without putting them and schools’ staff in grave danger.

Farther south, the finger pointing ensues.

Here in Beaufort County, we’ve had a few snow days. No real issues, and certainly no finger pointing.

And here we’ve all had an old lesson driven home once more: it’s better to be safe than sorry.