Yes, it does snow in Georgia, proving the “sunny South” tales to be nothing more than false information spread to lure unsuspecting shivering Northerners south, bringing their Northern cash with them. Thoughts of abandoning those heavy winter coats and loosing the clumsy gloves is like tempting little kids with candy, only the adult version substituting sweet treats for eternal warm weather.
Almost 18 months into my Georgia life and I’ve learned the fallacy of eternal warm weather. It gets cold here in the south … so much so that people who live in the south-south (like Miami or Ft Myers) consider Georgia to be “up north”. By innuendo, that assumes anyone who lives in Maine to be an Eskimo or some other ice-loving clan. I guess it’s all relative.
I can deal with the cold temps, I really can! Particularly when those cold temps only last maybe a week or so, unlike the unrelenting cold you get when you live in, say, New Jersey. Because as all Jersey people know, once you get to January you’ll be cold until April. And that even takes into account those occasional 45 degree days, which everyone knows is just a January tease. Here in Georgia, real cold temps only stick around for a few days, then it gets “seasonal” during the day with 50 to 60 degree temps during the day and a 40 degree chill at night … perfect for snuggling up by the fireplace or hiding under the covers and absorbing the bed warming heat into your temperate southern skin.
But snow? What is up with that? Georgia does not, under any circumstance, know what to do with snow. People “up North” (the real up North, not the Miami version of up North) laugh at the idea that a 1″ snowfall will shut down a city the size of Atlanta for 2, sometimes 3, days with impassable roads, closed schools, closed government services, and nearly everyone huddled behind closed doors fearing for their very lives. And it’s true, that does most definitely happen with just about every “storm”.
Atlanta news reports on snowfall as ” 1/4 inch” or sometimes “1/10 inch” and calls that a “storm”. People plan on staying home from work in advance of a suspected “storm” that could dump a terror-inducing 1/2″ of snow on the ground. “It’s not the snow”, claim life-long Georgians, “it’s the ice!!!” The very thought of the possibility that it MIGHT snow will have officials closing everything in sight, only to see the sun shining the next day … all with the caveat, “well, it could have been really bad if it did get icy … better safe than sorry!”
When I was working in Jersey, the idea of calling out for the day due to 1/2″ of snow would get me fired. The audacity of taking two days off for that same 1/2″ of weather discharge, claiming “it’s the ice!!!” might easily have me forfeiting my pay for the entire prior year.
But here is the deal … Georgia services have zero ability to deal with the snow, and I do mean zero. As you can see from the picture above, this is what many secondary and most tertiary roads look like 2 days after a 1″ deadly snowfall. And that is all ice that has received no treatment, no plowing, no sanding, no nothing …. Georgia services just let the stuff hit the ground and then wait for the inevitable 50 degree day to melt it all.
So as the majority of the northern half of the USA laughs hysterically at Georgia for calling 1/2″ of snow a “State of Emergency”, the reality of living here is that just a smattering of the white stuff WILL shut it all down … businesses, airports, highways, everything goes into hiding until the 1/2″ of deadly frozen precipitation is mercifully removed by the weather Gods.
And the fix is simple … spread some sand, or salt, or something before the junk falls from the sky. The authorities stated that they have “brine trucks” that can spread brine on the roadways before it snows, but I can see no evidence that it ever happens. Seriously Georgia, would it kill you to buy some salt spreaders and put something on the roads? And don’t say it’s “too expensive” … how much money gets lost every time it make-believe snows (’cause 1/2″ isn’t a real snowstorm, it’s just nonsense) with all of the shutdowns and closures?
I love it here in Georgia, I really do! I’m thrilled that I left Jersey and all of the congestion, corruption, taxes, and overall grouchiness that exists up there. And the fact that I’m retired and don’t have to worry about “the ice!!!” makes it even easier to just laugh it off myself (except for the fact that Sheila still works and does have to deal with the aftermath of any precipitation). But the fix is soooo easy, yet nothing is ever done about it. Hartfield-Jackson Airport is one of largest hubs in the world, and when it shuts down the ripple effect world-wide is massive. You would think someone would do something, wouldn’t you? I know if it was Jersey they would have had 20 contractors all bidding for the work and paying off various elected representatives for the honor of stealing some tax dollars.
Truthfully, Georgia is crowded enough, thank you. Don’t come down here to live, it’s not worth it, knowing you’ll need to deal with “the ice!!!” I hear Miami is open for biz, tho …