You’ve seen the pictures from Atlanta. You’re heard the horror stories from Alabama.
It’s the south. We don’t ~do~ snow. At least not very often.
So when I read on a friend’s Facebook page some northerner saying, “people in the south are hilarious when it comes to snow,” I get a little annoyed.
Nobody who spent 12 hours (or more) trying to get home last night thought any part of it was funny.
It’s true, we in the south don’t deal well with snow. Even with small amounts. But it’s not because we’re stupid or funny.
It’s because, compared to the frozen north, it rarely snows here.
Brian Barrett pointed out at Gizmodo, “Let’s start by talking about why Birmingham wasn’t prepared. In the general case, why would it be? It hasn’t snowed in January here for 21 of the last 30 years. In that same period, it’s only snowed more than an inch four times. Birminghamians need snowplows like New Yorkers need tornado shelters.”
That’s right. We in the south don’t snark when the north is hit (rarely) by tornados and hurricanes. No, when Hurricane Sandy hit, the majority of us were thinking “OMG! How can we help?”
Look, I know it’s easy to poke fun at us because we can’t drive in the snow. We can’t. I grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia where driving in snow was a much more common event. But I always have to watch out for folks who grew up in eastern Virginia, or elsewhere.
In the south, we don’t deal well with snow because it rarely happens. That’s part of the brilliance of living here. I’m in Richmond and I frequently think I’m too far north. By the way, that’s a geographical statement not a heritage vs. hate statement.
In the south, we simply don’t have the equipment to deal with snow and ice removal. And, face it, one or two inches of snow and ice when you don’t have the snow removal equipment is much more treacherous than six inches of snow where roads are treated well before the snowfall begins and cleared constantly. We don’t have the infrastructure and it would be a waste of government resources if we did.
So, we have the occasional storm that’s horrible and bad things happen.
In the meantime, we’ll do our darnedest to recover from snow storms, tornados, hurricanes and invading yankees who burn our cities down.
And, just like Mama taught us, we’ll have the good sense to bring a cassserole.