One of the reasons my husband Mike and I relocated from New Jersey to South Carolina was for better weather: N.J. winters are cold, snowy and icy. S.C. winters are chilly and sometimes rainy, but the typical snow accumulation? Zero. None. Nada. Until this year. The year we spent our first S.C. winter is the first time South Carolina, Bluffton/Hilton Head area, recorded snow accumulations of 2″-5″. The Snedens moved in. And so did climate change.
Oh, sure. The weather started off magnificently. We arrived November 1st and I immediately worked outside almost every day refinishing furniture. The days were sunny, and I basked in the warmth of it!
And then it was December: Still mostly sunny and warm, until the end of the month, when temps started dipping into the 30s at night. I worried about my neighbor’s palm trees; they don’t like the cold. And fountains don’t like the cold; my neighbor shut hers off. But still, it wasn’t bone searing cold like the temps recorded in New Jersey for the same period. And we didn’t have to contend with ice and snow. I threw on a sweater and called myself happy.
And then the New Year arrived: Temps dropped like bricks thrown off overpasses in Jersey. They hit fast and low.
First it rained, then it froze solid. I was amazed at the lack of salt/sand/crews to de-ice the roads. Then I remembered: It’s not supposed to ice up like this in the Low Country of South Carolina! They don’t have the equipment to combat this kind of weather.
Our local law enforcement did what they apparently do in frozen situations: They threw up road barriers to prevent folks from driving on the icy, frozen, slippery bridges and roads. Mike and I hunkered down. We can drive in ice and snow, but we won’t do it when the roads are untreated. We’re smarter than that! And so are the folks in South Carolina as we learned.
As the rain and ice turned to snow? Everything shut down. For days. Without the snow removal equipment the Great Frozen North has, you just slooow downnnn and staaaayyyyy hoooommmmeee. No one called to cancel appointments they had with us. I think most folks, particularly those with kids, were outside marveling at all of the cold, white stuff. Some locals were even photographed using their pool toys as sleds!
After a few days the sun worked its magic and life in our newly adopted state started to return to what passes for normal. That said? Where the sun doesn’t shine, ice remains a hazard. As does Climate Change, folks. Think about it.