Drove home Saturday night on the slick roads that are commonplace in Floyd County after the storm that dumped up to seven inches or a little more around the area.
At around 9 p.m., the streets of the town of Floyd were, for the most part, empty but with the temperature at 11 degrees, the chemicals on the surface of U.S. 221 could not keep the moisture on the pavement from freezing.
In four-wheel-drive, my Wrangler slipped more than once on the drive and all four-wheels spun going up the S-turn on Harvestwood. The Virginia Department of Transportation, along with the State Police and the National Weather Service warned drivers who did not have to be on the road to stay off the freezing roads because of treacherous conditions. I headed home after a paying gig on a project on deadline so I had a reason to be on the road but, yes, it was probably a dangerous decision to go out.
Floyd was all but dead Saturday night. The Floyd Country Store cancelled the Radio Show that normally draws large crowds on the first Saturday of each month from September to May, the second day of the Chance Harman Memorial Invitational basketball tournament was scrapped.
Restaurants closed for the day or shut down early. Gas stations sat dark. Floyd was a ghost town on a frozen tundra.
The Virginia State Police district headquarters in Salem reported more than 200 accidents statewide during this first storm storm of both the season and the new year. The American Automobile Association warned of long delays on trouble calls. Disabled vehicles sat on roadsides.
Yet, in the overall scheme of things, less than 10 inches of snow on the ground is not normally considered that much of a problem. This storm, however, came at the beginning of a busy weekend and with freezing temperatures that kept roads slick and even in a area where four-wheel or all-wheel drive dominates, a lot of people still have two-wheel drive vehicles that have trouble with snow of more than three-or-four inches off the ground.
The Warn winch on the front of my Wrangler got a workout Saturday as I drove around the county to shoot photos and video. Helped a half-dozen or so vehicles get out of areas where the drifting snow was too much.
By the time I got home, Amy had a hot plate of peppers and potatoes waiting and it helped warm up my cold body. Anything else we did to warm up is not for public discussion.
Some places are open Sunday. Some are not. Best to phone ahead if you plan to venture out.
And, as the roll call sergeant in “Hill Street Blues” used to say: “Let’s be careful out there.”