Winters in the East TN Valley are normally not that bad. We normally don’t get much snow. Well, snow that sticks that is. It will snow here from time to time, and sometimes it will even snow in April or May. It’s just the sticking part that is not normal. Sure we have black ice-covered roads, but the County owns plenty of salt trucks that enables travel after just a few short hours. Although for the last two days I have had the distinct pleasure of looking out my window to see a lovely, sparkly, ice-snow mix clinging to everything.
It truly is a lovely winter wonderland scene, until the need arises to get out on the road for travel. The main roads have been well treated I hear. But sadly, the twisty curvy drop off the side of a mountain back roads have not. So of course, everyone had the classic run on the grocery store to stock up on milk, bread, tuna, peanut butter, and soups in the days before the arctic blast hit. Posts on social media sites have all poked fun at the grocery store runs and many southerners have borrowed humorous northern memes referring to Bosses expecting employees to be at work regardless. I’ve read the funny stories of falls and accidental body part grabbing to steady oneself while slipping on the ice. I’ve even had fun watching our 50 lb puppy holding her feet in the air when we take her outside to do her business in the ice/snow. I laughed at some of the silly posts from transplants (people who have moved here from other states) about how we can’t drive in snow. But, there are sad stories as well. Unfortunately, this year, the ice hit us harder than we could handle in Tennessee. As a matter of fact, Tennessee declared a State of Emergency two days ago. The saddest part of the event develops from the people who did not take the weather serious or were simply not ready. I’ve heard news stories of a local elderly lady dying out in the cold because her door locked behind her when we went to the mailbox and she couldn’t get back inside. An entire family lost their lives in a home fire. There were over 50,000 people in TN without power due to the ice and over 21,000 of those where here in Knoxville. At one point the entire city pretty much shut down. The Smoky Mountains have been shut down as temperatures reached -23 degrees atop Mt LeConte (which is the 5th coldest day ever recorded there) with the wind chill at -67 degrees. Thank God there are no stranded hikers up there to date. As for other people in Tennessee, there have been 11 deaths reported related to the harsh cold temperatures or ice. So, I ask nicely if you are not living here that you keep the jokes to a minimum and keep us in your prayers as the forecast calls for more snow, ice and rain to come within the next couple of days. The resulting possible flooding could steal more lives and result in further damage throughout the state. I love my home in East Tennessee and I ask, won’t you help me pray for everyone living here now? Thanks, Chrissy