(Updated 1/29/00) On January 25, 2000 Raleigh-Durham International Airport in central North Carolina recorded 20.3" inches of snow. That broke the record of 17.9" set in 1902 making this a once in a century storm. The worst part was that it wasn't predicted and caught most people off guard. The afternoon of the 24th, The Weather Channel was predicting 1-2". Late in the afternoon, the weather service we use at work predicted 4-8". On the 11 PM news, one of our local TV stations, WRAL, predicted 6-12". By then it was too late to do anything.
I missed work both Tuesday and Wednesday. The first time I've missed work due to snow in 18 years. We don't have the snow removal equipment that cities in the North do. We average about 5" per year. The governor declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. The Guard took EMTs in humvees to emergencies because ambulances couldn't travel. All hospitals were asking for volunteers with 4-wheel drive vehicles to pick up doctors and nurses and get to them to work. After they got there, many hospital employees stayed there for 2-3 days rather than trying to get home.
At one point on Wednesday, I-85 was backed up for 70 miles from the Virginia border to Durham, NC. Some people sat there from about 4:30 PM Tuesday until after 2 PM Wednesday without ever moving. No one could get to them to clear the road. Nothing has melted too much since we've had record lows of 8 degrees Wednesday night and 3 degrees Thursday night.
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