First Posted: 12/19/2009
Mount Airy residents woke up to more than 7 inches of snow yesterday, enough to keep people busy with sledding, shoveling and snowman building.
Citizens and store owners in the city could be seen clearing driveways and sidewalks throughout the day. On hills and steep streets, kids took to sledding.
Holcomb Hardware, usually closed on Saturday, opened early. Employee Roscoe George said store employees expected many people would need sleds and shovels, so they decided to open. By noon, the employees predictions proved true. The hardware store had sold numerous sleds and shovels, but only one other non-related item, a small piece for a stove.
George said he was expecting snow, but not as much as meteorologists called for. They were right for once, said George.
He was glad to see the snow. George said, We havent seen one in a while.
Tammy and Ricky France brought their young nephew and neighbors downtown to get sleds. The young adults spent the night at the Frances house and rode four-wheelers and played in the snow Friday night. When asked what their plans were for Saturday, the group chimed, Play in the snow.
Tammy France said, We came to buy sleds so we could go play.
She lives toward Westfield, where her family measured 9 inches of snow before they went to bed Friday night.
We were dying for the snow, said France. She said the kids had never seen a snowfall like this.
On the way into town Saturday morning, France said the roads were pretty slick and that many small cars were abandoned on the side of the road.
Freddie Quesinberry is the owner of Opies Candy Store downtown, and he had the store open. He was also roaming about downtown, where he said there were some people but not a large crowd.
I was hoping there would be a big crowd … Its not great for business, but its good to have some snow, said Quesinberry.
The store owner grew up in Mount Airy and said he couldnt remember seeing a snow this large since the 1980s.
Cathy Miller was also walking downtown, and she said, We said wed believe it when we see it. But its great. It puts you in the holiday spirit.
Phil Marsh of the shop Something Different on Main recalled getting 27 inches at his farm toward Beulah many years ago, but he said it had been around eight years since he remembered seeing much snow. On Friday night, it took him six hours to get home from Winston-Salem due to backed up traffic from wrecks.
It was just those wrecks that prevented the Melvin family of South Carolina from getting to their destination in Pennsylvania on Friday. They heard that several highways on the way were closed and hotels were booked due to the snow, so they decided to spend the night in Mount Airy.
Laura Melvin said, Weve spent weekends here in the past. We like it here.
Her husband, Durwood, pointed to the snow-filled downtown and said, This is beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
But 13-year-old Moriah said, Its too cold.
Durwood said, We expected the snow, but not it shutting us down.
Laura added, This is the first time its ever gotten us stuck.
The family decided to take the day to shop and eat downtown.
On Main Street, Pastor Ray Hanna was out scraping the sidewalk leading to Trinity Episcopal Church. He said the church would probably still hold a service on Sunday despite the weather.
But Im not sure how many will come, commented Hanna.
According to records at F.G. Doggett Water Plant in Toast, the official weather monitoring station for the city, Mount Airy received 7.5 inches of snow before it stopped early Saturday morning.
Melted down, that amounts to 1.55 inches of precipitation. So far there have been 6.09 inches of precipitation in December. The average for December is 3.46 inches.
According to the National Weather Service in Raleigh, Sunday is expected to have a high of 36 degrees with an overnight low of 22 degrees leading into Monday. A 40-percent chance of rain and snow is expected for Christmas Eve Thursday.
Contact Meghann Evans at [email protected] or 719-1952.