What a difference a day can make
|Black ice on roads can create treacherous driving conditions|
On Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Wildflower Bunch celebrated the end of a successful year with a Time to Share boutique sale and a sold-out luncheon that was followed by the officer installation for 2018. The following evening the annual holiday edition of the Acoustic Showcase played to a standing room only crowd. Residents were disappointed with the cancellation of the Holiday Event but understood the impact of the forecast of freezing temperatures. Most looked forward to the prospect of an early snowfall.
On Friday morning, residents awoke to snow on the ground creating a winter wonderland that was shared across several Facebook groups. When the snow continued to fall and accumulate on the roads, however, advisories to stay off the icy roads were issued. Schools were closed in Pickens and Dawson counties. Amenities closed early and Big Canoe was closed to contractors until further notice.
A post on Big Canoe Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook group reported that numerous vehicles had slid off the road and an accident with injuries had occurred within the gates. Wilderness Parkway and Steve Tate Road were covered with snow.
The National Weather Service issued an urgent weather message warning that “Slick and dangerous road conditions are possible, especially on elevated bridges and overpasses. Road conditions are expected to deteriorate through the day and into the evening.”
By Saturday afternoon the historic snowfall had moved out of the area. Residents in higher elevations reported accumulations as high as 12 inches, amazing considering that Intellicast lists the average snowfall recorded for December as zero. As Public Safety employees worked to keep the main roads open, the above-freezing temperatures raised the prospect of black ice as melting snow froze on the roadways as the temperature dropped into the twenties Saturday night.
The accumulated and melting snow and ice caused other problems. Amicalola EMC reported on Saturday morning that 17,625 members were out of power due to downed power lines from leaning and falling trees covered in ice and snow. HVAC companies were busy answering calls as outside heating units froze. Many lost TV reception as snow accumulated on the dishes.
The final advisory was issued on Sunday afternoon with a final warning about black ice into Sunday night, made even more treacherous when covered by snow. The amenities, with the exception of the golf course, and administration offices reopened on Monday. Contractors were allowed into Big Canoe starting Monday morning. (Read the most recent Big Canoe POA emails at https://www.bigcanoepoa.org/Latest-News/Recent_emails.aspx)