The temperature on the island is hovering between 33 and 34 degrees, with rain (occasionally horizontal rain!) Although we have seen some icing on deck railings, our temperature has generally been high enough to prevent icing. It is expected to get cold again overnight, so Charleston County has already closed again for tomorrow. We’ve had .7 inches of rain, with more on the way overnight. This frosty rain is rather miserable to play in, so most people on the island have stayed inside. There is the exception of the roundtable coffee group, who ventured out in sideways driving rain to gather at the Huyler House. The ferry was shut down until 9:00 am this morning. Some bridges in the area, including the Ravenel Bridge, remain closed to traffic. Island manager Kim Knight sent me this website to find out about the status of the Cooper river bridge, hilariously named IstheCooperriverbridgeclosed.com, which consists of a photo of the bridge and a single word. Right now it says YES, as in YES, the bridge is closed.
The Lowcountry is the land of bridges, so when one closes down, traffic increases on all the other bridges, (especially in Mount Pleasant, where only two bridges bring traffic from Charleston to the area east of the Cooper. Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s, IOP, and Dewees are occasionally referred to generally as East Cooper.) At the end of the last storm, the Ravenel Bridge re-opened as soon as it got warm, only to close again because sheets of ice fell onto the roadbed from the tall supports, breaking windshields of terrified drivers. Here’s a news segment that explains where the ice builds up, and why this storm is more significant than the one two weeks ago. If you are coming to the area, it’s worth checking whether or not the bridges are closed. And if you’re not from here, you might be wondering where these bridges are, so we made you a handy chart.[table "0" not found /]
How unusual is this? This is my oldest daughter’s 11th year in Charleston County Schools, and in over a decade we have had two single day weather closings: for Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Gaston (2003). That’s all, until the last 15 days, when we have had FOUR (so far) snow/ice closings. We’re glad of the power that brings us the olympics, and time to work on long term projects and play an entire game of monopoly. We’re thinking of all of you in the teeth of this storm.