The Great Durham Blizzard Of 2010


The prediction of this winter’s first local snow – or, to judge by the media reports and the public response, the very first occurrence of the phenomenon of snow in this time-space continuum – makes this an auspicious time to repost this Dec 26, 2010 entry reporting on my initial experience with snow as an inhabitant of the Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill. Other than specific details (e.g., we now live a few miles down Tobacco Road from our funky but fashionable downtown Durham apartment to a trendy townhouse in chichi Chapel Hill), nothing has changed.

Hip, Trendy, And Hunkered Down

As these photos of our apartment building’s courtyard attest, yes, Virginia, there is snowfall in North Carolina.

This three inch accumulation has, in fact, been the major news story for the past week as the Super Dooper Doppler 8800 Double XL forecasts tracked the likely path of the storm as depicted by various computer models. Today, the local stations carry nothing but weather-related stories (e.g., “… as many as a dozen accidents have been caused by the snow”) and local meteorological reports trump network programming.


Nothing, however, reflects the awe and wonder of the local population toward frozen precipitation (although the local newscaster proclaiming himself “giddy” and the scene “a winter wonderland” comes close) as the phenomenon of supermarket raiding. Perhaps spurred by announcements that every household should stock “3-7 days of food supplies,” notwithstanding the fact that this portion of North Carolina rarely sees snow enduring on the ground more than three hours, grocery stores in the Research Triangle have been stripped of bread, milk, and eggs. When asked why those three foodstuffs were the preferred supplies for hoarding, my buddy and long-time Chapel Hill resident, Duke Of Derm, explained that these were the ingredients needed to produce French toast, long recognized by North Carolina residents as the quintessential emergency survival food. (Unsurprisingly, the Duchess has a different crisis management strategy, the first step of which involves a trip to the liquor store.)

Gatherings have been deferred, outdoor activities have been shifted inside, and an air of fascination has pervaded the place.

We wish you and yours a similarly happy snow day.

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