SNOW - Darrington hit with snowfall, Arlington wonders where snow went
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:27 PM
ARLINGTON While the town of Darrington bore the brunt of a midweek wintry blast, many Arlington-area residents wondered where the big snowstorm was which several local weather forecasts had predicted for Jan. 10.
For Dawn Ambler, a Silvana resident who owns 2 Bits and More in Arlington, the relatively light snowfall for Arlington proved little surprise since its typically always worse at home than it is here, and we only got about three inches in Silvana, so I figured it wouldnt be a problem.
Ambler received phone calls from several of her vendors the day before the storm that wasnt, checking to make sure that 2 Bits and More was still scheduled to open the next day, but if it had been severe enough to shut the town down, I already had all of their phone numbers.
Bruce Bruch, owner of Broosters Cafe in Arlington, expressed similar skepticism about the probability of the anticipated Jan. 10 snowstorm, but he nonetheless implemented a number of precautions the night before.
We had extra pans of bacon and eggs, four or five as opposed to two or three, so we basically doubled up, Bruch said. We also lit off the whole grill, rather than just part of it, and ran it for the whole day, which isnt usual for us. It was just enough that, if nothing happened, it wouldnt hurt us. I left the heat on all night, but Im still doing that now. It can get very cold in here otherwise. I tried to save money in those areas before, but Im willing to spend it now.
Mike and Taylor Jones are the owner and manager of Arlington Hardware and Lumber, respectively, and they believe their store plays a vital role as an emergency preparation resource for the community.
The Joneses credited the November snowstorm and December windstorm with inspiring them to be better prepared than weve ever been. We dont regret stocking up, even if we didnt much snow this time around, because theres still bound to be plenty of nasty weather ahead.
Among the supplies that Arlington Hardware and Lumber places a priority on keeping on their shelves are propane tanks, lamp oil, Coleman fuel and thick winter coats, although the November snowstorm cleaned us out of the approximately 150 sleds theyd had in the store, just as it encouraged customers to buy approximately 50 snow shovels, and we usually only sell one about every six years.
The Joneses advised their neighbors to properly insulate their plumbing, since the real surge for plumbing businesses comes after a prolonged stretch of cold, rather than a storm, since so many area residents draw their water from pumps and wells and several of them suffer from frozen pipes.
You should also check the batteries in your flashlights before the power goes out, and know where your flashlights are, so youre not stumbling around in the dark for them, Taylor Jones said. When youre driving, keep a shovel in the car and even a blanket. Just think ahead. Some people are really sophisticated in how they prepare, while others dont think about it until something breaks.
Ron Neumann lives three miles east of Arlington, and has long since adopted such preparations as a standard practice, by ensuring that he has a portable radio, two to three days worth of food and well-insulated plumbing, but he still needed a little help from his neighbors this time around.
My biggest problem was that Id just had my hip replaced, so I was still recovering from that, Neumann said. A tree fell across our driveway, and normally, Id just chainsaw it myself, but I had to call my neighbors so that they could cut it and clear it for us. Otherwise, we had our propane stove so if the power went out we could just huddle up in the rec room. Id already called the power company before the windstorm, and had them trim trees that were getting into the power lines, which they were happy to do. If you see a problem, do something about it while you can.
Darrington-area residents dealt with more significant obstacles Jan. 9 and 10, as Darrington School District spokesperson Dayn Brunner described the weather as progressing quickly through phases of sun, wind, rain, hail and snow Jan 9.
The temperature likewise fluctuated very rapidly, climbing to 53 degrees at 1 p.m. with a humidity reading of 32 percent, while one hour later, the temperature had plummeted to 30 degrees and the humidity had peaked at 100 percent.
Brunner characterized the wind as the headliner of the day, with a peak gust of 46 miles per hour, knocking out power in the outlying areas for several hours, while in-town residents saw brown-outs and flickering lights about a dozen times. Several of the gusts came through the schools campus howling and catching students and staff off guard. Whoas and wows were heard throughout. It was not a usual event, thats for sure.
With snow blowing sideways and continuing on and off through the afternoon and evening, Brunner reported that whiteout conditions were experienced by many, as wind, snow and rain persisted until the morning of Jan. 10, when area residents woke up to approximately six inches of snow on the ground. This had turned into eight inches by 2 p.m. and 10 inches by 8 p.m.