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It could have been much worse

January 12, 2014
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

We made it!

The residents of the Ohio Valley got through probably one of the biggest cold snaps in recent history this past week when the arctic blast hit our area, with temperatures dropping well below 0 degrees for a few days.

There are many dangers anytime this kind of weather hits an area. We all must take precautions with ourselves and those we love as we simply aren't built to endure those kinds of temperatures for a prolonged period of time.

But, we made it with only a few bumps and bruises to show for it.

After all, it could have been much worse.

That's what I'm taking away from all of this.

Yes, there were a few car accidents because of the ice which had built up on the roads. Yes, there were even a few cars that couldn't get started because of the extreme cold.

I've heard about a few water line breaks in several of our communities, resulting from the quick freeze and the following quick thaw.

I'm sure there will be several residents and businesses, even a few schools, dealing with some water damage as a result.

Those are all bad things, and I've probably missed a few. But, it could have been much worse.

For the most part, we were able to get around with few problems. With a few exceptions, the roads were maintained and clear.

Ice is always a difficult thing to deal with, especially when the temperature drops below a certain point. The materials most of our communities rely on to maintain our roads during the winter stop working, making it difficult for crews to take care of the problems. Plows can only do so much.

Yet, I did hear a few complaints from residents about the speed of which the roads were being taken care of.

These work crews were out braving these sub-freezing temperatures, hard winds and ice while most of us were comfortable in our warm homes.

Police and firefighters were out in those same conditions, working to keep us safe, including fighting a fire in which one family in Weirton lost their home.

Utility crews were out in the elements, working to make repairs in the event of any electricity failures.

Yet, like with even the littlest thing these days, there were people complaining.

The work wasn't done fast enough for them. Roads weren't cleared to their satisfaction, etc.

If you're reading this, it means you made it through this little cold snap, this arctic blast, or whatever else you might want to call it.

There are other people, in other parts of this country who weren't as lucky.

It was only a few years ago we had a major snow storm hit the area, dumping more than a foot of snow on us. Some of us, myself included, didn't have electricity for most of the week that followed.

Think about how bad our recent extreme cold could have been had we also gotten that kind of weather along with it.

Sure, there was some snow, but it wasn't much. Most of it is gone already.

Think about all the problems we could have had with that kind of a combination.

Think about what is currently going on in southern West Virginia where several communities are without drinkable water.

Sure there were a few people who had frozen lines, and I'm sure it was difficult for them. But it didn't affect everyone in the area.

Yes, we all dealt with some sort of inconvenience. We had to take some extra precautions over a couple of days to help tolerate the cold.

We're all entitled to our own opinions. People are going to complain when their plans or lifestyle are disrupted.

All I'm asking for is a little perspective before we start express ourselves in these types of situations.

After all, it could have been much worse.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

 
 

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