Pittsboro NC Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews discusses SNOW DAYS in Chatham County North Carolina. Here are 7 things to know:
1. People will be desperate for milk & bread
2. Schools will close
3. Businesses will be closed
4. People stop and help stranded drivers
5. You can go sledding, if you know where
6. People will make Snow Cream
7. Your Power will likely go out
Speaker 1: How do we handle snow days in Chatham County?
Speaker 2: For all those Yankees, for all those New York, Northeast, and California people too, you guys are in for a treat when it snows in Chatham County. I’ve learned a lot. First of all, you’ve never seen anything like this at the grocery store. The grocery stores are absolutely mad houses. We don’t have this. We have lots of snow in upstate New York, but nobody goes crazy at the grocery store. And for whatever reason, North Carolina, Chatham County, there is not going to be any milk or bread. You’re not going to find hamburger bun. People get so desperate. Every bread you can imagine is literally, I mean, it’s gone. And this isn’t if it snows, this is if the weatherman says, “There’s a chance of snow”, then the grocery stores are really getting and they’re packed, it’s crazy. It’s not packed at like five or six o’clock. If you go at five or six o’clock, it’s too late, the bread and the milk are gone. This is like one or two o’clock in the afternoon, mad rush to the grocery store. Everybody’s doing it. There’s plenty of soup. There’s plenty of batteries. All the things that you think you would actually need.
Speaker 1: I asked somebody once. They had a bunch of milk and bread in their cart.
Speaker 2: What are you going to do with it?
Speaker 1: “Are you making French toast?” And she’s like, “I’m just buying it because everybody’s buying it.”
Speaker 2: Everybody’s buying it. Those are the two things. Those are two things.
Second, this is big time you need to know this. They close the schools if there’s rumors of snow. It’s not like, “Oh, it snowed a bunch last night. The school’s not open.” No, no, no. They close the school if there’s a rumor of snow. So if the weatherman says, “Ah, it’s probably going to snow between four and seven in the morning tomorrow.” They’re going to close schools at like nine o’clock at night for the next day, before it even snows. And then if there’s rumor of it snowing between like three and four in the afternoon, rumors of snow now, chance of snow, they’re going to let the kids go in to school, have lunch, and then they’re going to do early release at 12 o’clock. So just the rumors of snows.
And then this is where it gets really crazy. You look at the roads, they’re absolutely fine. But if there’s some road in a subdivision that has ice on it or snow on it. Or the back roads in the shadows, the tree shadows and everything. If it snows and it all melts the next day, but then it gets down to 32 that night, no school the next, or at least a two hour delay, but probably no school. If you get a significant snowfall, you can count on the schools being shut down for several days. So that’s something that you need to think about. Your work does not expect you to come into work. If there’s no school, you don’t have to call and say, “I’m not going to make it into work today.” Nobody expects it. If there’s no school, nobody expects you. I don’t want to give you advice for your own job, but I’m just telling you as a matter of policy, nobody cares. If there’s no school, they expect that you’re not going to come into work.
Just because you have the experience of driving in the snow does not mean you should go out there. The guy that has his 1997 front wheel drive Honda thinks he can drive in the snow. And the roads are going to be littered with people that don’t know how to drive. If you have four-wheel drive, you better have towing cables or straps. And in Upstate New York, sometimes if somebody gets stuck in the snow, we’re like, “Too bad sucks for you.” But Chatham County, if somebody gets stuck in the snow, it is expected that you’re going to stop and help them. So if they can’t make it up the hill, you’re going to help them. So if you go out, you need to know that you’re- I mean, I’ve helped 10 people in one trip to the grocery store just because they don’t know what they’re doing. I have four-wheel drive and they need help.
A lot of Chatham County people think that pickups are legitimate four-wheel drive. A pickup does not do well in the snow. It’s so light in the butt. If you put weight in it, make sure you have some sandbags or some rocks or whatever. If you have weight in the back bed, four-wheel drive is worth something. But if you have it light, a pickup even with four-wheel drive isn’t going anywhere. So you need a nice heavy SUV. And then you need something that actually has some tires with some bite or some grip to it. We don’t have snow plows. They will salt and sand the roads like crazy the day before if there’s a rumor.
Speaker 1: Brine.
Speaker 2: Brine. They’ll put brine out there.
Speaker 1: But half the time it rains and washes the brine off the road.
Speaker 2: Exactly, exactly. If you have four-wheel drive- This is a weird one for me, I don’t like this one. But if you have four wheel drive, your neighbors will come over, knock on the door and ask you to buy them beer and cigarettes. And I don’t mind buying something, for whatever reason, I don’t like buying cigarettes or whatever, but they’re desperate and they will be grateful and friends for life if you buy them beer and cigarettes. Four-wheelers are real important. Like I’m talking about the smaller four wheelers. Getting one of those cheap plastic saucers and towing your kids around on four-wheel. That’s probably not safe, but we don’t have snowmobiles or snow machines here. So that is the entertainment is dragging kids around. If you get two to three inches of snow, every single person is building this dirty, muddy, nasty grass, stone, snow man. Like in Upstate New York, we had these big, beautiful, pretty white snowmen. But here you just have these like nasty mud, snow creatures.
Real, real important Chatham County, there’s some secrets, and I’m not going to divulge all the secrets, but you have to know the good places for sledding in Chatham County. The entrance at Chapel Ridge is good. Oakley Baptist Church Road is really good and Highland Forest is really good. So you got to know where the good hills are. But there’s some other good secret hills that I’m not allowed to tell about. And then you have to know how to make snow cream. Everybody makes snow cream. Make sure the snow is white. That’s really important. But the best I had, I knew this person, she made it with evaporated milk and powdered sugar. It was amazing. And sometimes she would put sprinkles on it. I have to admit, that was really, really good. When it’s super cold and everything, I’m not really into eating snow cream, but that is a big thing here. So you got to figure out your recipe.
Last thing you need to know is the power will go out. In some houses, the gas logs will work, in some houses, they won’t work. Some houses, the gas logs take electricity. Some of them, they don’t. Some people have nice generators. Some people have the Hondas. Do not put them in your garage and shut the door. That is a big time no, no. At the end of the day, we probably don’t get snow every year, it’s probably every couple years. And it’s not a big deal. Just set it out and take your time.