Fine falling flakes turned fluffy quickly Friday as the first snow of 2017 fell on Elkin. With several days preparation, store shelves had been slowly but steadily emptied of basic needs as well as a few treats by those who were planning ahead.
By Friday evening, Elkin had a perfect cover of snow. All the ground was covered except for the sidewalks and roadways. Traffic was lighter than usual and still flowing fine. The snow continued to fall in spurts until late into the night when the flurries became a snowstorm.
By midnight all the ground was covered and even walking was potentially hazardous. Before the sun rose Saturday morning, more than four inches of snow had fallen with a total of seven inches reported for Elkin by the end of the day.
Many roads had been brined and prepared though only some had been scraped by Saturday afternoon. Driving conditions were tenuous at best with many side roads showing no sign of activity including a lack of snowmen.
Anyone who did not go out to play in the snow before noon lost the opportunities the moist snow of morning provided, as the sun dried even the densest of snowbanks to a more powdery consistency. Some young people were still able to form enough snowballs for a decent battle, however those who chose to sled and snowboard were still able to glean fun from the first snowstorm of the year.
Cassi Mathis and her son Daniel made the most of their snow day. “We tried to sled, but it wasn’t easy,” described Mathis. “We made snow angels, caught snowflakes on our tongues, rode a four-wheeler and snowmobile, which conveniently toted us back up the hill a time or two.”
In spite of temperatures that ranged from 15 to 22 degrees, Daniel said he enjoyed the snow. “We were too bundled up and getting too much of a workout to be cold,” noted Mathis.
“We’ve not had a lot of accidents, but we have had several fractures due to falling,” said John Shelton, director of Surry County Emergency Services, on Saturday. “We’ve had to put several people up in hotels for the night due to the cold.”
On Sunday morning, Shelton reported, “We have about 2,000 people without power as a result of the snow. There’s been a lot of falls from slipping on the ice. A few accidents that didn’t amount to much because they were going slow.”
Shelton also stated that there were reports of chest pains and respiratory problems which is often the case during cold temperatures.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.