My Thursday schedule took me to Charleston, the bustling capital city of WV.
My Thursday schedule took me to Charleston, the bustling capital city of WV, where it was my duty to man our snowy live shots on Virginia Street. Eagerly I worked one of the city’s most heavily traveled downtown thoroughfares for our night time newscasts. After all if you love weather, you have to enjoy braving the elements!
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The pearly white snow fluttered down as if being sprinkled by a hose. A quick coat of slush covered the road while the sidewalk picked up a fast and furious inch and a half. “Knuckle Deep” I would soon demonstrate.
I opened my First at Five hit with a look at evening rush on I-64 a few hundred yards behind and above me. Since traffic was moving steadily from Lee Street toward Leon Sullivan Way, it was a natural for me to talk about the WV turnpike. Just 3 weeks ago it was the turnpike that had been shut down when a crippling snowstorm blindsided Southern WV and I-77.
A graphic focusing on the area from Pax to Tamarack, Beckley and Bluefield fortified the notion that commuters to the high country would face a sizeable storm. There the promise of close to a foot of snow may well have stirred some fear. “But the snow will fall over the next 48 hours, I cautioned. Not in a few hours like it did in December”, I assured.
For Kanawha Valleyians the promise of “ONLY” half a foot of snow over that same 2 day stretch meant schools would be out on Friday, but the valley would not be paralyzed. In fact by my 6PM hit, I went out of my way to suggest kids who had Friday off, go out and enjoy a comfy night of sledding. With the temperature near 30 and barely a breathe of air, there was indeed a cozy feeling to the snow falling.
Live shots can be really boring if you say the same thing over and over. So as I pondered how I might make my 6:25 hit unique, out of the blue (or should I say white), a young lady came walking down the middle of a secluded and snowy Virginia street. No need to worry about traffic, there was none. “Young Lady, would you like to be on TV”, I asked?
Jamihal Dean, a Capital High senior, was walking home after a day at work. As we chatted before the camera lights came on, I found we had a common interest; namely, Frost poetry. “Have you read “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”, I querried? When she smiled she had, we had an instant connection.
On camera we chatted about Robert Frost, famous American poet, and how it really was a pleasant evening for a walk, whether thru the woods or down a major city street.
After the show, I practiced what I had just preached and walked to Town Center Mall for dinner. Like my new friend Jamihal, I used the street not the sidewalk for my travels. Only a few cars passed me on the slushy but by no means impassable street.
Along the way, the snow fell briskly with the United National Bank, a half mile away, visible, while the BBT bank (3/4 of a mile in the distance) was fading from my vision. That meant snow was falling at the rate of an inch per hour.
At the Mall I was surprised to find a Ghost Town of sorts with few shoppers and even in the food court, even fewer eaters. One by one merchants closed their doors as a snowy night was in effect ending business for the day.
On my walk back to the studio, I thought how so many people had missed out on what was really a nice winter evening.
When I arrived back at the studio, I reviewed the new data which said that the winds were howling and temperatures plunging just a few hours to the west of Charleston. That told me my MY Z 10 and Newschannel 3 at 11 outdoor hits would be singing a different tune!
I will also man our coverage of the snow and cold starting at 5 in the morning here in Charleston. After all, if you love weather you go where the action is!