Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Buried town's attitude: let it snow

A person rides a snowmobile past the snow-covered Wesleyan Church in Redfield, New York, after a weeklong series of squalls.

You probably haven't been to Redfield, New York. You probably haven't heard of Redfield, New York. But Redfield is now famous. At least meteorologically.

The town of some 600 people northeast of Syracuse has one of the highest accumulations of snow from one weather system in New York history. Redfield recorded 141 inches of snow from the same lake effect system that began on February 3rd and continued through the 12th.

That's 11 feet 9 inches of snow. And now, even more snow is arriving.

We're used to seeing huge drifts in northern climes from snowplows. But the snow mountains in Redfield are just from accumulation.

I actually stood on somebody's roof and walked down to the ground on a snow mountain just for kicks. And it's not out of line to do things like that because people are pretty laid back about the snow.

Where I live, in Atlanta, two inches of snow would induce some panic. But the attitude in Redfield is, let it snow. Houses are very dark because the snow covers the windows and a lot of businesses shut down so there's not a lot to do. People end up spending a lot of time in the houses.

As it turns out, huge amounts of snow seem to promote family togetherness. And that, it seems to me, is a pretty good reason to live in a place like Redfield, New York.
Posted By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent: 9:39 PM ET
  21 Comments
Hey Gary~
I just flew in today from fabulous NYC and as a Texan I have to admit I am sorry I missed the snow! We don't see much of it in my part of the woods. East Texas pretty chilly right now, but usually it is hotter than a pot of collards. Yes, they actually describe it that way here. I hope everyone stays warm and cozy in the frigid weather and I will be watching for New York baby boom in about 9 months!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 10:16 PM ET
Hey Gary,

Ah,the picture on your post is beautiful! We are expecting in a few hours the rest of what you've been getting in NY state. Around 12 inches only but with high winds and it's around 20 below zero. So, that's a bitch when you're on the road but yes,when you're inside, it's beautiful.
When I look outside every windows in my home, I see trees. I can't wait to see them full of snow. We only have like 2 inches of snow since the beginning of winter and that's unusual for us.
I remember a few years back, on my grand-parents farm, there was so much snow,we would climb on the barn and jump in the snow. COOL!!I'm envying you guys! Yes, I know, it's a hassle when your commuting but in Redfield,they have it right! You can't fight against nature, might as well enjoy it!
The color for valentine's day will be white this year!

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R. Laval Quebec : 10:28 PM ET
Nice story, Mr Tuchman. Why is a guy from Atlanta reporting from the snowbelt?
Posted By Anonymous R M Kraus Akron Ohio : 10:29 PM ET
I'm originally from Oswego County, so I was glad to read the coverage about the snowstorm that hit the towns of Oswego County.
Posted By Anonymous Linda Gunder, Marina CA. : 10:54 PM ET
Gary,

I'm a first grade school teacher in Martin, Tennessee and we --- like you are paralyzed by an inch or two of the white stuff. School is out, children are amazed and havoc is spread along with the salt & cinder mixture that covers the roads. I cannot even imagine 141 inches of snow.
The picture attached to your blog is like something from a snow globe. The drifts of glistening sugar draw you in and cause you to imagine trekking through the inches and inches of ice crystals. I laugh to myself when reality sets in and I realize I am exactly 60 inches tall and this snow is 141 inches deep. It's not even comprehendable. Have fun up there Gary --- you may never have the opportunity to see such a winter weather wonder again.
Posted By Anonymous Zann Martin, Tennessee : 11:08 PM ET
I used to live in up state NY Marcellus.Back in 1968 I can remember having to climb out our 2nd story window just to get outside. I remember shoveling our driveway late at night so my dad could get out to go to work. I currently reside in Va and miss the snow but my wife says no way do we go there (frown). I miss the snow and the togetherness it provides for the entire family. Heads up New Yorkers this is the best time of the year. THINK SNOW
Posted By Anonymous Mark Chapman Buena Vista VA : 11:10 PM ET
Burrrrrrrr
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Philadelphia, PA. : 11:38 PM ET
My family and I just visited that area this past weekend for a snowmobiling trip. The riding was excellent, and the local residents were very warm and welcoming. The snow was really an amazing sight! I cannot imagine having to deal with even half that accumulation, but I guess they are used to it.
Posted By Anonymous Julie - Montrose, PA : 11:46 PM ET
Gary,

If it were not for the dedication and well intended reporting of extreme weather conditions that afflict the people of the northeast, we in Northern Ca would not appreciate just a few days of mild rain , thanks Gary for providing us with some real perspective on what mother nature could hand us"

Maritza,
Posted By Anonymous Maritza , San Jose, Ca : 1:06 AM ET
I live in Upstate NY...we are used to snow unlike our southern neighbors. Although I must admit that this lake effect storm was a bit much!
Posted By Anonymous Moe, Liverpool NY : 4:02 AM ET
Hey Gary - if I ever move, I will keep this town in mind. I agree, let it snow. I tend to think of it this way, of all the storms and discomforts Mother Nature can come up with, snow is the safest and the most beautiful. With snow, you just shovel it or plow it out of the way, and it stays there and you can go on with your plans. At most, maybe your plans are disrupted for a day or two. Like you said, a chance for some family togetherness.

I guess that explains why we haven't gotten as much snow as we usually get, Redfield must have taken our share.

Enjoy the beauty of it and get inside every once in a while for some hot cocoa or hot toddy and if you're lucky, you'll have a fireplace to cuddle up in front of.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 4:12 AM ET
Hi Gary,

Always enjoy your reports! I felt so guilty watching you stand in the snow in Syracuse last night while I was warm and toasty inside. Now, Wednesday morning, we have about 6" here in central PA, covered in freezing rain...hmmmmm...after seeing you last night, I guess I will be brave and try to get to work.

Thanks for freezing so that we could witness this amazing event. May we send you some hot cocoa?
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 6:53 AM ET
I've been to Redfield! I live about 10-15 miles from there. We were among the lucky and only got about 60" from the storm. I know anyone living anywhere else is freaking out at that comment but seriously, it isn't a big deal to us! We are the best equipped snow removal county in the United States and roads are clear within a DAY even when we get 5'-6'. And a correction: we don't just sit in our houses like the article says. People are out snowmobiling, kids are building snowmen, we get our snowshoes out and hike the woods, and cross country ski. It is definitely like Mr. Tuchman says, an attitiude thing, and I think a lot of the country could learn something from those of us who not only endure our crazy winters but thrive. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow! Peace out!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Pulaski, New York : 6:58 AM ET
So now that Al Gore has obviously solved the global warming problem, he should start working on the the global cooling issue.
Posted By Anonymous Perry, Dallas, Texas : 8:18 AM ET
Way to go Lisa, I wish I was there to enjoy it. We used to get a little snow down here in VA but I guess thanks to global warming we are left out these days. I love snow, it cleans the air.
Posted By Anonymous Evelyn, Dinwiddie , VA : 9:09 AM ET
Gary/AC360:
I grew up in northern Indiana which receives plenty of lake effect snow every year. At first, we are excited about the snow for sledding, skiing and tobogganing. Then after three months of snow, it becomes slush and we scream for spring!

I was in South Carolina once where I saw a person who thought the best way to shovel one inch of snow was to spray it down with a hose. It was pretty hysterical. People from Atlanta don't do such silly things do they?

Keep safe.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 9:41 AM ET
I'm surprised Minnesota isn't getting as much snow as it usually does. Hey Redfield, send some this way!!!

It's always nice to have a few snow days every now and then. Enjoy them because MN never gets them!
Posted By Anonymous Aruna, Minneapolis, MN : 10:33 AM ET
Family "together-ness"?
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"!
Thanks Gary
Posted By Anonymous David, Dover, Delaware : 10:44 AM ET
Gary,

It is sunny and will be 60 today in No California. Maybe Arnold will do something interesting and you can come out here to thaw out and cover the Governator. And I had the same question as another viewer. Why would CNN send an Atlanta guy to cover the snow. Aren't there plenty of NYC CNNers who would love the opportunity to play in the snow?
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 11:09 AM ET
I'm in NY trying to get a flight out, but it doesn't look good. Ice pellets are falling, but the New Yorkers take it in stride. I liked the spirit of the Upstate NY'ers you reported on, especially the lady who said that as long as they got that much snow, it may as well continue so they can set a record!
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 12:13 PM ET
My daughter called to let me know that Purdue University was closed for the first time in years. She and her friends are looking forward to an old fashioned snow ball fight. We may as well just enjoy it!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 4:05 PM ET
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