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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Winter's last chill?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Only a few hours past his glory days, this Bell Buckle snowman is one of the last remnants of the 4-inch snow that blanketed the town early Sunday morning. Much of the snow lingered well into the afternoon Monday.
(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves) [Order this photo]
With temperatures supposed to be in the 70s this weekend, Sunday's snowstorm may well have been winter's last hurrah. Most areas in Bedford County received about 4 inches of the white stuff, although some reports said snow was as deep as 9 inches in certain spots.

"It was 4 inches at my house," said Ronnie Lokey, who serves double duty in Bell Buckle, both as the director of the water and sewer department and as chief of the volunteer fire department. He didn't have to play either role as much as he expected with when the surprise storm covered the town.

"No, we didn't get a lot of calls," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised. The only real bad call was a structure fire down in Unionville."

Bell Buckle didn't even have to worry about clearing the roads.

"The state came through and shoveled stuff, and we let the sun clear everything else for us," said Lokey.

Fun time

What the storm provided more of than problems was fun.

"We had a good time," he said.

According to Qwikcast.com, a weather statistics web site, Shelbyville and the surrounding areas usually get about 8.5 inches of snowfall a year. January and February usually get more than 2 inches and March slightly less. According to some folks in Wartrace, they beat that average hands down.

Deeper snow

"What a shocker!" said Wartrace Mayor Don Gallagher. "I don't ever remembering it snowing 10 inches, but that's what some people say they got. It didn't hang around too long. It was a pretty snow."

The National Weather Service also received reports of 9- and 10-inch snowfall around Wartrace and in the northwest sector of the county, but those reports came in from private citizens and haven't been confirmed.

"The outskirts of Wartrace had more snow than most folks," said Laura Gentry, city recorder. "Out where we live, it was very heavy. The drifts were more than 10 inches."

Despite getting more snow, Wartrace, like Bell Buckle, saw no dire circumstances from the storm. Neither town reported any serious accidents. The fact the storm struck on a Sunday when traffic was light is probably a factor, Gallagher said.

"It cleared up pretty good. We didn't have any real problems with it," he said.

Scary time

Gallagher said the only scary moment he had was when his son, Stephen, who had gone to a guitar show in Spartanburg, S.C. in a recreational vehicle, was returning, head-on into the storm.

"He thought it would be smarter to go through Atlanta, take the southern route," said Gallagher. Unlike most snow storms that cross Tennessee, however, this one refused to head for the northeast corner of the state before dropping heavy blankets over more southern areas -- including Alabama and Georgia.

"He had to drive right into that," said Gallagher, but said his son made it home safely.

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