Snowshizzle aka Storm Helena update

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scooter in snow, rehoboth beach, dewey beach, route 1, delaware, susex county, snowshizzle, storm helena 2017
Scooter on route 1 … photo by Ricky Garner

Well that was a fun day!  It finally stopped snowing near Georgetown around seven this evening.  I was talking to Tim Furlong of NBC 10 at 5 AM he sent me a video and picture of the avenue in Rehoboth, it was looking pretty bad already.  We hit the roads this morning at about ten and drove into Rehoboth to Route 1 via Milton and Harbeson.  The roads were being plowed but snow was covering them back up rather fast.  Wind was pushing snow into large drifts across the roads  and highways.  There was a three-foot drift across Mount Joy road in the same spot that always collects large drifts.   We saw a huge DelDot plow truck, pulling a thirty foot plus long tanker of brine.  It looked like something out of Road Warrior, seriously hardcore.  The crews are still hard at it and if you can, please stay out of their way.  I have seen three plow trucks stuck on the side of the road today, those big trucks don’t stop on a dime and if something (a car) gets in the way, the plow truck has to move out of the way.  There were also a few people on scooters today at the beach, I kid you not.  The guy in the Prius was classic, while he was trying to text and drive. Not only is texting while driving illegal, but that car should not be in a snowstorm, especially this one.

ocean city pier, snow drifts,maryland, storm helena 2017, snowshizzle,
Ocean City pier with large drifts on the beach .. photo by Rob Yorke

So what can we expect tomorrow.  Well for starters we are going car “hoodin” in the morning. That is when you use an old car hood, hook it up to the back of a truck with a tow rope, put ratchet straps on for a handle, and run it around the field near my house.  Good times!   What can all of you expect tomorrow, aside from videos of us car “hoodin”?  It is going to be very cold still so the snow won’t be melting.  Right now it is eight degrees with the wind chill.  The roads will be icy where the pavement is exposed and some already are iced.  If you are driving stay on the snow for better traction, which sounds nuts but it is the best way to drive in this type of snow.  Also go very slow, we saw a lot of people going too fast today and many of them didn’t get too far.  Expect the clear pavement areas to melt snow and then freeze again tomorrow night, possibly into black ice.  Remember when you are driving tomorrow you will hit patches of clear road and then snow pack.  That can be dangerous when you are going too fast because you are speeding up on the clearer roads.  It is a bad habit we all have this time of year, especially with the first snow of the year.  By March everyone will be a pro at driving in the snow, this happens every year.  Panic at the beginning of winter from the first storm and then everyone is used to it by March.  We saw a lot of vehicles stuck today, most of them had no business trying to drive in deep snow.   I was doing very well in my Jimmy, especially for its first time in snow, handled it like a boss.  The old Isuzu Rodeo will be donating a hood to the cause tomorrow.


south bethany, delaware, storm helena 2017, snow totals, snow shizzle,
Snow up to eleven inches in South Bethany at 1 PM .. photo by Dan Iacangelo

The snow totals have been coming in all day and so far we have upwards of fifteen inches in the Angola area mostly due to wind drifting snow in tight areas around houses.  On average it is about a foot of snow for most of the areas of Sussex county.  With large drifts in fields and across roads.  I have a trash can in the back yard that is full to the top with snow, and so is the pool.  South Bethany got slammed early today with a band of snow and by noonish they were already up to eleven inches and finally topped out at twelve inches on average, with two to three-foot drifts all over the place.   Lewes saw about eleven inches and farther north Milton has about eight inches.  The southern areas got it the worst, north was not as bad.  However the north still had issues with drifting snow on the highways and driving was a chore until you got above Dover.  I know a lot of people who went north only to run into some bad conditions later in the day, and decided to just stay up there.  There is some good news for the days ahead.


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Snow on the beach in Bethany Beach … photo by Michael Lewis
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We won’t be above freezing temperatures until Tuesday afternoon, which will hit up to forty-two degrees.  Then it warms up even more.  Good news is on Friday we have a ten percent chance of rain and it is going to go up to sixty-two degrees.  This snow will only be around for a few of days.  Which is fine with me, I want to play some,but also have work to do that requires less snow.  The big piles in the parking lots at the outlets and larger stores will be here for a couple of weeks, or until the next snow.  We spent all day running around doing storm updates, and eating a lot of food.  Many people were storm chasing, thankfully I was a passenger so we went live on Facebook the entire drive into Route 1 to Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.  We didn’t make it past the killer crab cakes at Woody’s, we were hungry, Jimmy was open.  Then we decided that was it for the day and worked our way back north.  Meanwhile friends were sending us updates all day from around the area.  I have to explain the Snowshizzle nickname, a friend of mine posted he was tired of the old monikers such as snowpocalypse, snowmageddon and the like.  So us being us, we started coming up with names and that one stuck, immediately, and yes you had to be there.  It was the shizzle.


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Ocean City Ferris Wheel .. photo by Rob Yorke

The seal at Courseys pond spillway, decided to cross the road today, and went into the pond.    So if you are up there keep an eye out in case it decides to cross back to the spillway.  Seals will move to ta body of water when a storm comes in and wait it out.  The drive on beaches accesses are all full of large snow drifts, don’t imagine we will be driving onto a beach anytime in the next day or so, but I might try tomorrow for grins and giggles.  The accesses always fill in deep between the fences when we get drifting snow, and it can take some time for it to be possible to cross.  The sand mixed in with the blown snow makes for some wild pictures.

Be safe and smart for the rest of your weekend into the beginning  of the week.  Friday we are having a heat wave.  I think I will go to the beach and fish.

Fish On!

Rich King



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