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Here is a sad reality:  in North Carolina a category 2 or 3 hurricane could be racing towards Wilmington, Nags Head, or any of the Outer Banks Islands, and most people will just shrug.  They’ll tape their windows over, or, better yet, nail plywood over the them, and they’ll wait in long lines to buy fresh water and gas powered generators.  It’s no big deal.  Just a huricane, and the Carolinas has seen hundreds of them.  Yet, if two inches of snow were to fall and stick, society comes unglued.  Cars slide off the roads, traffic jams up for hours, and people worry about their kids in school.  For two freaking inches of snow.

People just don’t know how to cope.  Basically, a hurricane, no matter how constructive is common, as it’s a known phenomena.  Snow, on the other hand, happens every year, and yet nobody ever plans for it.  Towns don’t have plows, and they certainly don’t stock pile road salt.   Basically, hurricanes, nor’easters, and tropical storms and depressions are part of the culture — there’s a hockey team called “The Hurricanes,” after all.    The real truth is, no matter what sort of havok snow wrecks a few days a year, hurricanes always do more damage.    Trees get knocked over, branches hit houses, and, after Hurricane Floyd, for example, flooding becomes severe, even to the point where inland hog farms threaten the environment.  There’s a lovely thing called “hog waste lagoons,” and because of torrents of rain, pig poo has managed to leave the farm and pollute the drinking water.

I guess a destructive sea is part of the heritage, though.  The Carolinian coast is riddles with sunken ships, and Blackbeard the pirate remains a historical icon, especially in beach front tourist resorts.  (How many calabash seafood places have a pirate theme?)   Yet, somehow, because of all this seafaring history, people lose their minds at the sight of snow?  Actually, it’s simple.  Snow, although a dusting of it is a yearly occurrence, is much more strange and unknown, and therefore it scares the living Christ out of some people


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