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SoVaNow.com / January 30, 2014The Polar Plunge — the storm that has devastated much of the south, but hereabouts was mostly a cold, snowy day — brought the pace of life in Halifax County to a standstill this week.
The storm struck Tuesday, resulting in the closing of schools by 11:30 a.m. Schools remained closed all day Wednesday and will be shuttered again on Thursday.
So far this year, schools have been closed for seven full days, with delayed openings another five days.
On Tuesday, the Vernon Hill and Nathalie areas were some of the first places to see the fine-flaked snowfall, around 9 a.m, with Halifax and South Boston feeling the storm by noon. The snowfall first covered grassy patches before it started sticking to the roads by late afternoon.
According to the South Boston Wastewater Treatment Plant, the town received about one and a quarter inches of snow.
Highway crews spent Tuesday night and most of the day Wednesday spreading sand and chemicals on local roadways to break up snow and ice. Most major roads were cleared before noon Wednesday, but secondary roads, especially in shady areas, remained snow-covered for most of the day.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, is warning motorists that any remaining moisture will refreeze overnight and drivers should use the utmost caution if they have to travel.
Halifax County and neighboring areas were lucky compared to communities in the deep South.
In Atlanta, where the snow accumulation was between two and three inches, the city was in chaos, with some schoolchildren stranded overnight on school buses while another 2,400 students were stuck in their school buildings for the night.
Officials admitted that the severity of the storm caught them by surprise, with regions unaccustomed to snow unable to deal with traffic tie-ups and other impacts. In Virginia, some of the worst effects were felt in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area, where snow accumulations reached nearly a foot.
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