Not accustomed to snow, DI residents improvise after historic winter weather rocks area
Daniel Island residents, both young and old, were ready to play in the snow after a truly historic storm hit the Charleston area a week ago, dumping upwards of five inches throughout the community.
Although roads were hazardous and much of the city shut down, community members from across the area made sure to get out to enjoy the third largest winter storm in the area’s history.
According to University of South Carolina Climatologist Cary Mock, this is the first time the Lowcountry has experienced a winter storm of this magnitude since the 1970s.
“It’s extremely rare for Charleston to see a storm of this magnitude,” said Mock. “…Any time they get any more than four inches, it’s pretty shocking. Even to get two inches is kind of rare. On that end, you hear stories occasionally about the big 1973 snow storm, which was a little over seven inches—maybe a little more when you go inland.”
As soon as the ice was covered in powder on Wednesday afternoon, residents across the island emerged from their homes to enjoy this rare event. Because of the unusualness of an accumulation of snow in the area, many had to improvise when it came to sledding, skiing and scraping ice off of their cars.
Amanda McLenon’s family took to the streets to tube behind their car, went sledding using boogie boards and even built a massive snowman that measured over seven feet tall!
“Luke and Kate have seen snow before on ski trips out west but this was the first time seeing real snow in Charleston,” said McLenon. “The morning of the weather event they watched intently for the actual snow to start…They have been outside most of the last three days tubing behind the car, ‘sledding’ on boogie boards and then building this huge double decker snowman. I and my husband even got into the fun sledding and getting pelted in snowball fights. It was really reminiscent for me because I grew up in Michigan and sledding and snowball fights were what we did all winter. It is really cool for my Charleston kids to be able to experience a little bit of it too.”
The Brechtel family also did not let the lack of proper snow gear stand in the way of enjoying the wintery mix. Instead of traditional sledding, as hills are hard to come by in the Lowcountry, the family tugged their three children behind a golf cart—at a safe speed, of course. They also enjoyed a couple games of tennis, explained Lisa Brechtel.
“Our three kids had an absolute blast in the snow,” said Brechtel. “This was a big deal for my 5-year-old because he has never seen snow before. He made snow angels, rode a boogie board down the hill, had a snowball fight with a few friends, got pulled by a golf cart and finished off the day with hot chocolate from Refuel! What a day. As for me, this tennis addict managed to play some super fun snow tennis—crazy fun for all of us.”
Other sled improvisations included water floats and even a hamper!
Not only was it a good time for the human residents, many furry friends were out and about with their owners to enjoy the rare snowfall, many for the very first time.
The Adams family, who moved to the island 11 years ago from Maryland, were thrilled to see winter weather in the south. It was especially exciting for their four legged friends.
“My husband and I moved to South Carolina from Maryland 11 years ago,” said Angela Adams. “We haven’t been back in almost a year because my husband is on chemo for stage four colon cancer. But he’s doing great and we had such a wonderful couple of days enjoying the snow! And our dogs got to see it for the first time and loved it.”
Daniel Island resident Amanda Harridge described a memory-making day with family and friends. Her daughters, Addie and Gracie, enjoyed their first all day snow event, a momentous occasion that included catching fluffy snowflakes, sampling snow cream, taking part in nighttime snowball fights, and building a snowman.
“Beautiful memories for Addie and Gracie that we will talk about for years!” said Amanda. “A beautiful few days of fun for all!”
Although many enjoyed the snow on Wednesday and Thursday, cabin fever quickly began to set in and by Friday, residents were out and about in search of something to do. With the options at Publix almost completely depleted, the island’s restaurants were buzzing with patrons. Upon a quick visit to Daniel Island Grille and Agave’s Mexican Restaurant, it was easy to see that Daniel Island residents are not accustomed to extreme winter weather.