Year in Review: Long cold winter left a mark

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Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald The snow plows got a workout with the winter that visited the Basin in 2017.

MOSES LAKE — It will be a topic of discussion for years – oh, yeah, remember that really bad winter? The winter of 2016-17?

The eight weeks between mid-December 2016 and mid-February 2017 were epic in their bitterly cold temperatures, snow, freezing rain, ice and blowing snow. The bad weather scrambled school schedules, closing schools for days at a time. In fact, many local school districts were required to ask for a waiver from the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

It forced businesses to close early, open late or not open at all. Snow, cold and ice canceled meetings and various sporting events.

Between the ice and the blowing snow, a couple of times the Grant County Sheriff’s Office simply advised people to stay off the roads. “It’s very bad and you’ll probably get stuck in a snowdrift,” the sheriff’s office said.

With school closed so much, parents were required to find pastimes for their children, since the kids couldn’t really go outside in the cold, snow, ice and fog.

Parents brought out the board games and craft projects, taught kids new skills, assigned lessons and encouraged reading, gave the kids some chores – and in some cases. packed up the kids and sent them to Grandma.

The winter that didn’t seem to end until about July has spawned a kind of a sequel, an ice storm on the last working day of 2017. The freezing rain left a sheet of ice on roads and all surfaces, including car windows, parking lots and railings. Law enforcement agencies urged people to stay home if possible, and White Trail Road near Quincy was closed briefly due to traffic accidents.

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