Winter Storm Leon, Live from Gulf Shores

life guard standI guess it was some time last week that they (you know the powers that be) started talking about us getting snow in Gulf Shores. And then they (those same powers) started saying it was only gonna snow on the Gulf Coast. All of that was crazy talk! It just does not snow at the beach! But, here’s the thing- the weather changes so fast down here that I did not really think it would actually snow.

The time marched on and meteorologist not only stuck with the snow prediction but also narrowed their predictions to the snow arriving Tuesday evening. So, this little Gulf coast town proceeded with caution- including Bub, Baby Bub and I. Bub went to work and I dropped Baby Bub off to play with some friends for a couple hours about 5 miles north of here.

Ok, a quick geography slash history lesson about Gulf Shores. We are located on the Intracoastal Waterway. The Intracoastal Waterway is a manmade canal that runs from Carrabelle, FL to Brownsville, TX. It is used mainly for moving cargo via barges. However, it created the island where Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama sit. So, there are 3 bridges to get on this island. When the weather gets crazy- they (those same powers that be) close the bridges.

Around lunch Bub called to tell me that it was snowing at the restaurant where we work. And it would probably be best if I went ahead and went to fetch Baby Bub. So. I did and I got to the bridge and it was bumper to bumper and moving at a snail’s pace. It had already been sanded. A normally 30 minute round trip ride took me closer to an hour. Crossing that bridge on my way to get Baby Bub I did worry that it was gonna close before I could get back. But, everything was fine and I made it back home before the bridge closed.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were expecting crazy weather and as such had prepared for it. We are no stranger to having to hunker down, just not normally for a winter storm.

City of Gulf ShoresIt is really wild to see the ice hanging off of everything! I have seen this stuff before but seeing it at the beach, is just crazy. Bub and I thought this sign down at a local surf shop was pretty ironic with the icicles hanging off it.

CountdownThis winter storm has reminded me that I am married to a weather junkie. He spent all of Tuesday afternoon calling friends in Birmingham and Atlanta getting updates! And he ran from one window to the next to the door checking it out and just marveling at what was happening. If I heard “generational occurrence” once, I heard it a thousand times!

And then, limbs started popping and falling which was pretty surreal. We have weathered 2 tropical storms and a hurricane and not lost as many limbs as we lost last night. It sounded like someone falling off the bed hard. The picture below on the top right is a limb that fell on our neighbor’s azalea bushes and froze there.

Limb DownYou can see we did not really get much snow- just a little. And the ice on the eaves of our house is just mind blowing! Yes, that is frozen pine straw mixed with ice hanging off the roof of our house!

EaveI suppose if we saw ice covering down here every year it would not be as fascinating but, it is really fascinating. Birmingham and Atlanta were totally blindsided by Leon. They got up Tuesday and went about their business like any other day and got caught totally by surprise.

Icy Pine NeedlesWhat will be your memory of Leon? Will you remember being stuck on the road? Will you remember watching on the news Southerners struggle to deal with a couple inches of snow? Will you remember your child having to spend the night at school?

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