Editorial: Gratitude after the storm, ready for the next | Editorials

We, along with many families across the country, reconfigured our holiday plans.

Forecasters started warning us about a storm, then upgraded to a blizzard, well ahead of the weekend. Law enforcement and utility companies told us to get ready and stay off the roads, if at all possible, especially when the winds were highest.

More than one person, irritated at the less-than-sugar-plum visions of holiday plans going down the tubes, shook their fists at “The Media” for relaying these warnings. Then flights were canceled and drifts piled up on the highways. The Arctic blast stretched from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande, leaving about 60 percent of the US population facing some kind of winter weather advisory, according to the National Weather Service. At least 34 people died in the US because of the storm, and thousands lost power.

We’re fortunate that our region emerged relatively unscathed. Snowfalls varied across the northwest Lower Peninsula, with the Traverse City area getting 11.1 inches at a location five miles east-southeast of town, up to Mancelona which is digging out from 31.7 inches, NWS Meteorologist Dan Cornish said.

Gaylord got 23 inches of snow, with 16.8 of those inches piling up Friday, Cornish said. That’s the most snow to accumulate there in a 24-hour-period since 1942, NWS records indicate. But power outage numbers in the region stayed in the three digitals, and crashes were few.

Our readers were able to follow the weather every step of the way with our special coverage. They either moved up their plans to travel to get to family before the weather hit; or they stayed home for the holidays. Either way, they moved through the storm, armed with information.

We are grateful we could serve people by getting that information out to anyone who sought it. Informing decisions is one of the reasons we do what we do.

Now residents move into the roller coaster that is “real” winter in northern Michigan. And, as they do, we’ll be there with them.

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