IT RAINS, IT SNOWS, IT RAINS AGAIN. When the rain stops, it gets cold and the moisture freezes and turns to ice. It’s becoming a winter weather pattern here in Switzerland County — and quite frankly I’m sick of it.
The Ohio River is slowly moving back toward its banks after last week’s flooding, but it hasn’t made it, yet, and with this week’s freezing temperatures, the recession has stopped because the floodwaters are now ice.
To recap: we had unseasonably warm temperatures as the winter season started, which gave us a lot of rain. Just before Christmas, that warm weather was snapped when we got belted with heavy snow and ice that paralyzed the county as everyone was trying to get their Christmas shopping done.
As we looked out of our windows and down our lanes, we thought that we’d all be stuck inside until the county fair in July — but Mother Nature had another trick to play.
As quickly as the snow fell, more warm weather and more heavy rains washed it away. Honestly, I don’t ever remember so much snow disappearing so quickly.
As annoying as the rain was, I took solace in one of my mother’s sayings: “You don’t have to shovel rain”; and again began to enjoy the warming temperatures.
Now everyone enjoys a little rain, but after several days turned into weeks — enough was enough.
That’s when we all began to watch the weather forecasts about what was going on with the weather in the East. As any good Switzerland Countian knows, heavy rain in the East will eventually find its way into the rivers and streams, and will make the Ohio River rise here.
As we all looked on, the river began to rise and rise and rise. Traditional sign posts — like the poles at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park and State Road 56 near Patton Hollow — were watched closely, and the familiar “high water” signs were brought out and placed along roadways to warn drivers.
If all of this weather has reinforced anything — and I know I preach this sermon a lot — it’s that many friends and neighbors here in Switzerland County stepped forward and lent a helping hand to those in need — and that, again, is what makes this a truly special place to live.
One of the ways that people express their thanks to others in this community is through Vevay Newspapers “Good for You!” column. In the days following the heavy snow and other weather, the newspaper office got many nominations from people wanting to say thanks for the work that was done.
Running just one per week, we would be running snow removal thank yous for several months, so I decided that I would share them with you here in this column.
These people won’t be receiving roses, but their work as Good Samaritans is truly what this county is founded on.
— Jim Ray and Jeremy Harsin nominated Carl Bovard for his help in getting snow cleared away. They recounted that during the big snowstorm they were overwhelmed with the calls to have snow cleared away.
A couple of people had critical need to have their drives cleaned, so the duo called on Car, who got right to work and cleared off drives so that furnace repairmen could get to Meredith Scudder’s house and so that Bill VanOsdol and his family could get out and get to work.
— Lisa Burk wrote to thank Bob Robbins for spending many hours on his tractor plowing roads and driveways on Fishing Worm Ridge. She also reported that Bob ran errands for those who couldn’t get out on Christmas Eve, and wanted to say thank you on behalf of all of the neighbors.
— Joe and Sharon Deck were nominated by Heather and Rodney Faddis for plowing out their driveway during the holiday season. Heather and Rodney reported that they tried to pay the Decks, but the couple refused, simply saying “Merry Christmas” and moving on.
The Decks were even reported to be out on Christmas night helping dig neighbors out.
— Reverend Howard Wade of Switzerland Baptist Church nominated Devin Scudder of Vevay, noting that Devin came and cleared the parking lot area of the church and also behind the vehicles at the church parsonage so that the Wade family could get out and so that the church could hold services.
— Richard and Leona Adams nominated Roy Lee and Dale Patterson. The Adams’ reported that the father and son cleared the snow from their driveway, and also cleared the drives of all of the homes along the Turtle Creek hill area.
I’m sure that there are hundreds of other stories of kindness and generosity that people here can tell about neighbors and friends during the recent weather.
That’s what makes this a special place to live, and the people who live here truly remarkable individuals to take their time to help out others without any monetary purpose in mind.
Thanks again, Switzerland County. When the going got tough — you truly got going.