For us kids from the more northern parts of the continent it’s hard to comprehend what’s happening here. When we get ice or snow back where we’re from, they just get out the snow plows and the sand trucks. But down here on the Gulf Coast they don’t have snow plows and the don’t have sand trucks.
They have lots of sand obviously, but they have no way to scatter it on their highways. And while they have salt water and salt rims on their margarita glasses they have no salt for their roads and bridges.
Why would they? They never need it. Well, almost never!
By 10 this morning the temperature broke through freezing and by 1, from our perspective, it was getting pretty nice out.
We’d walked the dogs earlier but serious cabin fever was setting in so we headed out for a walk down to the closed bridge across Santa Rosa Bay. What we see way above is the south side of the bridge. Here, as you can see, it’s almost now dry but the Gulf Breeze (the north facing) side, it’s not getting any sun, and it’s still solid ice.
The constable I talk to tells me they are hoping they may be able to open the bridge by three, provided the air temperature gets warm enough to melt the ice. But they think will have to close the bridge again by about 5 when any remaining water on the bridge may re-freeze.
We take the dogs to a empty dog beach later and circle back by the bridge. It’s open and that means people can get to work on the island, so the “open” signs are flashing in the bars and restaurants.
Life is returning to the island. By now we are approaching 40 degrees and there are lots of people out enjoying the sunny afternoon.
“If it wasn’t for Mardi Gras we would be turning this bus around and speeding south” -Marilyn Vanstone