Our Momentary Winter Wonderland turns to a Deep Freeze – and Will Continue!

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Don McLean – famous for the Rock ‘n Roll anthem “American Pie” – wrote another lesser known song that certainly fits the state of weather we now find ourselves in. It’s called “Winter Has Me in its Grip.”

There’s a passage from the song that many of us will likely experience this week. It goes:

I tried to run from winter
Like this spring and summer run to fall
But when the weather’s in you
There’s no hiding place at all, that’s why … “Winter Has Me in its Grip.”

Indeed, the fluffy white stuff that fell early yesterday morning and blanketed Bainbridge Island, and the surrounding Kitsap Peninsula, with more 3-5 inches of snow – depending on where you live – has turned a bit crusty and hard as our temperatures have dipped. In years past, our snow falls have typically been one-or-two-day-long affairs, turning to mush as rising temps and warmer rain from the Pacific quickly melted the piles of white stuff and transformed our roads and yards into sprawling puddles and gushing streams.

This winter event, however, looks like it is going to be with us for a while. Hard to believe that just six months ago, we were experiencing triple digit temps, as the infamous “Heat Dome” descended upon us. The current cold snap – aka Deep Freeze – is expected to remain in place until at least the end of the week, and more snow is forecast for next week. Wow!

The dropping temperatures remind me of a storm that swept into the Puget Sound in the early 1990s – not long after we moved here. A fierce snowstorm rolled in and dumped more than a foot or so of the white stuff, downed trees and power lines, and threw many islanders into darkness for nearly a week. Then the lights came back on. We celebrated Christmas, but before we could eek out “Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose,” gale force winds spun out of the north accompanied by an Arctic blast – shutting everything down again. We were in the dark, and freezing!

To date, this time around, there have been few, if any, power outages on the island, and most of us are basically just being inconvenienced by the cold. A walk through Downtown Winslow yesterday found most restaurants and shops closed; however, some may be back up and running today, if their staff are able to make in. There are likely, too, to be any number of event cancellations due to the cold, and the re-emergence of Covid-19. The City may open a Warming Center at the Bainbridge Island Community Senior Center, for those who may be in need of a warm spot. And, if you cannot arrange your own transportation, help may be available through Island Volunteer Caregivers at 206-843-4441.

Winter does have us in its grip, but our advice is to go out and make the most it. We’ve seen kids frolicking in the snow, people walking their dogs everywhere, families making snowmen, and Islanders, in general, bundled up and having fun. Walk slowly, drive carefully and take it all in.  We may not see these low temps again!


*Images courtesy of Kevin Dwyer, John Benjes, Charlie Sharpe, Chuck Beek, and Steve Bailey



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