Kids revel in first snowfall

Published 10:29 pm Friday, January 18, 2013

Brothers Owen and Wade Dempsey, who attend John Yeates Middle School and Creekside Elementary School, respectively, enjoy a short snowball fight while awaiting the school bus Friday morning.

By Matthew A. Ward
and Tracy Agnew
Staff Writers

The snow that settled overnight on Thursday might have been a disappointment for those hoping to wake to a winter wonderland, but it was still an exciting birthday present for Creekside Elementary third-grader Shelby Knaak.

“She was asking for snow for Christmas, and this is her birthday,” her father, Marc Knaak, said early Friday outside the family’s home on Steeplechase Lane.

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While Shelby enjoyed scraping snow off

the windshield of her father’s car, Marc Knaak described how earlier in the morning there was enough of the white stuff to get the sled out.

They even found a jump formed by a decaying fallen bush so Shelby could get some air.

“She was able to jump on the sled and launch up in the air a little,” Marc Knaak said. “There wasn’t really enough for a snowball.”

But elsewhere in the subdivision of Stratford, brothers Owen and Wade Dempsey managed to scrape up enough to start a snowball fight while waiting for the school bus. Suffolk public schools opened two hours late on Friday, giving students a chance to have a little outside fun before heading off to school.

“When it snows, it’s fun,” said Owen Dempsey, a John Yeates Middle School sixth-grader.

“The last time it really snowed was about two years ago,” said his brother, in fourth grade at Creekside.

And the Dempsey boys weren’t the only ones. Though barely a couple of inches of snow cloaked the ground, several snowball fights spontaneously erupted among groups of children waiting for the school bus. They were making the most of it.

In the downtown neighborhood of Lakeside, siblings Reagan and Barrett Piland were pulling each other around on the sled in their front yard before they joined a group of kids at the playground who were packing snowballs and tossing them.

The city got around one inch of snow in most areas, officials said. Not everyone found the weather as enjoyable as the children — nine automobile accidents were reported between midnight and 6 a.m. Friday, with most related to ice on bridges, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said.

One of the accidents, on U.S. Route 58 westbound at the Wilroy Road exit, involved a passenger vehicle and tractor-trailer that spilled a large amount of diesel fuel, requiring a portion of the road and the on-ramp to be closed for several hours.

There were no injuries in that accident, Klink said, but an accident on Bridge Road required one person to be sent to the hospital.

With temperatures in Suffolk rising into the low 40s, the snow and ice were gone from the city’s roads by Friday evening, and there’s no more snow in the National Weather Service forecast for at least the next week. In fact, temperatures on Sunday are forecast to head into the mid-50s.