Weather forecasters last week predicted that Marion County could be encased in up to an inch of ice by Saturday,
with widespread power outages and hazardous roads.
Schools changed or canceled Friday basketball games to keep buses off anticipated ice-covered roads, weekend events were canceled, and people scrambled to prepare for the worst.
The frenzy was largely all for naught, as the weather never came, only giving the county a slight layer of ice Sunday morning that melted quickly in afternoon rains.
Carlsons’ Grocery owner Greg Carlson said that they were busier than normal Wednesday through Friday, and that Saturday and Sunday, which they remained open for, were dead.
“I thought we’d sell more salt than we did, but it didn’t get crazy with the salt,” Carlson said. “It was bread and milk.”
Peabody Market co-owner Jai Crow also saw a boost in business Thursday and Friday.
“The things we tend to sell the most are the eggs, milk, chips, and then propane,” Crow said. “I’m sure people were afraid the electricity was going to go out, so we have people that, when it gets cold like that, buy propane.”
Many events were postponed or canceled on Friday in anticipation for what was to come, including a “senior prom” dance scheduled for Saturday at Peabody American Legion, which will now be this upcoming Saturday.
Auxiliary member Myrna Wood said that though not much accumulated over the weekend, she still was glad they decided to postpone.
“I’m just glad we did because I didn’t have to worry about it,” Wood said. “The band comes from Herington and we had several people from Newton coming and I just didn’t want to worry about people on the road.”
An upside to the postponement, Wood said, was that it gave them an extra week to prepare.
“I know one of the girls didn’t have a dress yet so she was really relieved,” Wood said.
Even though the predications of the storm were off, Wood said it was still good that people were preparing for the worst.
“Sometimes I think the media really puts a scare in us and you worry about something for four or five days that’s only going to last for a day,” Wood said. “But on the flip side, it’s better safe than sorry.”
JAM basketball in Hillsboro also was canceled for Saturday morning.
“I really .wish I would have trusted my gut,” Hillsboro Recreation Commission director Doug Sisk said. “I didn’t think I was going to cancel and then I ended up canceling because I had a bunch of people saying we needed to. Then I was disappointed I did because we could have had it pretty easily.”
Sisk said that though JAM would have been over by 11 a.m., it was still better to cancel to make sure people were safe.
“All indications I saw was that we were supposed to get moisture at 5 a.m., so we didn’t want people to show up and then have it get icy while people were there,” Sisk said. “That was what we were thinking about when we decided to cancel.”
Sunday’s slight glaze caused isolated problems. Cathy Martin of Marion, who has an early morning paper route, encountered slippery patches.
“Over at Lincoln and Weldon, I went to hit my brake and slid on through,” Martin said. “There was a car right behind mine and I could do nothing.”
Martin encountered many slick streets at Marion County Park and Lake, and said that Lois and Echo Lanes were among the slickest. When she pulled into a driveway to turn around, she slid off into a yard.
However, no accidents involving ice were reported in recorded dispatches.
Ice didn’t keep parishioners away from at least one Hillsboro church Sunday. It still had services Sunday morning.
Because nothing had fallen on Friday or Saturday, United Methodist Church pastor Morita Truman waited until Sunday to decide about services.
“We stayed in touch with our people and let them know that it might still be happening,” Truman said. “I just have a really hard time thinking that someone would walk up to the doors on Sunday morning and that they’d be locked.
“We told people to make the best decision and what they were comfortable with,” Truman said. “Our numbers were down, but it was a good group considering the conditions.”