In case you didn't know it Fort Worth is cold
Images of the ice-enslaved Metroplex.
Intern’s note: This story was updated on Feb. 3 with new photos of the ice.
If you’re a news reporter who cares about doing meaningful work and you’re assigned to write about the damn weather, what do you do? You can’t just write “look outside the window” though maybe you really want to.
You dramatize. You scrounge for colorful, forceful verbs to describe how an ice storm smashes into the city, shutters schools and blankets highways. As the days of winter weather drag on, you build a narrative with unexpected plot twists, turn atmospheric conditions into characters, and generally try to keep your audience from realizing they are in fact still reading about the weather.
Check out this progression of ledes from the Star-Telegram’s front page weather stories in the aftermath of a brutal winter storm that pummeled the Metroplex, snapped power lines and caused all kinds of unpleasantness in late December 1978:
Monday Jan. 1, 1979: “The New Year hit Fort Worth today wearing an overcoat and ice skates. And it isn’t expected to shed any of its protective clothing until Tuesday.”
Tuesday Jan. 2, 1979: “The ice-enslaved Metroplex continued to reel under the grip of snow, freezing rain and drizzle Monday as thousands of residents were without electricity or transportation in the wake of the worst ice storm in 30 years.”
Wednesday Jan. 3, 1979: “An unfamiliar, but welcome, yellow object poked through the clouds Tuesday, bringing a measure of relief to North Texas residents paralyzed by the New Year’s weekend ice storm.”
Thursday Jan. 4, 1979: “Mother Nature played a dirty trick this morning when she reneged on an earlier promise of warmer weather today and Friday; instead she sent another round of freeing drizzle into the area.”
Anyway I couldn’t think of a new way to write about the snow so I went out and made some pictures instead. Here’s what Magnolia Avenue and Fairmount looked like yesterday before the snow hardened into slick ice sheets overnight.
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