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Editorial: Rising to the wintry occasion

It’s helpful to borrow a sports cliché when talking about the weather this week: Snowstorms don’t build character, they reveal it. And Western New York is acquitting itself well.

Social media and the news media are full of stories about neighbors helping neighbors or coming to the aid of complete strangers.

This week’s multiday onslaught of snow, wind and bitter cold — sorry, we refuse to adopt the Weather Channel’s nomenclature for each storm — was an equal opportunity event, moving through Lockport and Niagara Falls on Tuesday night, continuing through Amherst and Buffalo, then on to the Southtowns and ski country on Wednesday. No one was spared.

We’re not sure where this one ranks on the Jimmy Griffin six-pack index, but the fact that Paula’s Donuts closed for several days was enough to send some sugar addicts into serious withdrawal, including some journalists we know.

Erie County officials warned that this storm should not be underestimated, and there is little evidence that anyone is doing that.

Let’s give the meteorologists — those perpetually abused professionals — some credit for being on target with their forecasts. Their warnings allowed schools to announce closings ahead of time, giving parents time to plan. Many businesses and government offices also gave their employees some days off or let them work remotely.

Snow days are a good time to get acquainted with our neighbors, particularly elderly ones. A phone call or knock on the door, just to see if they are warm, fed and have access to their daily needs, will be much appreciated. There may even be a karmic payback some day.

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