Scenic USA - West Virginia

A Christmas to Remember

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Charleston Capitol Building - West Virginia

Photo by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography

   For those in the Mid-Atlantic States dreaming of a White Christmas back in 2009 certainly received their wish, albeit a few days early and a whole lot more than was bargained for. On December 16, 2009, meteorologists detected a large storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico. After producing heavy rains in Texas, the storm moved eastward into Georgia and Florida, destined for the Mid-Atlantic region. Continuing northward, the storm retained its heavy moisture and met with ice cold air. Low pressure developed off the Atlantic coast, steering the storm northward and delivering a record setting snowfall. Areas around Long Island and Roanoke totaled nearly 2 feet of heavy snow as the blizzard headed northward toward New England. Labeled as a category 5 storm, record setting totals stretched out along the eastern coast, snapping power lines, snarling traffic, and playing havoc with last minute Christmas shoppers.
   Here in West Virginia's capital city, all was quiet in the wee hours of the morning of the 20th. Although power outages plagued the area, the lights were still shinning surrounding the capitol building. Built of Indiana limestone and tons of structural steel, capitol complex construction dates back to 1936. While it's not easy to detect in this beautiful night scene, its magnificent dome is gilded with 14 karat gold leaf. Topping out at 293 feet, the capitol building is the tallest in Charleston as well as in the state. Although some Christmas gifts may have been late that year, the tiny set of footprints on the capitol steps remind us all of what's really important in our lives.

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