President Carter's 26-year-old son, Chip, learned first-hand today that the stories coming out of Buffalo during the past weeks have not been exaggerated.
"Just beyond conception," said James Earl Carter III. "Sitting in Washington, you can't visualize the situation. That's why dad sent me."
Buffalo, in which snow has fallen for 47 consecutive days and in which the temperature has not been above freezing for 41 days, gave the President's son some of its warmest weather of the winter today. While Carter was making a two-hour, 35-mile automobile tour of the Buffalo area, the temperature was a balmy 26 degrees.
By nightfall, after Carter had left the city, the temperature began plunging again as the city braced for what is predicted to be another weekend blizzard. Since Oct. 1, more than 14 feet of snow has fallen in Buffalo, with more than 40 inches of that still lying in undrifted spots. Drifts in some places are more than 20 feet deep.
"I plan to talk with dad across the dinner table and in a formal report," Carter said today.
Carter made his tour of the Buffalo area wearing no hat, a brown suede coat and green plaid pants. He confessed he was wearing "many layers of clothes" under the spring attire.
Accompanying Carter on the tour was Margaret (Midge) Costanza, an urbans affairs counsel to the President and a former deputy mayor of nearby Rochester.
Making separate tours of the area today were Sens. Jacob K. Javits (R-N.Y.), and Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.).