Most people have heard the old expression, “if it was a snake, it would have bit ya’.” For Graham resident Ron Long, it was a snake. And it did bite him.

Long, 65, was raking leaves out from under a step in his yard last Tuesday morning. Yard work is fairly routine for him, so he thought nothing of it as he plugged away working at his residence on Highway 380 in an area known as Center Ridge.

“I was raking the leaves out onto the sidewalk, and I thought that I was scattering them out enough,” Long related. “Because, generally with a snake, if you disturb them, they’ll generally crawl off.”

As he finished raking, Long guessed that he somehow scooped up a copperhead from amid a pile of leaves, and as he made a maneuver to get away, the snake struck and bit him on the inside of his right wrist.

“I was going to drive myself to the hospital, but since I have a manual transmission, they say don’t do a lot of activity, so I just called 911 and they sent out an ambulance,” Long said.

He spent the night in the hospital and was released the next day.

Unfortunately, Long’s ordeal is part of an alarming string of snake bites happening closer and closer to Graham’s interior than previously had been witnessed, according to some residents. Graham Regional Medical Center Interim CFO Chris Dover reported that in April the hospital treated two snake bites. This number grew to 5 snakebites treated during the month of May, according to GRMC data.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.