Wednesday, January 29, 2014

the South knows winter

From Georgia: Elisson's report.

The local schools have released their inmates students early, clogging the roads with panicked mommies and daddies who now need to schlep Junior home where he can enjoy his video games and hot cocoa in lieu of his education.

The aforementioned clogged roads are packed with idiots. Okay, that’s true on any randomly selected day, but the idiocy level hereabouts ramps up to an astonishing degree when there’s the most minimal suggestion of ice on the roads. Normal driving practices - don’t block intersections, for example - are kicked to the curb, exacerbating an already nasty situation.

From Mississippi: Jason's report.

Bread is flying off the shelves, and you would probably have to drive all the way to Memphis to find a bottle of water! Look at the devastation! That being said, I am enjoying a free day to catch up on my grading and lesson plans.

Neither blogger seems to be showing much more than a dusting. I'm from the mid-Altantic, and while we don't often get hit with bona fide snowstorms, about once or twice every decade we get dumped on, and then it's pretty spectacular. If you still see grass or ground peeking out of your snow, well... them's flurries.

In fairness, though, I must admit that northern Virginians—as well as most Marylanders—are also idiots when it comes to snow. And we have no excuse: it snows yearly, so we ought to have plenty of experience with sanding, salting, and navigating the precip. Alas, every year that it snows, it seems almost as if we've forgotten what happened the previous year. People from places like New England or the Great Lakes or the Dakotas often laugh about how we freak out. It could be something in the air—a forgetfulness-inducing poison emanating from Washington, DC, that citadel of wishful, deluded thinking. Yeah... I blame Washington.



Jason said...

We were awarded another snow day for our ice dusting, and everyone is now worried about losing our Mardi Gras holiday. There is also a mandatory curfew tonight. We are not under martial law, but I am sure that the National Guard is itching to ride around the city streets. People really do go crazy around here with the smallest amount of ice or snow. I am sure everyone is relieved that our high for Saturday is 71F.

Elisson said...

Here in Atlanta, we're dealing with a disaster comparable to the infamous SnowJam of January 1982.

The local officials did not take the weather forecast seriously... or perhaps they believed the predictions that most of the snow would fall south of Atlanta. Regardless, they did not call for businesses to stay closed on Tuesday, and by the time snow started falling it was too late.

People were trapped on highways all night. Children were stuck in schools with no way. to get home. We know plenty of people who are still stranded.

You can laugh at how one or two inches of snow can bring a city to its knees, but the combination of ice, hills, and curves makes driving impossible.

We had a similar weather event three years ago. The difference? The mayor and everyone else took action well in advance, and people were advised to stay home. And a few weeks ago, when we were in New York, they actually closed several major roads during the storm... which helped prevent many of the problems we're seeing here.

Good grief..

Kevin Kim said...

I'm sorry to hear that this is happening. I suppose it might be simplistic, however, for me to grouse that the South needs to bolster its snow-preparedness. It's a matter of economics: would investing millions of dollars in snow-fighting equipment, manpower, and training be a worthwhile investment when such snow is so rare?

Then again, the counterargument could be that, yes, such an investment is worthwhile if even a single unnecessary traffic death is prevented.

Hang in there! Enjoy your soup.

jason said...

Elisson, I am just now catching up on the news; I didn't realize that Atlanta was in such bad shape. I am sitting her watching CNN and am astonished by the number of people that got stranded. Thankfully, this wasn't a multiple day storm. Now, I guess it is just a matter of getting people back to their cars to move them out of the way. Stay warm.