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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow blind

The South experienced snowstorms last week, and our Northern relatives got a good laugh. Birmingham and Atlanta got a couple of inches of snow. 'Oh, my God,' you might say. 'Two inches of snow is normal for us!' Well, not to the residents of Atlanta.
When New York or Phili gets snow, the snow plows, sand and salt trucks are usually doing their job before people wake up.
Cities below the Mason-Dixon line don't own so much as a snow shovel.

A lot of these roads are not made to handle the cold and ice. 

Many of these cars are not equipped with 4 wheel drive. (Why would they need it?) Snow tires? Tire chains? Non-existent.
Why the South Fell Apart in the Snow

Add to the fact that citizens of the town are unaccustomed to driving in this kind of weather. When we can measure the last snowfall in decades, it's reasonable to assume not many people know how to handle the white stuff.
I've read the stories coming out of Atlanta as well as other major cities. I can only speak about what happened here in San Antonio.

I knew my truck was going to ice over, so I got up early. Not owning an ice scraper, I used a spatula that I normally use to repair drywall with. It worked pretty good actually. My wife, smart girl that she is, boiled some water to clear my windshield off quickly. The only people out on the road were people who had to be. A lot of San Antonio stayed home.
Think about it: There is no infrastructure in place to handle snow and ice. The city shuts down because it knows that. The schools close rather than risk the kids and buses. Approximately 4,000 kids spent the night in Birmingham schools with their teachers because the parents had no way to reach them.
As I drove to work early Friday morning, the police were closing I-35. If I had been two minutes later, I would of had no way to get to work. Procrastination would have worked in my favor then. One guy in front of me lost control and spun 360 degrees. Luckily, I was only going about 20 MPH and skidded around his ballet moves.
As it was, hardly anybody made it in to work. I would say about a third of the staff necessary to run the store couldn't come in. In a way, it worked out, almost no one braved the ice to shop. As it was, I pretty much had the back of the store to myself. The trouble was getting home. I-35 was still shut down, so I had to take the treacherous back roads. I actually managed to hit 30 on one stretch of road. Took me over an hour to get home. A few posts ago, I explained how the bridges super iced over. What I didn't cover was what would happen to you if you slid right off of one. You see, we here in Texas build bridges and there doesn't have to be water underneath them. So if you find yourself hurtling through a barrier over a bridge, there will be nothing to break your fall. All jokes aside, I have not heard of any deaths related to the big freeze we had here. Other places reported fatalities, which is no laughing matter.

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