"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

December 15, 2007

Something About Winter Storms.

"In America the ice-storm is an event. And it is not an event which one is careless about. When it comes, the news flies from room to room in the house, there are bangings on the doors, and shoutings, ‘The ice-storm! the ice-storm!’ and even the laziest sleepers throw off the covers and join the rush for the windows."
-Mark Twain in Following the Equator.

With another nor'easter set to arrive early tommorow morning, people are having trouble letting go of the one just passed.

CBS Springfield kept a live blog of that storm that I just discovered today. So great! Way to go CBS Springfield. This kind of reporting during events of any kind will start to get better, as no doubt about it, every news organization will offer some sort of similar feature during election nights, storms, important school sporting events, etc... With Twitter, Tumblr, live blogging, etc...you can keep a constantly updated stream of information flowing to the readers who come looking for it. A nice camera phone is all you need, as you can send text and photos via SMS, direct to the blog.

Over at the MassLive Northampton Forums, there is a lively discussion going on about the conditions of the roads and the large amount of traffic on the road during the storm. Blame is being placed on everyone and anyone, as is the case all across the Northeast. The delays, the traffic, and the poor conditions of the roads were not unique to Northampton. On the contrary, it was a theme throughout MA, and elsewhere.

The Boston Globe is reporting on the same blame game taking place in the eastern part of the state with regard to the major inconveniences people suffered through during the storm, where the last two public school students stepped of their bus at 11.30pm. After the storm, officials point fingers,

As Greater Boston residents continued to fume over the state and city response to a 10-inch snowfall that paralyzed the city, the region seethed with recriminations yesterday.
The Globe also has this great graph up showing how the early commute home really clogged roads in Metro Boston. People are leaving comments at the Globe on their tales of commuter woes.
My husband left his office past Framingham at 1:30 and arrived home just before 9.

It took me 6 hours to get from Woburn to Westborough.
--From the AP, Winter Storm Snarls Traffic in Northeast.

--Providence, "Perfect storm" of traffic snarls roads.

--Govenor of Conn., Jodie Rell Criticized For Storm Response.

--Snowstorm wreaks traffic havoc: Season's first major storm turns Valley roads to parking lots

Commenting yesterday on the thread at MassLive noted at top, where people were discussing the traffic here in the area, and why it happened or who was to blame, I wrote,
There was an accident on 91 at exit 18, I understand that traffic was routed thru town because of. That added lots of traffic to already heavy traffic caused by a large number of business, schools, municipal offices, etc...closing between 12 and 2. The roads were obviously in very poor condition, and drivers were ignoring no left hand turn allowed, on Hampton Ave onto Pleasant St for instance, trying to turn left into very slow moving traffic. I saw that although the line of traffic building behind a car attempting to do this was growing large, and everyone was irate, beeping their horns, someone still wanted to turn left. When they finally could, they were not able to get all the way into a lane of traffic. Now the traffic flowing south on Pleasant had to wait a moment until the way was clear.

On the corner of King and Main, people tried to beat the orange light, and couldn't quite make it all the way. Other traffic now with a green light proceeded. It snarled traffic in the middle. Multiply this many times, on every corner, with heavy heavy traffic, in poor conditions, and it was unbelievable. It was truly awe inspiring. I attempted to get video, as I had never before seen in town, midday, such terrible traffic caused by such terrible decisions, but the snow was falling so heavy that all I captured was blurry snow flakes on my lens.
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of "Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex," said he sees signs that New Englanders' storied moxie is on the wane.
In fact, he used the word crybabies to describe peoples' reaction to Thursday's storm, one that set no records, came as no surprise, and delivered the kind of snow, dry and light, that is a DPW commissioner's dream.

"The fact is, once you get used to these modern conveniences and luxuries, even the mildest inconveniences become an epic tale of deprivation," Philbrick said. "Perhaps our threshold will be so diminished [that] our version of the Essex disaster and the Mayflower will be the drive home from the mall in 2 inches of snow."
I have to say, the smartest decision I read all day, came from a report I read in the Globe which quoted someone sent home early. This resident of Boston explained that he picked up his wife close by, and instead of getting on the roads and driving home at that time, they had a long, four hour meal in Boston. That would seem like a good idea next time we get nailed with a mid-day storm, assuming of course that you don't absolutely need to go somewhere right at this moment.

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