Thursday, February 11, 2010

East Coast White Out

Throw a pebble at a map of the East Coast and chances are it will land in a city buried in snow. Our airport is a little quieter due to the many canceled flights.

I love winter but driving in snow is no longer the fun it was with the old Jeep. Now I have a small car and when the snow is deep the bottom of the car drags on the hard snow packed in the center of the road, this cant be very good. My car is so low that often it hits parking bumpers. I really need an old truck.

Last winter we had snow after snow storm, just like the East coast is getting. Because we have so many steep hills driving or just getting around for many, specially the elderly and those who are unable to walk, was specially treacherous, made worse because the City, in its infinite wisdom, had a no salting/sanding policy, plows remained parked. Adding insult to injury the city also cut the bus routes in half.

All those folks who thought they could leave their cars behind and use mass transit to get to their jobs were in for a rude awakening. This was during the holidays, when the market was plunging at its lowest and businesses were already hurting.

"Seattle refuses to use salt; roads "snow packed" by design Sections of Denny Way, seen looking east toward Capitol Hill, remain closed from several snowstorms in the Seattle area since last week." - Seattle Times.

Shovels, salt, sand flew out of the hardware stores.

Perhaps it was ESP or my mother whispering in my ear...that motivated the purchase of an electric snow shovel on one of my trips to the thrifts a few months prior. Brand new in its original box from Target marked down to something ridiculous like $12.00, everyone, including my son, mocked me.

Guess who laughed last.

I was the envy of my neighborhood.
Our backyard.

...Between noon and midnight on Saturday, the State Patrol responded to 246 collisions ... in King County

This one is hard to forget.

Two buses filled with children slid down an icy hill almost going over the highway barrier.

After much outrage, calls and editorials to the newspapers and city officials the city finally mobilized their plows to clear main roads. By then it was too little too late, there were already several inches of ice under that hard packed snow. Most neighborhoods were buried for weeks.

As soon as the snow cleared Seattle residents stormed City Hall to demand change. Later they spoke with their votes and gave the Mayor his walking papers.

The thing about being from NYC, a city that turns on their snow plows at the first snow flake - witnessing the response was shocking to me, specially since emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks struggled and often were unable to reach people due to icy steep hills. Like Queen Anne Hill for instance, already scary on a regular day...

I read about one instance where someone was strapped to a sled and pushed down to the bottom of a hill to an awaiting ambulance. Maybe if we lived in the wild tundra...but in the middle of the city? One of the largest in the USA?

I think what made me most uneasy was the flippant attitude of some as if it was OK for "survival of the fittest"

The irony is that this is one of the most Eco friendly cities, it encourages electric, economy cars but the only vehicles getting around were the gas guzzlers and the snowmobiles.

Lets hope a lesson was learned. I love it here and this is the only major beef I ever had in the, I cant believe already, 5 years we have been living here.

I realize the intentions were meant to protect the oceans, only that protection neglected the city's most vulnerable citizens. As far as I know nothing definite has been proven to support the fact environmentally friendly measures couldn't have been placed.

Article about Seattle's last snow storm. Also links to the Seattle Times article that had close to 1,000 responses.

NYT interactive page where folks submit their own photos of this year's storms.

This photo of the Carnival Pride was taken at Inner Harbor in Baltimore and was published on

John Healds Blog

This is the ship my son took me on my 1st cruise.

~ In the extremely rare chance that this should wind up viewed by the person or persons who cruised on the Pride the week of 1/25-2/1/2003 and may have mistakenly ended up with the only mother/son portrait we had taken on this cruise please come forward, we promise to ask no questions :) I would even settle for a scanned copy.

The ship's photographer took a photo of us at the only dinner he was able to take time off for, the photo was displayed on a shelf at the ship's photo center but when we arrived to pick it up it was gone. We were told someone else had purchased it. (??)

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