Post # 216
I was transferred into the upper Midwest in fall of 1977; to the outskirts of Minneapolis to be exact. I had changed job functions the year before, in 1976, moving from Indianapolis to northern Indiana. There was a blizzard the covered northern Indiana in January 1977, we were snowed in. The person that replaced me in my Indianapolis function was traveling the state, and stayed with us that weekend. Roads were closed, semi’s were stuck, people did not move. Most Indiana-ians (loosely called Hoosiers) don’t remember that winter, because, central Indiana wasn’t affected, and an even greater blizzard covered central Indiana the following year in January/February 1978. (As to be expected, you never remember what happens to someone else, only to yourself.)
As I said we were living in Minnesota. My daughter, born in 1977, was celebrating her first birthday, my parents were flying up for the event. Their journey of 62 miles from home to the Indianapolis airport was fraught with danger. The snow flying, roads were terrible, upon arrival at the airport, all flights were cancelled, weather forecasting was not as precise as today, so the amount of snow was a surprise. They decided to return home, but only traveled a few miles before pulling off and locating a room at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway motel. They were there for three days. The only meals available was at the White Castle, where the workers were snowed in.
This year, the weather forecasters had been espousing blizzard warnings for a week, up to 10 inches they claimed. Forecasting is much better today, but the forecasted blizzard could go south or north of us by 60 miles, like the last one and leave us unaffected. But it didn’t. It began slowing on Sunday morning. It was only a few inches, so 45 of us made to church. We arrived home and hunkered down. It kept coming, travel advisory’s were being issued for 29 contiguous counties. After all was said and done, we had received the third most snow in a 24 hour period….ever! The snow of ’78 was deeper, but it was for a longer period of time. This snow was followed by a deep cold cell that dropped us from 32 on Sunday to a wind chill of 45 below Monday morning. The wind blew for 3 days, the roads were frozen, do to the ineffectiveness of the chemicals in such cold temperatures. Most of the schools were closed all week!
With the blizzard of ’14, Interstates 65, 69, 70 and 74 were closed. Truckers found refuge in any discount store parking lot available. All county roads were closed. Highway departments were not plowing until the wind quit.
But, here I sat, coffee in hand, watching extend storm coverage. This coverage, included live drive time video of road conditions. WHAT!!!! I don’t understand. The Highway Dept. is saying, “We can’t keep up”, the police are saying, “Don’t go”, the hospitals are saying, “We can’t get ambulances to you”, the national guard is saying “our Humvees are stuck!”
Every news station had vehicles out “testing” the road ways, checking on the progress of snow removal, getting stuck in housing additions!
Idiots! Don’t get me wrong, I like driving snow as much as the next guy, but there’s a time to drive and a time to sit back and drink coffee.
Not just one, but every station, not to be out done, had weather people driving around looking for accidents!
When travel advisories are issued, limiting travel for emergency personnel, I don’t see weather/news casters as reaching that level. Besides, 80% of the population has Facebook, Twitter, Skype or other means of forwarding video or pictures from their neighborhood, to any TV station.