Sunday, December 14, 2008

The "Great Winter Storm Freak-Out of 2008"

Today we had a dusting of snow. To you folks in the midwest who scoff at a dusting of snow, you'll be amazed at what it does to us here in the Pacific NW. We are expected to have an "Arctic Blast" (temps between 10-30F) for an entire week; a rare occurrence here. The last time we had 5 days straight of temps below freezing was 10 years ago. People are freaking out. The morning news had continuous coverage of the snow and they had reporters stationed all around town, showing off the trouble drivers were having on the roads. To be fair to local drivers, there aren't snowplows to clear the roads, and they don't use sand and salt like they do in WI and MN, so the snow falls, turns to slush, then freezes to the road when the temps drop at sundown... On top of that, PDX is extremely hilly and navigating an icy hill is something to be avoided at all costs. Unless you have a low insurance deductible for body work. Just imagine driving in Duluth, MN after an ice storm with no snow equipment taking care of the roads. Now multiply Duluth's population by 10, most of them not realizing what they're going to be driving into. Check out this video from the news. This is the Marquam bridge over the Willamette River in downtown Portland. This double-decker bridge has a height of 150 feet on the top deck, where the red truck has spun out. Vertigo, anyone? Nah, I'm not afraid of heights. I'll just stop right here and put chains on my tires, ignoring the other cars trying to drive around me on the ice. Idiots.

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