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17 December, 2008

Seattle Paralyzed by Chance of Snow

That really sums it up, and it is truly priceless as a headline.

The headline will probably be replaced, eventually. But it's just amusing to me, especially coming from the East Coast. In Boston, the city becomes paralyzed when we get 16 inches of snow, and it turns to ice, and the 200 snow plows and 100 sanding trucks cannot keep up with the pace.

In Seattle, the city becomes paralyzed if some meteorologist who got their degree at Fife Community College misreads the radar printouts and says there is a "chance of snow", when in fact, there was just a chance that he spilled his green tea on the paper, staining it in what looked like a radar signature.

Today, Seattle schools were closed. Half of the transport buses to Microsoft were out of service. And people everywhere were planning for the pandemonium. But instead, I looked out my window to partly cloudy skies and some sunshine. The original forecast said that there would be some snow in the morning, and then more in the evening. Then they modified it to snow in the afternoon. Now they have modified it to snow at night. And there's only a 54% chance of that!

They originally said that arctic winds would be gusting from the north. But all day, including now, I see winds gusting from the south.

So, why are we paralyzed? Well, the answer is simple. Because every year, there is a storm of some sort. And every year, the city is woefully unprepared for it. And every year, the city does absolutely nothing to mitigate the impact. They do not sand roads. They do not plough roads. They just watch, as this hilly city turns into a skating rink of disaster. Of course, the good people of Western Washington are more than partly to blame. The reason being, when the roads start to get bad, people continue driving in their 4WD SUVs as if the roads are clear, and create dangerous situations, and accidents that trigger the traffic disasters.

So here we all sit. Apparently paralyzed. Waiting for one flake to fall.

Perhaps I should go to Safeway to buy candles and some canned goods, just in case.

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