Monday, February 11, 2013

Rant #902: Digging Out

Well, we did get hit this weekend, although in my neck of the woods, it really could have been worse.

We got about a foot of snow from the storm they called Nemo.

That isn't too good.

But when you consider that we live about a mile away from Suffolk County, and that county got upwards of two to three feet of snow, well, we have to consider ourselves very, very lucky.

Many employers let their workers out early due to the impending snowstorm on Friday, and mine did too.

Thank goodness.

It allowed me to go food shopping, and get home when it really wasn't anything more than a major hail/rainstorm.

It was slippery, but that was about it.

The heavy snow came a bit later, and herein lies the problem.

Many employers in Manhattan also let the crews off early that day, but evidently not early enough, especially if you drive into the Big Apple.

If workers got off at 3 p.m., let's say, and it normally takes them at least 90 minutes to drive home, and they live in mid Suffolk County, well, a lot of them were stuck.

And I mean stuck, literally.

The Long Island Expressway, known as the "world's largest parking lot" due to the volume of traffic it supports, and the traffic jams that are the byproduct of this volume, came to a standstill late Friday.

Those coming in from Manhattan--and those who work in Suffolk and were simply trying to get home--found that the LIE was in deep-freeze mode.

Since much of the storm came during the traditional rush hour, thousands of cars were stuck on the road, and I do mean stuck.

The snow was so bad from exit 57--where my wife lived when we started dating--to exit 73 that people literally abandoned their cars right smack dab in the middle of the highway.

Some people stayed in their cars the entire, frigid night, with no means of support coming anytime soon.

And this made cleanup the next day near impossible.

The LIE was closed down in that expanse of exits, and since so many cars littered the road, cleanup was nearly impossible unless cars were moved--and they were, by heavy construction trucks, if even these vehicles could get through.

They were literally picked up and placed somewhere else so the plows could get through.

Also, since this was the major story of that day, not much was said about other services that the storm hit.

After Hurricane Sandy, people became more aware of losing phone, electricity and other utilities during the storm, and this happened this time too.

Gas was in very, very short supply.

Once again, lines formed at gas stations, but this time it was earlier in the week as we were warned about the impending storm.

I was able to get gas on Friday as I was coming home from food shopping, but dozens of stations ran out of gas. My wife was not able to get gas until Sunday.

Also, thousands lost power, and many thousands of others lost phone service.

Yes, this was a mess this weekend, but things are supposed to get better--kind of.

It is supposed to be pretty warm today--in the 40s--and that, mixed with another milder storm we are supposed to get, bringing a wintery mix of more snow and rain, will hopefully wash a lot of this away.

This has been a lousy winter up to this point for the Northeast, and we are only like half done with it, still having to go through the rest of February, the entirety of March, and into the middle of April until we are in the clear.

Last year, we literally got away with it, as we hardly had any snow.

This year has been a horror, and by the way, thousands of people in our area are still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, still with homes teetering on extinction ... and then this comes and hits us.

Things have got to get better, and I sure hope they will.

But once again, your intrepid reporter basically escaped the brunt of this mess, and for that, all I can say to Mother Nature is the following:

Thank you, thank you very much.

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