Six years ago, I moved here to get away from this crap. Well, it’s apparently followed me because for the fourth time in about fourteen months we are getting hammered by a significant winter storm.
But the difference between living in northwestern Ohio and the Eastern Shore lies in preparation: simply put, this area has a hard time dealing with a clipper-type shot of a couple inches of snow, let alone a blizzard. To be prepared is to spend money on plows, supplies, and equipment that most counties and municipalities don’t seem to possess around here – meanwhile, private industry hasn’t completely taken up the slack because there’s a fairly significant investment in time and equipment required to tap into the market for snow removal. Perhaps a run of relatively snowless winters kept people out of that avocation.
One obvious question is whether additional investment is justified given the fickle nature of weather. It’s true that many experts tell us the next couple decades will be a spell of cold winters – as opposed to the predictions of global warming in vogue perhaps five years ago – but with the local climate a variance of just a few degrees may be the difference between a 10-inch snowstorm, a nasty ice storm, or cold rain. That’s not as common in northern climes where the tendency is for snow from Thanksgiving through St. Patrick’s Day.
My guess, though, is that we’re going to be putting up with a blizzard or two and its inconvenience pretty much every winter for the foreseeable future. It never hurts to be prepared, but I’m thinking that preparation will have to be personal since I doubt the local and state governments will have the resources to keep the roads clear. They were busting their budgets just to get through last winter and, alas, the money’s not there for budget increases.
In this latest case, we were taken a bit by surprise but so far people seem to be taking it in stride. Stay warm, stay home, and read some blogs to get caught up after the holiday weekend.