Atlanta “Snowpocalypse” 2014 – Give Me A Break . . .

I just became aware today, of the mess that is the traffic situation in Atlanta, and in many areas of the south, today (and for the last day or so). I got a little bit of back ground information (and I admit, a chuckle) out of reading an article posted by someone on facebook.

But it was not until I turned on CNN a few minutes ago (oh, why did I go to channel 15 . . .), did I get a more accurate picture of what was happening. Or more importantly, what the mindset is about the whole situation in the area.

The whole thing looks a bit like what we are used to as our first snow fall here on the Canadian prairies, and other northern climates. But to be fair, I understand the climate of Georgia and Atlanta, and as such, can have some compassion. They are not used to this weather, nor are many other areas in the south, so its as much a shock to them as 2 or 3 (or more) feet of snow is to us.

But that compassion only goes so far.

When I turned on CNN, the first thing I heard was blame shifting. Though it was mostly spoken by the reporters, one can only assume that its the majority mindset in the area.

The first thing I heard, was total blame for the entirety of the situation, falling on the politicians of the area. Mostly on the mayor of Atlanta, but I imagine also others in the area (including the state). People were angry with the mayors office, for apparently not being prepared for this in advance, despite knowing this was coming.

But then came the rantings. Blame was put solely on the mayor for not closing the schools, and otherwise telling the people of the city to just stay home. There was much animosity about the city not having (it seems) every street plowed by today. And the most irksome rant, about the lack of sanding and salting on many of the cities roadways. This being said, all the while they are talking about (or showing photos or footage of) gridlock and/or abandoned vehicles on major thoroughfares all over the city.

Think about it. How can salt and sanding vehicles (nor plows) clear up a road clogged with traffic? And even if its not, how can a road clogged with abandoned vehicles be cleared?

Kudos to the supermarkets, hardware/department stores, churches and all other businesses, residents and organizations  that took in stranded people during that whole mess. Its always nice to see others reaching out to the desperate, in their time of need (I admit, in that situation, I can’t think of a better place to be stranded then a supermarket lol).

But that said, I have to point a finger in a few directions.

In the area, the finger seems to be pointed squarely at the local politicians, for apparently not being prepared. Maybe that might be part of the problem.

But first thing I have to acknowledge, is a big part of this is at the hand of the business community and the school districts in the area. The mayor was right in that the decision should have been made to close the schools, and at the same time, businesses should probably have better thought though there release of employees. The mayer was correct, in his observation that releasing the populace of a city of that size all at the same time, in those conditions, was a recipe for disaster.

But there is also a personal component to this. It is not like the mayor, the schools, and all the businesses are the only ones with accessibility to the forecast for the upcoming days. Today, we are all more connected to information then EVER before. Most of us have cable TV services, broadband, or mobile smart phone devices, all of which can give us access to the forecast. And as such, we should be able to see these things coming.

Basically, this argument that its ALL the mayor’s fault for not telling people to just stay home, is ridicules. Adults should be able to make the judgment THEMSELVES, of whether or not its safe to go out or not.

I can understand that there will be situations where someone has to go to their job out of necessity (health care services, utilities etc), and some employers are just assholes, but by and large, I can’t see that ALL of the business community are as ignorant and self serving  as to put the whole city at risk.

When I hear about school buses being stuck in gridlock all whole night, and babies being born in the gridlock, I do not put all the blame on politicians. I put most of the blame, on the people that did not have to be there. Those that very likely could have stayed home, but didn’t. Not only are you delaying the clean up efforts that your bitching and moaning isn’t happening, your also presenting a public safety hazard, by driving up emergency service response times.

Everyone is talking about the gridlock baby, but consider this.

What happens if someone is having a health complication, and needs to get medical attention right away? What if there is a fire (a home can be engulfed in 5 minutes)? What if there is a domestic (or other) disturbance that warrants immediate police presence?
All of those situations can turn very nasty, very quick, if all of the personnel are stuck IN, or behind, a wall of gridlock and abandoned vehicles.

This is why I am forced to say, wake the fuck up people. And I am not just pointing out the residents of Atlanta, or the south either. When the weather turns nasty, and you don’t need to be out. DON’T GO OUT!!!

Its not just you and the other commuters that are being inconvenienced. You are a very probable threat to public safety, and could be an unnecessary threat to lives.

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