Friday, January 19, 2007

2006 mini-storm aftermath

Raymond today blogged about the aftermath of the big windstorm that hit the Puget Sound area*.  While devastating to this area, it is not as interesting to as the mini-storm that followed about 3 weeks later.  A little over a week ago, the area had a small spackling of snow.  I have never really understood how < .5" of snow will actually grind the entire area to a halt**.  A normal commute of 1 hour from Bellevue to Seattle went to 4+ hours.  Even worse, Tmobile was unable to handle the call volume of all the people now parked on I-5, I-405, and I-90, so if you were actually in an emergency you were pretty much SOL.  What does this tell you?  Mainly, forget about getting help here if god forbid there is an actual crisis.  The cell phone infrastructure can't handle half an inch of snow, let alone a major disaster.


* - My mother, who live about 20 miles outside of Seattle, was without power until something like 10 days after the storm.  However, I can almost understand that.  After all, she lives in a state with lots and lots of trees.  This is also a state that is rapidly expanding, so people cut down the trees.  However, people don't want to cut down all the trees, so they leave a few standing.  These trees now get to take the brunt of the wind and consequently fall-over on roads, houses, and yes, power lines.

** - To be fair, they don't salt the roads here and have minimal investment in road equipment to plow or sand the streets.  However, this doesn't excuse the piss poor driving of the majority of drivers.