Friday, January 8, 2010

The Great Chicago Blizzard of 2010 Was Nothing More Than That

A couple of days ago the news reports were all abuzz about the massive snowstorm that was coming. When the storm finally got here it felt pretty much like all the other storms that come around here this time of year.

It's not hard to see why the papers and TV news shows always go overboard with their winter storm coverage. After all, blizzards don't sue if the reports get it wrong. Nevertheless, I felt a little let down, cheated even. I was expecting to be waist-deep in drifts and fighting off my neighbors for what little scraps of food and fuel would be left after supply lines are cut off.

As usual, that didn’t happen. One big change from last year (for the better) is that the streets were in pretty good shape all through snowfall. In 2009, the city decided there wasn’t enough money for a full compliment of snow plows. The public started to notice when most of the avenues and side streets turned into ice rinks when unplowed snow melted and turned into sheets of ice when the temperature rose, then fell.

There are some basic rules to running a big city: keep the trains running, keep the streets plowed, keep the gang-bangers from terrorizing the middle-class. Not even the all-powerful Daley machine can survive long if it slacks off on one of these directives, and this is an election year, so I doubt we’ll be seeing a repeat of 2009 any time soon.

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