Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Record Breaking Blizzard hits the U.S

Over the past weekend a record breaking blizzard struck a majority of the east coast region. Immediately, viral vines and videos emerged of people skiing on the streets and time lapse videos capturing the enormous amounts of snowfall. As some may have initially celebrated the chance at days off and snowball fights, a majority of those effected had to then figure out how to deal with the ramifications of the biggest blizzard in years.

As of today, the death toll has reached 45 people spread out over the several states.A majority of these fatalities weren't due to the weather hazards, with many actually dying due to shoveling . Widespread efforts to shovel out the snow blocking many peoples cars, streets, and homes has led to authority figures coming out and warning against this hard exertion of labor, which can lead to possible heart attacks.

Economically speaking, the results of the Blizzard has been disastrous.1,500 flights were canceled on Monday the 25th, which was half the number of the flights canceled on Sunday. Various trains and subway stations throughout New York have been shut down and closed for days. The federal office buildings in D.C were shut down as well. The Blizzard also left tens of thousands of people throughout the east coast region without water and power for much of the weekend.

Several States declared a state of emergency, while leaders in various cities including the District of Columbia are applying for FEMA assistance and funding. While New York has been largely successful in dealing with the problems, clearing up snow extremely fast and opening many schools and offices, people in the poorer regions of the state such as Queens have complained over the lack of movement. Many of them say their streets are still buried and that the government funded snow plows haven't reached their neighborhoods. This is a problem in many other cities where government assistance is slow and streets are still blocked with snowfall. 

What do you think of these events? What do you think the federal and state government's role should be in assisting during times of natural crises and how can we ensure that smaller, poorer cities don't get left behind when it comes to government assistance?



Danny Halawi said...

AMAZING post Charles!!! I think people in California take the weather here for granted, and they don't really understand how much weather can impact day to day life. What was really shocking to me was the fact that 45 people actually died from the cold. It just comes to show how serious weather can be, and that even in today's society, we still have to be cautious of future weather and the impacts it can have. I believe bigger cities like New York should be prioritized when removing snow, just because there's more people there. However, I don't think that other cities should be deprived of help. It's important to understand which cities need the most support, and then divide and conquer.

Anna Joshi said...

I agree with Danny. As someone who has lived in California all my life, I can’t think of an instance where weather has affected my day to day life. But with social media documenting much of this historic blizzard, I was finally able to see its huge impact. I believe that it is the state’s role to figure out a way to “divide and conquer,” as Danny said, and make sure that poorer cities don’t get left behind. A way this could possibly happen would be to put stipulations on the aid that is given to the state, that make sure that the smaller areas get tended to without too long of a delay.