Tuesday, February 26, 2013

When A Winter Storm Hits

While we are warm and cozy another winter storm and blizzard hit the midwest of the U.S. also depositing a good deal of snow north of the border. The headlines of the media are brimming with scary news and sensational pictures of how bad the storm is and how much damage and power outages it has caused.

2nd major snowstorm paralyzes parts of Midwest

In fact, schools are being closed as the school buses don’t go and airports are shut down and filling up with thousands of stranded travelers.  Thousands of employees can’t get to work. You have seen it in the press, right?
Yes, just about everything comes to a grinding halt.

North America is known to receive violent winter storms. But are they really so much worse than elsewhere?

We have been living 25 years in Norway and have seen winters most Europeans will never see. Snow piled up with 20inches during one single night, there is wind, there is ice build-up on the roads and yet the schools never closed a day. If there was a power outage it lasted for a couple of hours.

Road traffic was going a little slower, but mostly the roads were just fine.
We didn’t live in a big city where many snowplows were out. We had one or two plows working the district. It always worked.

Most people made it to work on time. Even though airplanes got delayed because they had to clear the runway, most times there were very few cancellations.
We had buses and trains working – life went on, even though people were trying to get out of the cold.

The big question is why are there so many more  problems in the U.S. and Canada during winter conditions?  Is it that we are not prepared for winter? Don’t we have enough equipment to clear roads and railways? Is the power grid in so bad conditions that the winds can blow them down? Don’t the power company’s keep enough staff at hand to get the lines back up and working?

After 11 years in Canada we have seen and heard catastrophic sounding news every winter. It seems like everyone complains when the first snow hits the ground and roads become impassible or the runway at the airport is closing down. Yet nothing ever changes.

As we spend winters down south it rarely becomes our problem, but it sure got me wondering.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. sure makes you glad your south of the border eh? Seems like home has had the worst winter in a long time...sure glad we're here...

  2. Back in the 50's when I lived on Toronto, I don't remember our schools ever closing and we did get lotsa heavy snow back then too.
    I think just the larger population and overuse of the services causes most of the problems.
    Like you we are enjoying our winters in the south.

  3. Tend to agree with Georges answer. Plus it makes great news for the weather folks. Have a great Wednesday!

  4. Snow isn't so bad as long as it is someplace else. I don't mind seeing it on TV, from a distance or flying over it. I just don't want it to be outside when I step out or on any of the roads we have to drive on.


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