Day Ten, Winter Storms: I know not everyone agrees with me, but I consider myself pretty lucky to live in California. We have our problems in this state, especially with water, budgeting, and taxation, but at least we don’t have trouble with the weather. In fact, the weather round here is pretty damn rad. It’s raining as I type this, but that’s all it is, rain. No subzero temperatures, no skin-cracking wind, no street-clogging snow.
So it’s hard for me to imagine how much life sucked for folks in the South and the East Coast during this past February. Snowstorms battered these areas for nearly a week, and I don’t care what they may say, the cold fucking bothered a LOT of people. Over a million buildings lost electricity, and they didn’t get it back for days. One lady actually froze to death in her house because she had no heat. Others had to exhume their homes and vehicles from mountains of snow. Icy traffic accidents claimed several lives, and all told, the death toll reached twenty-two.
Twenty-two! That’s a massacre. It’s unbelievable. I remember reading about the pilgrims and pioneers who died from exposure back in the 18th century. I thought to myself, “Goodness, that must have been horrible. Thank Heaven we have insulation and heaters now, so that will never happen again.”
Sadly, it did happen again, later in the same year. In November, Mother Nature decided she wasn’t through with the East Coast yet, and stabbed it with a Knife. A snowy cyclone rolled in from the Pacific Northwest and dumped its gargantuan load all over Buffalo, NY. We’re talking seven feet of snow here! Houses were crushed. Motorists were trapped on highways. Fourteen people died, most of them from heart attacks caused by desperately digging their way out of their homes. Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a State of Emergency, and good people from the Fire Department and National Guard came together to clear things up.
What an awful situation. Death by weather. Who wants to go that way? In this day and age, when the entirety of human knowledge can be accessed through a device the size of an index card, we still have people freezing to death. For all our technological advancement, for all the wilderness we’ve exploited and conquered, weather remains the force that will not be tamed. The worst part is, there’s no rational explanation for it, no one to blame. How could this happen? Why did it happen? It’s Mother Nature, man, probably giving us a little reminder of who’s really in charge. You better respect.
I like to think, or at least, hope, that bad things like this occur because better things are on the way.