This Friday Fact is for the world at large to know why an ice and snow storm shuts down the south. We are in a tropical zone and therefore we don’t have the equipment readily available to clear roads from ice and snow. I have lived in the Florida panhandle for many, many years and we may have ice storms once every three to four years. Snow much less often. To keep snow plows and those type vehicles here and ready to roll is not economic in the least. Our normal temps for January through the beginning of March are 60s in the daytime and maybe, just maybe, 40s in the nights. We do sometimes get 20s and 30s but since we are also the “sunshine” state, these low temps aren’t accompanied by precipitation and it would be ludicrous for us to spend the funds to have these items as well as for salaries for workers who know how to run them and keep them in good condition.
Our county government called for shut-downs early before this storm hit as they knew that we have no equipment for keeping roads clear nor for buses to run in sleet and ice. Kids needed to be off those buses and workers needed to be off the interstate. In fact, it took til close to noon on Thursday before I-10 was open here in Pensacola to give the sun time to melt the ice.
Birmingham (where I lived in law school) has way more ice and snow days than us and so does Atlanta. I was surprised that those cities didn’t close schools this week sooner than they did. It was always going to be a bad storm and they had plenty of notice about it.
For the folks in the north to make fun of us for shutting down our city over 2 inches of snow, I say, poo on you. Try having your snow without proper equipment and see how it affects you. AND remember, when we have heat waves down here, people survive. Our death toll from heat waves is low because we have the equipment to handle the tropics.
It’s all a matter of perspective.