Thursday, February 3, 2011
The warnings began late last week. A winter storm of "historic" proportions was headed our way. (They actually used the word "historic.") Comparisons were made to the blizzard of 1982 and the ice storm of 2006. We would be facing a state of emergency, newscasters warned repeatedly. Over a foot of snow was expected over a layer of ice. The entire bi-state area would be crippled for days, maybe longer, they said. Ameren called in crews from other states in anticipation of massive power outages. The Department of Transportation crews prepared to chemically treat the interstates and highways. News conferences were held to warn us to stay in our homes.
Which we did. Happily.
The morning the storm arrived, all the local news programs went on the air early to cover this major weather event--and they stayed on most of the day, repeating, for the most part, the same information over and over. They didn't seem to notice that the blizzard they predicted never quite materialized. We got snow, yes We got enough ice to shut down schools and businesses, but no blizzard. But no Snowzilla.
(Looks like the folks on the East Coast are about as happy as we are.)
Newscasters and meteorologists tend to go overboard in their coverage of severe weather. They push all of the panic buttons simultaneously. My favorite drive-time radio gang, Phillips & Company at Y98, on the other hand, treated it with their trademark good humor, with talk of overnight bags and being stuck at the station.
At our house, everything, including the weather, is treated with equal irreverence. Tuesday evening, Collin and I watched The Day After Tomorrow and had French vanilla ice cream. Just so we could see the storm we missed.
The Blizzard of 1982 sneaked up on us. The Blizzard of 2011 seems to have sneaked away.