John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

The Atlanta snowstorm

I happened to catch a few minutes of CNN Newsroom this morning, and they were offering saturation coverage of the big snowstorm that hit Atlanta yesterday. Big by Atlanta standards, anyway. Their average annual snowfall is 2.1 inches, and yesterday they got 2.6 inches. Worried that road conditions might be bad, Atlantans promptly took steps to make sure they were, as businesses, governments, and schools released people early at approximately the exact same time, leading in massive traffic jams that resulted in hundreds of traffic accidents, cars running out of gas on the roads, schoolchildren being trapped on buses for several hours, and at least one woman giving birth in her car. There were similar problems all over the South, but CNN is based in Atlanta, so of course they focused on that.

Anyway. while I was watching, CNN anchor Carol Costello interviewed CNN reporter Kyra Phillips -- because there's nothing journalists like better than interviewing other journalists -- about her experiences getting home the previous day. Like many other people who'd gotten stuck in traffic, Phillips had ultimately decided to abandon her car on the road and walk home, which in her case was an eight-mile hike. Sounds pretty awful! But Costello kept saying ridiculous things to make it seem even worse.

First, she brought up her own experience of being in Baltimore for the back-to-back blizzards of 2010. As it happens, I was still in the DC area during those blizzards, so I know that yesterday's storm in Atlanta doesn't even remotely compare to that, even when you account for the Atlanta storm being in Atlanta. Baltimore got more than 50 inches of snow during that storm. In fairness to Atlanta, their storm hit on a weekday, while the first of the mid-Atlantic blizzards hit on a weekend, and the second while things were still shut down from the first, so we didn't experience anything like the traffic problems Atlanta got. But still, comparing the two events is wildly overblown.

Later, Costello prefaced one of her questions with, "Now, you've been in Baghdad ..." That one actually caused me to laugh out loud. Look, I wouldn't want to walk eight miles in 20-degree weather, but given the choice between that and being in a literal war zone, I'll take the walk, thank you very much.
Tags: current events, ga, weather

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