A Public Service Announcement for Seattle: STAY HOME!
Dear Seattle and other parts of Western Washington affected by yesterday’s snowstorm:
It is currently 5:30 AM on the morning of Tuesday, November 23rd. I have just been outside. It is cold enough out there to test your frosticles!
Additionally, while the snow has stopped, it is nowhere near safe.
I’m on top of Capitol Hill. There are people out and about, even at this ungodly hour. There does seem to be some movement to salt or sand the roads. However, if other neighborhoods are like mine, here is a sample of what you can expect. I doubt the situation will improve much by the time you’re scheduled to leave for work.
Nearby, a bus is parked on the side of the street. Orange cones warn people not to proceed. The “Street Closed” sign as either been blown over, or someone has purposefully knocked it over. See how small this street looks? Yeah, that’s Madison.
Just one block down, and cars that couldn’t make it any further are parked on the sidewalk. I’ve also seen cars blocking driveways and in no parking spaces. The fact is, they simply had no choice. Better parked illegally and risk a ticket than drive in dangerous conditions and risk far worse.
I had to find a brightly lit intersection. Yes, that’s ice. There is lots of it. While some of the roads seem completely passable, and I’ve seen drivers having no problems (some with chains, though), this is what you’re in for.
More buses parked alongside Madison. I don’t know if this is standard procedure during snow days, but I’ve never seen it before. I doubt they all broke down or were abandoned, but there are about five of them, all in a row. If city buses are having problems getting around, it’s highly likely so will you.
Also, I’m willing to bet commute times will be very long today. Friends reported 4-5 hour commutes yesterday evening, when the normal time is closer to 45 minutes.
The point is this: Yes, I know it’s Thanksgiving week and you have much to do. Chances are, you have Thursday and Friday off from work, and so must work that much harder today. If, however, there is any chance of working from home or taking a snow day, do it!
People from the East Coast laugh at our paltry amount of snow. But the fact is, we get it so rarely, we are ill equipped to deal with it. Also, we live on a series of very steep hills. It is much harder to clear roads and keep public transportation running.
If you must go out, do be extra careful. Otherwise, stay home, make some hot chocolate and snuggle with your loved ones.