Chair Force Engineer

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Frozen Desert

The fairly heavy snows which first hit Albuquerque late on Tuesday essentially shut down the city on Wednesday. Even Kirtland Air Force Base was closed, despite the military's need to fight any foe in any weather (then again, this is the Chair Force where most of its people wage war from a seat.)

Albuquerque was caught totally unprepared for a moderate snowstorm. The roads have been neither salted nor paved; a sprinking of grit on the major roads was the only precaution. The interstates were closed and many businesses closed early.

I grew up near Chicago, and I'd have to call Albuquerque's reaction to this snowstorm pathetic. We'd normally get at least one good storm (12" or more accumulation) per winter in the Chicago area, but there would at least be plows and salt trucks to make things driveable. Schoolkids would only miss about a day of school in an average year, despite the volume of snow that we'd get.

Maybe I expect too much from desert-dwellers in adapting to moderate snow. Granted, I was taken aback by it too, but the local government agencies should always prepare for these weather conditions.

If it's any consolation, the snow-covered mountains are beautiful this time of year. Wish you could be here to see them.