Storms on the east coast cause chaos and strife for holiday travelers and locals

With a record breaking 1.5 meters of snow in certain parts of the North-East of the United States last month, people have been left trying to repair the damage caused by the recent storms.

A recent spout of bad weather, in Massachusetts, caused part of a seawall to collapse and left parts of the area flooded. Two deaths in Long Island were also said to be related to the storm.

In New York, an overreaction about the possible storm led to major problems for both travelers and locals. Many airplanes were left grounded after flights were canceled due to the suspected snow, and travelers were left stranded at  the airport. There was no option to leave, either, because there was a complete travel ban including cars, taxis, and the subway.

It was the first time in the 110 year history of the New York Subway, that it had been shut down completely. Of the 3.9 million or so people who work in New York City, who earn $409 million per day all together, many of them use public transportation to get to work regularly. According to the New York Times, if only 10 percent of them were unable to get to work because of the travel ban, it would cost around $160 million in lost labour. However, the city that was expecting up to 90 cm of snow only got a light dusting.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 1.42.33 PM

Boston, however, received the brunt of the storm. With some areas getting 1.9 meters of snow, many schools have been closed and public transport has been shut down for at least two days. The storm also caused the parade for the Super Bowl winners, the New England Patriots, to be postponed due to safety concerns, which was announced by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Getting rid of the excess snow has proved difficult, though. In Chicago, after receiving 48 cm of snow, had it taken to 500 sites around the city to wait for it to melt. The sites include car parks and empty spaces around the city. In Boston the sites are often called ‘snow farms’, but as they fill up, the city has been considering using alternate methods of clearing it. One possibility is dumping it in the ocean, but because of the pollution often found on the streets, and therefore in the snow, there are various environmental concerns. One main worry being that vehicle fluid, like petrol, might end up in the ocean.

Flights were disrupted at Logan International Airport after snow and strong winds caused around 70 percent of fligths to be cancelled on February 9. A train in a Boston suburb was stranded for around two hours after a power failure, and several buildings collapsed.

The storms have caused the destruction and chaos, but hopefully it will blow over soon. The amount of damage will take time, money, and effort to repair, however, everything should, hopefully, be up and running again soon.

– Jasmine Keane

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