Winter Storm Nemo has officially come and gone. Here in New York City, we have one foot. In parts of Connecticut and Boston where the snow is still trailing off, they have a whopping 38 inches. This morning, more than 650,000 homes and businesses are without power, some of which are in areas still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. More than 5,300 flights were cancelled through today.
The most striking news of all of this? At this time, four people are reportedly dead from storm-related causes. One woman collapsed while shoveling her driveway, the other three deaths all resulted from car crashes. It's horrible horrible news.
I can't help but wonder, though, if maybe these deaths could have been preventable.
Weather is no joking matter. Yeah, we've all fallen victim to sensationalized weather reports and have been through some sort of "major storm" that never really happened. However, in light of what happened after Hurricane Sandy and now Winter Storm Nemo -- we all need to take government warnings more seriously.
Many of the deaths from Hurricane Sandy could have been avoided if people actually listened to the government orders to evacuate. Instead, dozens who stayed to brave the elements were drowned by the storm surge in Queens and Staten Island.
Leading up to the snow's impact yesterday, people were told to stock up in advance, get off the roads, and stay put. Instead people everywhere were braving grocery stores mid-snowfall to get things they don't really need, driving over to a friend's house, and finding unnecessary reasons to get on the roads putting themselves and others in danger. The reality: Driving bans aren't just put into effect to protect us, they're put into effect so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get through.
Thankfully so many who ventured out are fine. We don't know why the three that were killed in car accidents were on the roads, but my heart breaks for them and their families.
When it comes to extreme weather, do you take the warnings seriously? Have you impacted by Winter Storm Nemo?
Image via Emily Abbate