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Winter Storm Nemo Leaves 4 Dead: When Will We Learn?

by Emily Abbate on February 9, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Winter Storm Nemo SnowfallWinter 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

Filed Under: weather, in the news


  • jalaz77


    February 9, 2013 at 11:21 AM
    We do take it seriously. They were warned. They could of prevented it. The lady that collapsed probably had s/s of heart issues but never did anything about it and the car accidents...why were you out driving?? I feel bad for these deaths but people knew this was a bad storm, stay in. People don't think.
  • Flori...


    February 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM
    While people should certainly use better judgement than to be driving in such weather, the government has no authority to ban people from driving.
  • Wheep...


    February 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM
    You know, sometimes people HAVE to drive for work, regardless of the weather. Not all businesses close due to extreme weather unfortunately. My husband used to work at a warehouse for a very large outlet mall in the Hudson Valley and they never close. People would get fired for not coming in, even if there was a foot of snow on the ground. What's a person to do then?
  • corin
    -- Nonmember comment from


    February 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM
    My family lives in ma, and there was a driving ban. No one except healthcare workers and utility or emergency crews were supposed to be on a state road. The penalty is a fine and jail time. All businesses were closed except vital places like hospitals. So saying you have to drive to work isnt a valid argument, because the state closed everything. Schools, stores, companies, restaurants... they were closed in those severe weather areas. No one should have been out. New england gets pounded by storms alot, i grew up there... and you always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
  • lasombrs


    February 9, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    You know unless every state threatened to put people in jail for driving like Boston did a lot of people had to go to work or lose their jobs. Way to pick on them for being out, it doesnt sound like any of them were joy riding drunk trying to see how far they could slide with their e-brake in the snow or anything :/

  • Freela


    February 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I'm in Ontario and there were three deaths in my area- one elderly woman shovelling snow, and two motor vehicle accidents. Businesses were not closed, and some people had to go to work. I'm all for staying off the roads as much as possible during bad weather- I'm lucky enough to work from home anyhow, school buses were cancelled so my kids stayed home, and dh was lucky enough to be allowed to telecommute that day. But this isn't possible for everyone, and I don't think we should blame people for being on the roads when I doubt many of them would have chosen to be there if they didn't need to be.

  • Rach
    -- Nonmember comment from


    February 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM
    I don't think there's any excuse for people to die in extreme weather these days in the US. We know well in advance when it is coming. However, if people would rather have their job than their life, it's their right to choose that.
  • handy...


    February 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    If the government is going to make it illegal for people to be on the roads during a storm with fines and jail time for drivers,  then they also need to make it illegal for business to stay open with fines and jail time for owners. 


  • Flori...


    February 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Yes, handy0318, government control is obviously the answer.

  • PonyC...


    February 9, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    When it comes to weather, do I heed the government warnings?

    No, not really. I have heard too many "watch" and "warning" notifications on my radio and TV. NOAA will put us under a "watch" of some sort if a little puffy cloud drifts across the sky. And on top of that, every single storm that isn't a gentle spring rain is hyped as the next Stormageddon. No, I trust my own weather sources, and my own experience.

    That doesn't mean I go out driving in a blizzard, but I take precautions because I know what to do, not because I can't take a step without the government telling me how many to take and how far to walk.

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