- Posted January 29, 2014 by
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This iReport is part of an assignment:
Winter weather 2014
Atlanta Snow Debacle Not Due to Southern Ignorance
McAdam, a self-proclaimed CNN junkie, read CNN.com's lead story on the snow yesterday and was left with a bad taste in her mouth. "I am not a very sensitive person who gets up in arms over the slightest thing, but I was surprised by the tone of the article, at least as I perceived it. I felt that it implied that southerners are just incompetent when it comes to winter weather, and that that was the pretty much the whole problem," she said.
"My point was more that this was not a bunch of backwards Southerners panicking at an inch of snow," she said. "We hear that a lot from our Northern counterparts, and, as was evident from all the snow jokes and memes ... we usually have a good sense of humor about it, too. This was more serious and the emergencies encountered not so funny."
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
I expected that many Northerners would be poking fun of Southern cities for experiencing this epic gridlock with just a few inches of snow, but I am surprised by how condescending CNN's online cover story reads, especially with CNN being here in Atlanta. After pointing out how this wouldn't happen in a place accustomed to snow, it goes on to discuss how a teacher in Birmingham described the "horrible" [quote-unquote] road conditions. You could practically see the author's eyes rolling at someone considering these conditions horrible!
I think most of us agree, on some level, that, when snow hits, we react in a uniquely Southern way. You can see it in the self-deprecating humor posted on social media over the last couple of days, making fun of ourselves for our reaction to snow. However, we have a serious problem now. People are stranded in cars all over the metro area - still stranded this morning. There are children who have been at school for over 24 hours. Granted, this is as much of a traffic gridlock problem as a weather problem, but we don't really need to be reminded that this happened because of our inexperience with severe winter weather. When a heat wave strikes Chicago or New York, and we hear stories of elderly perishing due to lack of air conditioning, we Southerners don't shake our heads and discuss what idiots they are. Besides, as transient as metro Atlanta is (50% of all people I meet are from Ohio), I'm willing to bet that a good many of those stuck on icy, impassable roads hail from snowy places and have experience driving in this weather. Black ice is black ice. Right now, we are just praying for resolution to this really HUGE problem and hoping everyone gets home safe and soon!