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Snowmaggedon – The Fun Part is Over

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VERY cold

Two days ago was all about drinking and watching the snow fall at home.  Yesterday was all about going out and taking all sorts of crazy pictures of the city after the storm.  Today people start dying.

People actually started dying almost immediately, with one in particular catching attention.

At 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, near the height of the third-worst blizzard in the city’s history, Chicago police received a distress call: A man had been blown in, or had fallen into, Diversey Harbor.

The Police Marine Unit launched a rescue, but amid the blowing snow and high winds, it was impossible to enter the water. What’s more, officers couldn’t pinpoint the best location to dive. After several hours, “they spotted a hat near a dock,” said Officer Robert Perez, a spokesman.

The body of Peter Davis, 60, of the 2300 block of North Lincoln Park West, was pulled from the harbor about 4:35 a.m. in the 2800 block of North Lake Shore Drive. Officials don’t know why he was out on the lakefront Tuesday, but by Wednesday, Davis was being called the only known blizzard-related fatality in Chicago.

There were a few deaths yesterday from people who had heart attacks and couldn’t get to the hospital on time (for obvious reasons).  And although the major streets are going to be mostly cleared today, the city is just starting on the side streets, meaning there are still going to be quite a few streets where emergency care can’t get to you (so if you can, put off the shoveling until they plow your street).

ComEd says the places without power should have it soon, which is good, as it’s about to get very cold.

After getting hit with its third-biggest snowstorm on record, the Chicago area is now under a wind chill advisory. Temperatures are expected to drop to 11-15 degrees below zero Wednesday night, with wind chills down to 25 to 35 below zero.

“It will mark the city’s coldest weather since Jan. 15-16, 2009 when the mercury bottomed out at -13 and -18,” the Chicago Weather Center reports.

The arctic freeze comes as the Chicago area is still reeling from the blizzard: motorists are still stranded, the airports are virtually empty, major roads are closed, Metra trains are running on limited schedules.

I can’t reiterate this enough – if you don’t have access to a warm place tonight call 311.  People are going to freeze to death tonight.  Landlords also need to recognize that they are required, by law, to keep the temperature in units they rent at 66 degrees during the night.  If your landlord has a tendency not to fulfill this particular responsibility, now is not the time for faith in his/her ability to rise to the occasion.  Call 311.


Written by updowndownup

February 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

Hunker Down – Snow Storm Thread – Sudan Secession

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So for those outside of Illinois, you may not of heard but SNOW APOCALYPSE is on its way.  Between this afternoon and Wednesday morning there’s supposed to be something like 2 feet of snow dropped on Chicago.  Not magical Christmas snow-angel, snowman and sledding snow either.  Fucking freezing tornado snow.  The Illinois legislature has already cancelled this week’s sessions in anticipation.


Iiiiii just wanna celebraaaate

So to think of something warmer, and slightly more hopeful, yesterday South Sudan voted to secede from North Sudan (over 99% turnout, and over 99% voted in favor of secession).  If it works, it will correct one of the biggest fuck-ups coming out of African colonialism.  It’s not a done deal though.  The current oil revenue sharing agreement (2% to oil producing states, the rest is split 50/50 between the Northern federal government and the Southern federal government) expires in July – right when the South will be splitting off from the North.  Oil is just about the only source of money for Sudan, north or south, so if the South tries to keep the money (which kind of makes sense, as all of the oil is in the South) it’s a recipe for the third civil war.

To make things more difficult, there’s the little issue of the Abyei region.  It’s a tiny little area that is seen as the traditional gateway between the North and South, but the only reason anyone really cares about it is it contains about a quarter of all of the oil in Sudan (!).  They are supposed to have a referendum on whether they join the north or south, but that referendum has been put off indefinitely because the North and South can’t agree on who should count as a resident.  This issue could be made less contentious if the North and South strike a revenue sharing agreement that doesn’t put a lot of stake on which country the oil is actually in, but if not…could be very bad.

Still for a country that’s been in the midst of one of the worst Civil Wars in the world for nearly 4 decades, this is the most hopeful sign since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.

Written by updowndownup

January 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm