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Contributed By:

Scott Silver

ARCTIC BLAST 2008!!!!

OPB | Dec. 19, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:47 p.m.

Should we be spending more on snow plows and de-icer to keep the state running during the occasional snowfall? Or is it foolish to budget for a weather event that occurs only rarely in many parts of the state?

On our December Suggest-A-Show page we got a winter weather rant from commenter Gerald Scoones:

“I grew up in Buffalo N.Y. where it took a foot of snow to close schools, and that only lasted a day. Snowplows, snow throwers, and sanding trucks get to work as soon as there is meaningful snow to remove and by the time it stops snowing all major streets and arterials are refilled with cars… Compare this to Portland where any snow that sticks is treated as a local disaster. And where are the road crews when a little snow hits Oregon? To most of us coming from snowy parts of the country, this is the crux of the problem. Our government seems paralyzed to fight back against the slightest challenge from Mother Nature. For lack of a few sanding trucks we are treated by the media to watching helpless drivers (inexperienced in snow) slide to the curb, spin their tires at full speed (the worst response to lack of traction), and creating hazards by abandoning their vehicles.”

He continues:

“If we consider the economic costs of companies closing down, of stores losing shoppers during their fight for survival, of parents missing work to care for kids at home, and damage claims from fender benders we have to ask ? Is this really necessary? Surely, the lost tax revenue could pay for a little well-placed sand from our nearby shores. And our highway department could contract local companies as backups to their own efforts. It?s about time our local governments take responsibility for keeping our roads drivable during minor weather setbacks.”

How does Oregon stack up when it comes to dealing with inclement weather?

Should we be spending more on snow plows and de-icer to keep the state running during the occasional snowfall? Or is it foolish to budget for a weather event that occurs only rarely in many parts of the state?

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