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Friday, 23 March, 2018

A Massive Holiday Act of Idiocy (Final part of two)

Date: 15 February, 2016

By: Chief

To read part one.

Imageelcome back. Continuing on —

Sheesh. There was no point in calling out the National Guard as many personnel could not get to their duty stations. And even if all personnel could — they could not get their equipment to where it was needed. All the roads were shut down. Stupid. Additionally, I did not see any, as in zero, "emergency personnel" actively trying to keep people off roadways. With roads closed due to:

"emergency personnel" would get just as stuck or just as wrecked as anybody else. So they stayed away from closed roads. Which makes a great deal of sense to me. Lastly, people who decided to 'brave it out' and drive were in fact driving around the "road closed" barriers and onto closed roads. Utter idiocy. Quoting Kob:

"Currently, there are numerous road closures around the state due to the extreme snow and hazardous road conditions. However, while roads are closed for traveler safety, some motorists have driven past the road barricades onto closed roads.

"NMSP are warning the public that driving through barricades onto closed roads is illegal and could be life threatening.

"Closed roads have not been maintained by NMDOT and State Police will not be patrolling these roads to search for stranded motorists. [...]" [Emphasis added]

S-T-U-P-I-D. There is no other way to say it.

I would feel most disheartened if I were to leave out the intentionally stupid. These are people who after hitting the stupid button years ago somehow managed to come up with a way to make the situation — permanent. Yes, they must enjoy being stupid. One such sub-group is the 'I can beat the storm group'. Apparently, there are a lot of people in this group. Quoting Kob:

"Winter storm 'Goliath' has left thousands of travelers stranded and many people scrambling for shelter."

"The [name redacted] family was hoping to beat the storm and make it to Albuquerque Saturday.

[. . .]

" 'The road conditions were terrible…the cars were all over the place the semi's jack knifed,” Don [surname redacted] said'."

Gee, you suppose, in the middle of a blizzard, the road conditions just might be "terrible?" My God. Where is the common sense to look out a window? Obviously common sense isn't.

And then there are the truckers. Commercial drivers have what is called a "Commercial Drivers License" or CDL. Not having a CDL I factually do not know what the requirements are to obtain one but I have been told getting a CDL is a certifiable PITA. The bottom line here is having a CDL means you are a professional driver. As such, you would think truckers would pay attention to road conditions, weather conditions and that sort of stuff. You would also think CDL holders would plan their route accordingly, if at all possible. If you thought those things — you would be wrong. Again, quoting Kob:

" 'We have about at least 500-600 semis between Tramway and Eubank', APD spokesman Simon Drobik said. 'They're all stacked up waiting to go through the pass but DOT is telling us nobody can pass through Carnuel and then keep going on to Texas. So everybody now is bottlenecked and stuck here in Albuquerque'.

"Truck stops are packed, and it's no wonder. I-40 is one of the nation's heaviest highways for truck traffic."

Here is a fairly small image of just a portion of the eastbound rigs waiting to get underway once I-40 reopened. This is on the far side of a nightmare to me.

The other side of the coin

There is, as there always is, another side to this story. And a great side it is too. It is the story of real people doing their ever-loving-damnedest to help others out of that mess. The job they did was magnificent. Once our northern neighbor got himself dug out he hopped onto his tractor and commenced to scrape the one and only road clear of snow. He did this for three days straight. He also spent approximately four hours digging another person out of a snow bank after said idiot lost control of his truck (what said idiot was doing on the road in the middle of a blizzard I do not want to know).

Our local volunteer fire department (Midway Volunteer Fire Department) went house to house checking on local residents and delivering to those in need:

Additionally they performed emergency medical:

It is called neighbor helping neighbor and it works far, far better than anything government can do.

With that said big thank you goes out to both "Dakota" and the Midway Volunteer fire Department for all y'all did! There are people who owe their very lives to y'all. Bravo Zulu!

Our "remote" area of Chaves County was the first to successfully recover from Goliath's enormous foot print and it was done completely without the aid of state resources or the National Guard. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Governor Martinez. By the way it wasn't until new years eve (morning) when it was reported the heavy equipment the state had released to help out finally made it Roswell.


So there you have it. The storm was a minor skirmish as far as Mother Nature was concerned. However, from a people perspective it was an absolute arm twister for most in the area hammered by Goliath.

Most of the problems were caused by people pushing the stupid button. The others were courtesy of — government. And naturally Goliath did contribute as well. Pertaining to the people or stupid induced problems those could have been quite easily avoided or at the bare bones at least mitigated if people would have just followed the age old expression:

"Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance."

Also known as the 7P's.

As for the government induced acts of idiocy or government exacerbated acts of idiocy, regrettably there is nothing which can be done until government is either eliminated or severely curtailed. Take your pick.

And remember this folks, the 7P's — don't leave home without them.

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