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Infrastructure woes, again and still

Posted by Rona Fischman January 13, 2011 02:01 PM

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Like many people, my street was impassable between 9 AM and 12 noon on Wednesday. As long as I didn’t lose power or the internet line, there was no need to be anything but grateful.
My neighbor who drove to work this morning at 8 AM had a plowed road to do it on.
My friend who drove from Groton to Mass General on Wednesday for an 11 AM meeting said the roads were clear in Groton. The highways were not bad. She drove on inches of snow and slush from Fresh Pond into the city. She arrived at 10 AM.

Many people can set up at a home computer and soldier on, some can’t. Where did you work on Wednesday?

What does a metropolitan area need to be safe during natural emergencies? Here in New England, we need plows and sanders, trucks, and skilled workers to drive them and to repair utility connections. We need emergency medical responders who can get to their posts and get to those in need. Do we have enough?

I would like to take a quick poll. What grade do you give the snow infrastructure in your town? Name the town, the grade and why.

Infrastructure, in regard to snow, includes snow removal, emergency parking, emergency shelter, emergency response during the storm, electric, gas, water, and cable service.

At the same time that I was worrying about my friends who have no electricity and heat, I think about my friends with family in Haiti. (Ironically, commemoration events here were postponed due to the snowstorm.) A year after the earthquake there are still closed schools, areas without safe water, areas of destroyed housing that has not been demolished, and an epidemic of cholera.

You know that first “location” in “location, location, location” is the broadest. How about Earth? Too broad... America? Still too broad. Probably that first "location" is the northeast.

Where have you lived that was more vulnerable to the elements than we are here in Massachusetts?

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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