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On the Blizzard

So the snow has been falling now for a couple of hours. And while it’s coming down pretty well, and there’s a fair degree of accumulation, it’s hardly much more than an inch at present. And they’re predicting what? Something like 30? Well, I’m looking out the window and it’s building, covering more and more ground. We may yet get a couple of feet. Who knows?That said, I walked to the market around 9 AM Monday morning. It wasn’t too bad out on the streets. The thermometer women and men said it was 26 degrees. But it didn’t feel that cold, except when the wind picked up. They say that the wind’ll be intense – gusts of over 60 mph (100 kph). That could knock a whole hell of a lot right down.

I picked up some supplies at the market. I got some candles, should the lights take a dive – like they’ve done out in Pakistan. Did you hear about that? 140 million people – half the country – is without power out there. Of course, when it comes to the issue of political power, there’re far more than that that lack it. Same as out here. But that’s (that latter point) not really news. That’s old news. And old news is oxymoronical. Yes, and new news is tautological. But, ahem, returning to the matter at hand, the weather is always new. Just like the sunrise each day is an actually historical event – reported on and recorded in the annals. Each cloud, as we know, is a new cloud. And each new cloud that freezes will likely crack apart and fall and dust the mountains and the plains with new, fresh snow (or, more or less fresh snow). And as the ice caps and the glaciers continue to melt, unleashing ever more vapor into the hydrosphere, there’s more potential for more and more snow. The forecast for the region, as you most likely know, is a thick blanket of these frozen, fallen clouds. Billions and billions of gallons of snow.

Did you know, by the way, that, on average, 13 inches of snow (which we’re predicted to receive over most of the Northeast) is equivalent to an inch of water?

And did you know that over 27,000 gallons of water are contained (is that the right word?) in an acre covered in an inch of water?

Over 27,000 gallons!

It’s true. And did you know that there are 640 acres in one square mile?

So, let’s calculate: that’s over 17 million, 300,000 gallons of water stored in every square mile covered in 13 inches of snow.

And did you know that the borough of Brooklyn alone has an area comprising over 70 square miles of land?

That means that if an average of 13 inches of snow falls over Brooklyn there’ll be the equivalent of over one billion, two hundred million gallons of water (most of which’ll be dumped into the polluted East River, and into the ocean) deposited on Brooklyn. And that’s only Brooklyn. What about the rest of New York? And Connecticut? And Boston?

That’s a whole hell of a lot of water. Perhaps we should capture all that snow and funnel it into cisterns and save it and pipe it on out to the drought and whatnot as we need it.But no. Instead of seeing this unfolding storm as a godsend, it’s being treated as a nuisance. The streets are being covered with salt – which’ll ruin, by the way, all that potential water, which we desperately need, by the way, here and there. Well… that’s just how it is in these parts.

God bless America.

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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