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WINTER COMES TO ENGLAND, LONDON AUTHORITIES FREEZE UP

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:10 pm
From the Washington Post:

Quote:
Heavy Snow Brings London to a Stop

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, February 2, 2009; 11:51 AM

LONDON, Feb. 2 -- A beautiful yet crippling blanket of snow fell across much of England on Monday, causing transportation nightmares but giving rise to thousands of cheery snowmen in a nation barely equipped for heavy winter weather.

Nearly a foot of snow had landed in London by midday and another solid dump was expected Monday night in what meteorologists called the heaviest snowfall in nearly two decades. Snow also caused transportation disruptions in France and Ireland, as the icy weather blew westward across northern Europe.

It was essentially a national snow day in Britain. Most schools closed, and millions of workers were unable to make their daily commutes. The capital's entire fleet of red public buses, which carry at least 6 million people daily, were off the roads, unable to move from their garages.

London's iconic subway system suffered severe delays all day, and weary-sounding officials blamed the problems on Victorian-era engineers who apparently failed to adequately plan for heavy winter weather when they designed the world's oldest underground system. Major highways were brought to a standstill, with reports of traffic jams of more than 50 miles on the M25, the highway that rings London.


(People all over Canada and the U.S. will be snickering over this one!)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 3,716 • Replies: 54
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The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:25 pm
@Setanta,
It's major lolz..... the shops shelves are bare because everyone has been panic buying. Idiots.
On the plus side, everyone fucked off to the parks with tea trays and had a lovely lovely time. We made a snowball that was twice as tall as me, and then sat on it.
I'm glad London is so **** at snow.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:27 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The funniest thing was the fact the busses shut, which meant the tubes shut, because no staff turned up as they all get to work buy bus.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:27 pm
I'm glad to hear you're having a good time . . . one of the things that we who have regular snow falls lose in growing up is the wonder and joy of playing in the snow . . . the little kids have it, and the dogs just love it . . .
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:31 pm
@Setanta,
Well I've seen proper snow on two occasions, once about 4 years ago, and once in Germany, so for us it is a big deal.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:31 pm
From where you sit, did it appear that the city shut down?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:35 pm
OK . . . i see now that you've already answered that. We've had about five feet of snow so far, since just before Christmas. The snow in the front yard by the sidewalk is higher than my head (piled up more than six feet high), despite the fact that we've had two thaws and a lot of it melted off. The city requires you to clear the walk in front of your house, and there's a fine for throwing it into the street, so it just piles higher and higher in people's yards.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:40 pm
@Setanta,
Christ.
Yeah, the city did appear to shut down, although i live on the outskirts so I didn't see anything in central.
My university shut down and I belong to the london phil, which also didn't run.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 12:43 pm
Well, i've got to go chip some of the ice off the front steps (the snow melts in the sun, even though the temperature is below freezing, and drips onto the steps, which then freeze when the sunlight moves away), so i'll stop back later.

Have fun in the snow!
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 01:05 pm
Where's all this snow coming from ?
I thought we were in the grips of "GLOBAL WARMING"
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 02:27 pm

Laters. xx McTag
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 02:42 pm
@Deckland,
Well, the UK like many other parts of Europe got this/last year what we didn't have since 18, 20 years: winter.
A period, the elder among us will still remember.

Deckland: it's called 'Climate Change', btw, but you can name it 'Global Warming', too.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 02:52 pm
I remember one time about 15 years ago and I was in Kildare Ireland . We had some snow (about 8 inches ) and they had no idea what to do with it so everything stopped for several days. The pubs ran out of that crap they called food and , since I had stocked up on food at a Indain grocery in Dublin) I was set for a month. ALl the drilling crew was eating at my apt and we survived in great spirits. The pub was down the way and had plenty of Guiness
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 05:55 pm
@Setanta,
Yeah, I was chatting with a colleague in London - he said he was the only one in the office who'd gotten to work, because traffic had ground to a halt ... he had made it because he came by bicycle. (!)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 06:03 pm
@nimh,
So, like . . . was that a mountain bike and he's a rugged individualist . . . or had someone shovelled the walks?

Do they get snow like this in the land of Delft and tulips?
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 06:41 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
So, like . . . was that a mountain bike and he's a rugged individualist . . . or had someone shovelled the walks?

He's sportive ... and there probably wasn't really that shovel-worthy an amount of snow to begin with to his standards - he's Czech Smile

Setanta wrote:
Do they get snow like this in the land of Delft and tulips?

We used to. I remember many snowball fights. And iceskating on natural ice, down the canals, all through the polders. My mother was pretty fanatic; I can't say I was singularly appreciative. Bloody cold it was.

Nowadays, days with enough natural ice to do long-distance skating are rare indeed. There were two or three this winter I think.

The history of the "Eleven City Tour" in Frisia, a harrowing enough 125-mile long tour that takes thousands of amateurs through the province of Frysia from morning till long after dark, is interesting in that regard. Having ice for long enough to have it has always been fairly rare, but now more than ever. There were nine in between 1929 and 1963 - once every 3-4 years. Then none till two winters in a row in the mid-80s, when I was in high school; and in the 22 years since, there's been only 1.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 07:47 pm
@nimh,
Believe it. They make studded bicycle tires. I don't mean they make them for me, but you know, they're out there.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 12:12 am
@roger,
From today's Independent (print edition)

http://i42.tinypic.com/nl9c7r.jpg

Quote:
THE HEAVIEST snowfall to hit Britain in nearly 20 years brought chaos yesterday, crippling the transport network, closing thousands of schools and potentially costing the economy more than £1bn.
A blanket of snow, up to 31cm deep in some areas, covered much of the country in what the Met Office said was the deepest snowfall in the UK since February 1991. And the weather is set to get worse, with forecasters predicting that parts of the North-east and the Pennines could have up to 40cm of snow by today.

Online report
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 12:21 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Why does a little snow cause such a chaos?


Quote:

To a born-and-bred Viking like myself, it never ceases to amaze how much fuss a few flakes can create in this country. It's not like it never snows here. In fact, during my eight years in Britain, it has snowed during each and every one.

After listening to colleagues compare their commuter journeys like battle-scarred veterans, all I could think was "It's only water". As a Swede practised in these matters, I brought a change of clothes to work and, before even thinking about leaving the house, planned my journey with military precision. And that is where we differ, us Scandinavians and you Brits: preparation.

Not only do Swedes build houses with proper insulation and triple glazing (my rented, single-glazed house has frost on the inside at the moment), we don't wear heels, trainers or leather jackets if the streets are covered with snow and the temperature has dropped below zero.

Swedish motorists are forced by law to change to winter tyres (with spikes or thick treads) between 1 December and 31 March, even though most will not see much snow during the winter, thanks to global warming. All cars in Sweden have an ice scraper in the glove compartment " it beats trying to use your bank card and ending up both cold and cashless for the day.

In Sweden, we can also walk the streets without fear of falling flat on our faces in slush, because local authorities make sure every neighbourhood and major street has a box filled with sand.

In Sweden, the kids don't just stay at home and eat chips if a white layer of snow hits the ground " they make sure they get out and play or ride their makeshift sledges (try stuffing a few newspapers in a shopping bag and there you have it " an authentic recycled pulka).

In fact, I remember fondly riding my bike to school in a foot or two of snow as it was the only time of the year I could make impressive skids, or building igloos in the big piles of snow created by the snowploughs. But I guess British children are less likely to be able to create these feats of white powdery architecture because snowploughs are as common here as single glazing is in Scandinavia.

It's worrying that my landline and mobile phone are not working properly, and that emergency services are severely limited and hospitals are cancelling operations due to the snow. But, what worries me most is that, if it gets any worse, I'll be stuck on this island.


Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 12:23 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Well, the UK like many other parts of Europe got this/last year what we didn't have since 18, 20 years: winter.
A period, the elder among us will still remember.

Deckland: it's called 'Climate Change', btw, but you can name it 'Global Warming', too.
Personally Walter, I think that the so called "climate change" is is a natural happening and it has been happening in cycles for thousands of years. I don't believe man is responsible for it.
15 years ago it was an ice age that was going to get us. Then there was this great hole in the ozone layer that was going to fry us all. Now its co2 that's going to get us. Anyway, just my view.
 

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