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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

There's supposed to be snow in the Hudson Valley on Thursday. Maybe 6 inches or more.

Let the mass hysteria and overreacting begin!

I mean, seriously, I’ve lived in four places in my life – in order, Rochester, Buffalo, Saratoga Springs and Kingston – and never, ever before moving to Kingston did I witness such irrationality over winter weather.

In Rochester and Buffalo, no school or business would close before there was a foot of snow on the ground. Here, a dusting of white powder sends school districts into a panic; a few inches closes everything within 50 miles; and a foot leads to a “state of emergency” being declared.

In Buffalo, a foot of snow falls and the kids get on the buses and go to school. In the Hudson Valley, a foot of snow falls and local leaders ban all but emergency driving. Unbelievable.

It’s winter, folks. We live in the Northeast. We get snow. But instead of simply dealing with the weather and getting on with our lives, we treat it like a catastrophe. We run to the grocery store to stock up on milk, eggs and bread, as if no more food will ever get through to our region; we stage a run on snow shovels and blowers, as if we don’t already have these items in our garages; and we make sure to have sufficient stockpiles of bottled water and batteries, in case the power goes out and we have to live in darkness for days ... perhaps weeks ... maybe months!!

If people in the central and western New York snow belts witnessed this lunacy, they’d laugh uncontrollably for hours. And they’d be justified.

And by the way, we’re supposed to get more heavy snowfall on Sunday. So if you’ve forgotten to overreact to the expected Thursday storm, fear not -- you’ll have another chance in a matter of days.



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