Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shovel ready

Mr Emanuel’s feeling for snow Dec 17th 2011 | CHICAGO | from the print edition

THE city of Chicago is proud of its ability to keep going, with gritty determination, through the worst of the nation’s weather. Snow that would bring London or Washington, DC, to a halt is laughed off as little more than a light dusting. This year some are expecting particularly bad weather, a test for the new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. He must keep the city moving throughout the winter, or face the wrath of the locals.

Fortunately, Chicago is well prepared for snowfall which, for the past four winters, has been over 50 inches (127cm). A secure facility on West Madison Street known as “Snow Command” houses some impressive toys. On one wall vast display-screens reveal everything you might need to know about the city’s weather conditions: the whereabouts of the fleet of up to 500 GPS-equipped snow-moving trucks; views from some of the city’s 1,000 cameras; the readings from a dozen road sensors (which pick up icy conditions); and a live feed of the regional weather system. [More...]