Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Storm Smashes City

It's a storm for the ages.  Someday, you'll tell your kids and grandkids about this one.

The biggest snowstorm to hit Indianapolis since the Great Blizzard of 1978 continues to wreak havoc on the city today as people across the city wake up to bone chilling wind and low temperatures.  It's a rare one-two punch from Mother Nature, and it connected right in the solar plexus.

Mayor Greg Ballard started the day behind the eight ball, but he had recovered and looked like a leader by the end of the day.  

His early afternoon briefing came, in my view, several hours too late as NFL Football had taken over the airwaves and over 7,000 citizens had no power.  I believe Mayor Ballard should have been out earlier before the snow started with more than just a press release.  

Once the heavy stuff arrived, he and his team did save the day making a set of solid decisions.  The decision to put Indianapolis under a travel warning was not easy.  It comes at a cost to the city economically as many businesses may choose not to open today due to the travel prohibitions.  For the citizens of the city, it was the absolute right decision as the coldest weather in at least 20 and maybe nearly 30 years hit the city.  We'll see how his response continues from here.

While Ballard denies it, it's clear that the criticism he absorbed a few days ago from Councillor Zach Adamson and citizens across the city must have had some effect on his decision to be on television on the late night news programs.

IPL's performance gained much praise and criticism.  As of press time, 27,314 customers remain without power.  The amazingly tough conditions have created kind of a whack-a-mole situation.  It's hard to criticize IPL given the harsh conditions across the city.

As Indianapolis digs out and deals with the frigid cold, this becomes a 72-hour event.  The first 24 hours have been pretty well-handled.  It's how the rest of it goes.  

In the meantime, if you need information on city services, the Mayor's Action Center is open at 327-4MAC.  For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.  If you have a medical condition and need assistance, dial 2-1-1.  For more information, click here.

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