Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 15, 2014

ROOT: To quote The Griffin ...

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — As we traveled up Transit to engage in our usual Sunday morning routine, I was assured by my wife that this is the same area that had experienced below-freezing temperatures just 48 hours previously. All of the damage and heartache that was caused by the wind chill already seemed like history, but it did make me wonder how climate change will affect our weather from now on.

Let’s face it, whether you believe in global warming or not, you have to admit that there is something going on with the weather. I mean, there were sub-zero temperatures in parts of the country that normally don’t get below 30 degrees in January, much less minus 15. The people in the Deep South who were under a deep freeze were panicked and I can understand why. If you do not have the facilities to survive such a shift in the weather, then it can be pretty frightening.

This is most certainly not the end of the kooky weather. As far as I can tell, this is only the beginning. Imagine winters where it is insanely cold for a week and then 50 degrees the next week. We may wind up getting the vast majority of our snowfall each year condensed into two or three snowstorms. That would mean surviving the Blizzard of ‘77 each and every year.

What about spring and summer? It looks like summers will be insanely hot and muggy, with that humidity being broken by rainstorms of biblical proportions. Roofing contractors and ark salesmen will see spikes in their revenues for years to come. The name Noah will become popular again and children will be well-versed in identifying males and females of all of the animal species on Earth.

Basically, what happened last week is the rest of the country got a chance to see just how funny it is to get snowed on in the winter, and a lot of them didn’t like it. Oh, it is a big joke when Western New York gets slammed with snow, right? Let’s send the Weather Channel guy to Buffalo and gawk at the snowstorm. 

Suddenly the Weather Channel guy was in Chicago instead. Not so funny anymore, is it?

The one big drawback to these weather extremes is the effect it is having on our roads. I don’t know how much driving y’all have done along Transit, or around the city of Lockport, but them potholes is big and they is getting bigger. The guys who go around filling in the potholes with asphalt patch when spring gets here will be very busy in 2014, indeed.

I think we all need to start expecting weather extremes from now on. It is called climate shift and it happens every few hundred years. Things go screwy and all of our outdoor concerts start to get rained out. Our streets turn into those kinds of rapids that little kids take advantage of with blow-up water rafts and plastic storage bins. It is great for the kids, but it is a pain for the adults. ...

How to brace for the big storms?

If your roof is iffy on whether or not it can stand up to the rain, then invest in getting it fixed.

If you have room to put a fireplace in your family room, then do it and help offset the costs of heating your home. I mean a real fireplace, not an electronic one. (Although I will admit that, even for a fireplace purist such as myself, those electronic ones are nice).

Since it seems like flooding and power outages are going to be the norm from now on, be sure to check in on your relatives that need a little assistance to make sure that they are okay. My mom checks in on us after every storm and we are grateful. That lady moves trees out of her way just so she can take her car to the store. You don’t mess with mom, ever.

The best thing about the recent ice storm, as far as I can tell, is that now everyone in the country knows what it feels like to live in Western New York. The cold gripped parts of the country that haven’t seen an icicle since Abe Lincoln was president. We stopped being the butt of weather jokes for a week and we had people asking us how to survive these kinds of storms.

And what’s our best advice to the ret of the country?

Grab a six-pack and turn on the game. It is going to be a long winter.

George N. Root III is a Lockport resident who has a fireplace. His column is published every Wednesday and he writes it on his shovel with coal by candlelight. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net.

George N. Root III is a Lockport resident who has a fireplace. His column is published every Wednesday and he writes it on his shovel with coal by candlelight. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net.