15 February 2010

Extreme Weather Events - Hot AND Cold

Climate change induced extreme weather events - its not just hotter extremes that will create a cost burden [although the definition of 'lost productivity' is debatable!] and require adaptation...

Excerpt from Planet Ark, 15 February 2010

'The Northeast began to dig out after two blizzards in a week brought the region to a standstill with record snowfalls, creating a multimillion-dollar mess for cash-strapped cities and states.

From Washington to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, cities began to clean up and airports tried to reopen runways for flights possibly later on Thursday but residents were advised to stay home while crews tried to clear streets.

Airlines, already facing economic troubles, were trying to resume their schedules, but airport officials said that it would likely take until Friday to get back to normal, with hundreds of flights on Thursday already canceled.

Washington Dulles International Airport was open but the airfield at Reagan National Airport was closed. The two main runways were open at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, while airports in Philadelphia and the New York City area were open.

The federal government in Washington said agencies in the U.S. capital region would remain closed for a fourth straight day on Thursday, a decision that costs an estimated $100 million in lost productivity each day.

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty said he was seeking federal financial aid to cope with the storm aftermath. Many city and state budgets have been stretched by a sagging U.S. economy combined with three big snowstorms since December...

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the blizzard cost taxpayers $1 million for each inch that fell. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said he was hoping for a federal disaster declaration to help ease the financial burden.

With the 10 inches to 20 inches that fell this week across a large patch of the East Coast, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington have received more snow this winter than any time since record-keeping began.

New York City public schools reopened after being closed on Wednesday for just the third time in eight years. But schools were closed in the Washington metropolitan area and some canceled classes until after a federal holiday on Monday.

Emergency crews were working to restore power to tens of thousands of customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where strong winds downed lines. Other concerns include heavy snow buckling roofs and ice falling from buildings as it melts.'

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