Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I-40 Gridlock, no National Media

Cars and trucks on a major east-west interstate in America, stranded for hours and gridlocked for dozens of miles in severe winter conditions, with the National Guard called out-and hardly a mention from our national media?
It's day two of a traffic nightmare along two major interstates in eastern Arkansas. Drivers are stuck on I-55 from West Memphis to the Missouri state line and on I-40 from West Memphis to Forrest City.
It's gotten so bad; the Arkansas National Guard has been called in to help state police but stranded drivers are not being evacuated by the guard.
Here's a photo gallery. There are many horror stories and frayed nerves and blame flying around.  But someone in another city would never know. 

Let's face it, the storm that hit eastern Arkansas was brutal, but it hit eastern Arkansas, estimated population 159.  The same conditions were forecast to hit the Memphis metro area (and it's nearly one million inhabitants) and somehow it missed them--again (third time this winter).  Had the "warm air" moved a little further east (warm, as in over two inches of rain fell with air temperatures between 33-34 degrees) the gridlock would have been well underway in the big city right now, no doubt garnering some national interest.

How bad was it?   Go here for 3 maps from the National Weather Service showing the ice/sleet/snow accumulations from the Sunday-Monday storm.  The obvious focus was rural Arkansas and Tennessee.  They got hammered.  And it's not just an Arkansas thang, any place in America hit with half inch of ice, followed by several inches of sleet then snow would have trouble. 
Not saying this is the biggest story in the nation.  All networks are rightfully focusing on Ukraine.  But they aren't even including this in their secondary stories despite this lasting over 36 hours now. The ice and snow is really less a story than what caused the massive gridlock on these major transportation arteries and whether it could have been prevented and when it's going to clear.  Some people had to spend a night in their car last night in the wilderness.  

But instead of asking the questions, CNN is talking about a child being suspended for a finger gun.  ABC is discussing sex with Sean Lowe, NBC is talking about ice on highway 150--in North Carolina (not a major east-west interstate), Fox on a kid suing his parents and CBS is reporting on a Michigan ban about being 'willfully annoying" or something.  And the Big Boy, Drudge, has a bunch of links up on the weather, except this one.  It's not the AP--they are covering the story on the wires.  It's not political bias.  The biggies simply don't think a huge weather-related quagmire on a major interstate is important, evidently because it's in westbumfark. 

Although rumor has it that MSNBC inquired as to where Christie was when the delays began.      

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