A Tale of Two Cities: Muscovite’s Reaction to Snow Vs New Yorkers
«I pay my utility bills and demand public services.»
«Our city crews are lazy chairwarmers who consider snow in the winter an anomaly.»
The mayor Sergey Sobyanin was also sharply criticized: «It's time for him to leave».
These are the least explicit publications on the social networks regarding the Moscow snowfalls. There are some obscene comments, curses, and complaints. A standard kit. They've quickly found who to blame.
It's clear that the situation is complicated. The snow piles are already half a meter tall. Snowdrift, traffic jams, and black ice. However, their comments are odd because much has been done.
Here are some numbers. By this time, 2,000,000 cubic meters of snow have been removed from the Moscow streets. If you imagine freight cars filled with all this snow we'd have a train hundreds of kilometers long. In reality, 4000 snow loaders and 15,500 snowplows are clearing the streets in a 24/7 regime.
Anastasia Efimova will tell us what else we need.
— Good evening, Anastasia. Is the West better than us once again?
— Sure, one comment literally stated that claiming that the West is heaven on earth.
«Are they waiting for it to melt?» «That's how they cleaned it». A social network dialogue between NY residents. The photo depicts the blinding sun, snow, and the desolate metropolis.
John Varoli, journalist: «The very threat of snow frightens the locals. It paralyzes the whole city. People begin stocking consumer staples. A small-scale panic. The rule is that everyone stays home and I literally mean everyone The city seems desolate».
Everyone stays home when the snow piles reach 6 inches a bit higher than 15 centimeters. Shops and offices get closed Broadway shows get canceled and airports stop working. Thousands of flights get delayed. Public transportation is also paralyzed because some tracks are above ground and snow sticks to signal lights creating subway traffic jams. Besides, some parts of the city like Manhattan and Brooklyn are connected via bridges which are hard to clear, especially the railroad tracks. It's easier to block the traffic for a couple of days.
Olga Kochanov, blogger: «Russians are tougher than that. We look out of the window and think that we had to go to work through all this every day. Americans are more cautious, they try to prevent accidents. They'd sooner close the subway than later apologize for an accident. When the subway was just opened many people died because of snowfalls. Now, they're being cautious and close it in case of any emergency».
We can't help but compare the blizzards in Moscow and New York, they happened within a month of each other. They both happened on the weekend and became a challenge for the residents. That's all they have in common.
Vadim Zavodchenkov, Fobos Weather Center: «The Moscow blizzard was much more intense. It wins by a significant margin. We had 44 millimeters of precipitation in just two days — Saturday and Sunday. The February monthly standard is 36 millimeters. We received 120% of a monthly standard in two days».
Moscow has a hard time fighting the consequences of the cyclone. First of all, because it's been constantly snowing for two days making the work of city crews pointless. The freshly cleared areas got covered in snow in a matter of minutes. Still, the snow didn't disrupt the life of the city: Transportation, hospitals, shops, and offices are working as usual. School cancellation is perhaps the only concession to the force of nature. In the US, schools were canceled for days even though the snowfalls weren't as intensive there. 50% of the monthly precipitation standard in NY against 120% in Moscow. The locals don't even think about complaining. They say: «We're living in the north».
Allison Lyavdanskaya, Pennsylvania resident: «We're currently in the northern state of Pennsylvania. We're two hours from New York. There's no panic. We like winter, it's fun. Everything is working as usual».
It's always been like that. Blizzards surprise no-one in the north-east of the USA. Here's a two-year-old footage. The same snow piles, empty counters, and snow-covered streets. Bloggers didn't conceal the fact that if it had happened here we would have blamed city crews and authorities. And if it happens in the US we say: «Good job, it'll melt anyway, better save the money, it's easier to just close».
According to CBS, 19 people died due to the blizzards in January. The main causes are traffic accidents and frostbite. Nobody started blaming the city authorities. Judging by the reaction, it's not about the blizzard but the point of view.
— Anastasia Efimova on those wearied by the snow.