Share with others:
loves company, misery from the cold loves comparisons. As a great freeze descended on the area last week with wind chills below zero, a Post-Gazette story Wednesday recalled when Pittsburghers really had cause for complaint. Remember January 1977? That was the coldest month in Pittsburgh's history, with an average monthly temperature of 11.4 degrees and total snowfall of 26.5 inches, third highest in city history. How about January 1978? That month 40.2 inches of snow fell, the highest total in the record books. What about January 1994 when 30.1 inches fell in January, the second highest total? Are we feeling warmer yet? Of course, January isn't over for a few more days.
IF IT'S COLD for those of us with warm clothes and a roof over our heads, how unbearable is a severe winter spell for those with none of these advantages -- namely, Pittsburgh's homeless? As the Post-Gazette's Taryn Luna reported, homeless people by the dozens filled local shelters Monday night. The 100 or so who went to the Severe Weather Emergency Center, in the Smithfield United Church of Christ, Downtown, were typical. They were seeking a hot meal, a warm shower and a mattress to sleep on -- a luxury on many nights but a possible lifesaver when the temperatures are below zero. A 58-year-old man named Donnie said, "I've been sleeping in cardboard boxes." It's a reminder that misery for most people is nothing compared with what these poor folks go through.
THE BIGGEST NEWS, of course, was the presidential inauguration for President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Many Pittsburghers went to the capital to see the swearing-in and to attend various social events. For their effort, they were blessed with weather that was kinder there than it was here. But seeing the inauguration was child's play for one group in Pittsburgh -- the 30 or so children, parents and staff members who gathered at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to watch events unfold on C-SPAN. Not that their attention was complete. As the Post-Gazette's Kaitlynn Riely reported, a few did watch closely but some were bouncing around the floor or paying attention to what other kids were doing. Oh well, there will be time enough for history and politics when they grow up. At least they kept warm.
First Published January 27, 2013 12:00 am