Could you get a betta metaphor?
The Fraser River is running 20 feet above normal for this time of year. Indeed, it’s been running high longer than any time in its recorded history – the consquence of abnormal weather and a high snow pack melting later than normal. Whatever normal is.
So the high water and heavy current erodes the riverbank, undermines a transmission tower that unexpectedly collapses, pulls down the power lines across two major highways and a big-box arterial – and the most travelled road in the Province and the busiest bridge are closed.
No transit alternatives for most. Result: traffic chaos.
Or to put it another way:
Just a metaphor.
UPDATE: Speaking of the “New Normal,” here’s a chart for the U.S.:
Once a decade, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updates its definition of “normal” temperatures, based on the average temperatures of the previous 30 years. Here’s how the 1981-2010 “normal” compares to the 1971-2000 “normal.” Basically, it’s a lot hotter. … [M]inimum temps in Minnesota and Wisconsin increased by nearly a full degree, with Maine, Vermont, Michigan, and Arizona not far behind. On average, normal temperatures increased by half a degree.
That snow pack chart shows the current year (in blue/black) slightly above “normal” but only after April (before April it is within “normal”) – but it is still far below the “maximum” which, presumably, is a historical maximum. (i.e. OMG – things don’t stay exactly the same every year – say NO! to change!)
I think that any unexpected problem would lead to “chaos”.
(i.e. Like the communications loop issue with SkyTrain on Monday caused problems for commuters too, but you didn’t have people clamouring for better roads as a result.)
Interestingly, news reports say that SkyTrain was not overloaded as a result of the Hydro chaos (i.e. downtown likely not the commuters’ destination). Reports also said that WCE in Coquitlam had higher ridership (i.e. a lot of traffic through Cape Horn is from Coquitlam, not Surrey).