Uncharacteristic falls of snow this winter has caused quite the stir amongst us Jiangsunians, causing non-stop neighbourly chatter about the intensity, road relief and how the snow might be cooling down our air-conditioners, that amongst other gripes, seem never ending. That said, there has also been great praise fluttering about communities as to Nanjing’s quick response in clearing it all up.
The moans of a decade ago when similar amounts of snow fell over our city still ring loud in the ears of government bodies up and down the east coast. Thus, an over preparedness has been on the agenda, for a repeat of 2008’s public transport disasters must never happen again.
Indeed, the Nanjing and Shanghai governments have out shone each other, showcasing the clearest roads, train stations and bus routes on Chinese media. Residents in Shanghai awoke to snow-topped trees but clear roads, while Nanjingers have been (and still are) helped by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), whom have been working tirelessly every night to clear our roads.
Since the first snows fell on 3 January, a combination of soldiers and “angel” community workers, as they have affectionately come to be known, have been helping to shovel snow out of the way during the early hours of our worst snowy mornings. According to The Paper, the 71st Synthetic Army Brigade and the 72nd Land and Air Brigade attached anti-slip chains to buses and trucks, shovelled snow from roads and entrances to tunnels and much more. On the morning of 25 January, over 2,000 officers, soldiers and trucks were dispatched in order to provide relief. In total, over 10,000 soldiers have helped clear the roads of the city.
Workers on Guangzhou Lu were spotted gritting the road by hand; using only an iron bowl, the workers sprayed rock salt all over the road, in what was an arduous and tiresome exercise in order to keep snow from settling. As reported by The Yangse Evening Post, 1,700 tons of rock salt reserves have been used on the roads, while over 300,000 pieces of equipment, including shovels and straw mats, have been employed.
Thanks in large to the efforts of the PLA and the Angels of Nanjing, city folk have been able to sit back and enjoy the winter wonderland, without the painful prospect of being snowed in. Roadside accidents, in comparison to 2008, have been reduced and Nanjing remains functioning, largely as normal.