《经济学人》:暴风雪袭击芝加哥 Winter strikes Chicago
日期:2011-12-19 11:37

(单词翻译:单击)

Winter strikes Chicago
暴风雪袭击芝加哥

Shovel ready
准备就绪

Mr Emanuel’s feeling for snow
伊曼纽尔先生对暴雪的反应

Ready, steady, snow
THE city of Chicago is proud of its ability to keep going, with gritty determination, through the worst of the nation’s weather. Snow that would bring London or Washington, DC, to a halt is laughed off as little more than a light dusting. This year some are expecting particularly bad weather, a test for the new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. He must keep the city moving throughout the winter, or face the wrath of the locals.

芝加哥市以坚毅的决心使整个城市即使在这个国家最恶劣的天气下也能保持正常运转,芝加哥人以此为傲。那些能让伦敦或华盛顿瘫痪的暴雪在芝加哥人眼里就像一层薄灰。而今年,一些人还特别希望会出现坏天气,因为这是对新市长拉姆•伊曼纽尔的考验。他必须使这座城市撑过冬天,要不然就要忍受到市民的怒气。

Fortunately, Chicago is well prepared for snowfall which, for the past four winters, has been over 50 inches (127cm). A secure facility on West Madison Street known as Snow Command houses some impressive toys. On one wall vast display-screens reveal everything you might need to know about the city’s weather conditions: the whereabouts of the fleet of up to 500 GPS-equipped snow-moving trucks; views from some of the city’s 1,000 cameras; the readings from a dozen road sensors (which pick up icy conditions); and a live feed of the regional weather system.

幸运的是,芝加哥现在已经做好准备应对过去四年里出现过的最厚50英寸(127厘米)的降雪量。在西麦迪逊街上一个名叫暴风雪指挥部的安全机构收藏了一些令人印象深刻的小玩意。在一面墙上挂着巨大的展示屏,揭示你所需要了解的关于这座城市的天气情况:500个装载着GPS导航仪的运雪车队行至哪里了;全市1000部摄像机中的一些所照的照片;十二个路况传感器的读数(他们能监测到冷空气的来临);还有地区天气系统的即时信息。

After a storm warning comes in from the National Weather Service, Tom Byrne, the commissioner of the city’s Streets and Sanitation Department, watches it move in on cameras in nearby states and at the four outermost corners of Chicago. This tells him exactly when and where the storm will hit. Getting it wrong means chaos on the roads and possibly accidents. But sending teams out needlessly or too early costs the city $40,000 an hour.

当国家气象局的风暴警报来临时,市街道和卫生部的长官汤姆•贝恩在屏幕上看到它从邻市向芝加哥逼近,就在芝加哥的最边缘。这样会使他准确掌握风暴会什么时间在什么地点降临。误读意味着引起骚乱,甚至会出现事故。但是不必要地或过早的派出行动小组会令这个城市每个小时浪费四万美元。

The planning started in the humid heat of summer. Mr Emanuel badly wants to avoid a repeat of the previous mayor’s Snowmaggedon earlier this year. During the big national blizzard in February, hundreds of drivers had to abandon their vehicles. Although plans have been made to avoid this happening again, in extreme weather there are limits to what any city—even Chicago—is able to deal with. Three inches of snow an hour during rush hour and we’re cooked, says Mr Byrne.

这项计划从夏天的湿比热着手。伊曼纽尔先生迫切的想避免今年早些时候前任市长遇到过的雪魔。二月份遭遇的全国大风雪使数百人不得不中途放弃他们的车辆。虽然已经制定方案来避免这种情况再度发生,但是在极端天气情况下,即使是芝加哥这样的城市也有束手无策的时候。在交通高峰时间,每小时会积累三英寸厚的雪,而按贝恩先生的话说我们竭尽全力了。

One innovation this year is an internet snow portal. It will allow citizens to organise themselves around snow-clearing activities, adopt a stretch of pavement to clear, offer to share shovels and snowblowers, or even volunteer to clear snow for people who cannot do so themselves. Traditionalists may not be keen to brag on Facebook about how many pavements they have cleared, but plenty of others are—thus helping to spread the city’s message that everyone has to do their bit.

今年的特别之处在于网上有个暴风雪门户。市民可以利用它来安排清理积雪的活动,选取一大片的人行路来清理,与他人共用铁锹和吹雪机,甚至替不能做的人去清理积雪。传统主义者也许不会热衷于在Facebook上炫耀他们清理了几条马路,但是其他很多人会这么做——从而帮助宣扬在这个城市里,每个人都要做好自己的本分。

More comforting for those feeling abandoned by the city during a storm is that it will soon be possible to see, via the web, exactly where Mr Emanuel’s snowploughs are and what they are doing. This is precisely the view available back in Snow Command. With snowploughs, shovels and smartphones to hand, the city is ready for the stormy blast.

对于那些觉得在暴风雪中被这个城市抛弃的人来说,让他们觉得安慰的是,很快就可以通过网络知道伊曼纽尔先生的扫雪车的精确位置以及他们正在做什么。这正是暴风雪指挥部发出的图像。有了扫雪机,铁锹和智能手机在身边,这座城市准备好迎接暴风雪了。

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重点单词
  • adoptv. 采用,收养,接受
  • bragn. 吹牛的人,自夸,傲慢的态度 v. 吹牛,炫耀 ad
  • sanitationn. 环境卫生(卫生设备,下水道设备)
  • needlesslyadv. 不必要地;无用地
  • stretchn. 伸展,张开 adj. 可伸缩的 v. 伸展,张开,
  • commandn. 命令,指挥,控制 v. 命令,指挥,支配 n. [
  • avoidvt. 避免,逃避
  • blizzardn. 暴风雪 n. 暴雪 极负盛名的美国游戏软件制作公司
  • availableadj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的
  • previousadj. 在 ... 之前,先,前,以前的