TSA’s response to the brutal winter

Jadon Khor, News Reporter

A dual hindrance from a Transportation Security Administration worker shortage from the government shutdown and a strong Arctic storm coming along the east coast means for a rough weekend for travelers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

  The National Weather Service says the blizzard should “shift Midwest into the Northeast,” but not for another couple of days. Along the west coast, very heavy mountain snow is pushing winds down the Rocky Mountains and into the coastline, creating a colder winter for California, Washington, and Oregon.

  Accompanying this is a massive blackout of TSA workers calling off work sick due to the lack of pay during the shutdown. According to the TSA, the percent of employees calling sick is at 8 percent, which was 5 percent higher than that of a year ago. Because of the shutdown, these workers are also leaving essential jobs which the government deems necessary for function in par with normal operations.

  In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, state of emergencies has been called, with over 11,000 flights being delayed and over 2,000 flights cancelled. For these states, travelling in and out has become a nightmare.

  Over 74 million Americans are under wind chill advisories according to CNN, with a wind chill of 15 degrees below zero expected to cross into the Midwest, and skirt by New York. As a result, New York City has issued multiple road salters and snow plows ahead of schedule in order to combat the blizzard.

  Sadly, the storm has taken the lives of at least eight people, where a 12-year-old girl died in Illinois after a snowbank fell on her according to a press release by the Arlington Heights Police Department. Along with her, a 9-year-old girl was also admitted to the hospital for hypothermia but survived the event.

  In Milwaukee, their police department say they are investigating the deaths of two men who were shoveling snow outside, and the deaths of two others who were driving while on a sleeted road.

  Because of the government shutdown, the winter storm and a lack of preparedness from the government for the blizzard, travelling has become both a disaster and a danger.