February 12th, 2010
03:32 PM ET
12 years ago

Durbin: DC residents fear snowstorms like 'nuclear attack'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/27/art.getty.dick.durbin.jpg caption="Sen. Dick Durbin said Thursday that DC residents fear snowfall like a 'nuclear attack.'"]Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said Thursday that he "never could get over" the way people in the nation's capital deal with the threat of an impending snowfall.

Washington residents get their fair share of jabs when it comes to their anxiety about impending snowfall, but the Democrat from a decidedly snowier region of the country took the criticism to a new level Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.

"I'm convinced that infants born in Washington, D.C., are taken from the arms of their loving mothers right when they are born, into a room where someone shows a film of a snowstorm with shrieking and screaming so that those children come to believe that snow is a mortal enemy, like a nuclear attack," Durbin said. "Because I've seen over 40 years here, people in this town go into a full-scale panic at the thought of a snowfall."

Watch Durbin's full remarks after the jump:

Durbin thanked the federal employees who "came trudging through the snow" so that congressional offices could operate and tourists who braved the blizzard could safely navigate around the Capitol grounds.

Durbin went on to say that most snowstorms don't warrant the level of distress typically exhibited by Washingtonians, but that this was no ordinary storm.

"This was a heck of a snowstorm. You had every right to be concerned. Some of the other ones, maybe not, but this one was the real deal."

The federal government closed for four and half days and most public schools shuttered their doors all week as a result of the two storms that dumped more than 30 inches on the nation's capital.

Filed under: Dick Durbin
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    It's worse down here in North Carolina. Someone whispers "snow" and, in seconds, all the grocery stores are sold out of anything and everything imperishable, they close the schools for a week, and people staring peering fearfully into the heavens.

    February 12, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    @Moderate Voter: "...It has never snowed this much in DC ever..."

    Oh, come on...

    I spent the mid-sixties and the late-seventies in Northern Virginia. A foot or more of snow at a time wasn't even uncommon.

    February 12, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. southerncousin

    The rest of the country fears Durbin and his libertard cohorts like a nuclear attack. Is he trying to make some sort of a statement or is he just plain born ignorant and stupid like the rest of the liberals.

    February 12, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Mark

    Why do the taxpayers have to dish out 100 million a day for government employee salaries when they have snow days. If they can't work we can't pay them, simple enough.

    February 12, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Angela

    Regarding some of the comments, it is imperative that you learn to drive on dry streets, then when the snow comes, you can navigate it. People were still driving at 60 miles an hour on snow covered streets, fishtailing, and wiping out. 30 inches of snow is nothing that a supposedly large, cosmopolitan city should not be able to handle. The whining, overkill coverage by the local media is ridiculous. I live on a busy street, and even on Wednesday, people got out and walked.
    The Federal government , businesses and schools were all closed, but everyone was shopping at the malls. If you can get out and go walking, and driving to the mall, shut it – and drive to work and drop your kids off to school and clean your own side street!

    February 12, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    Thank goodness we hard that "shovel ready" money handy and I don't mean it for all the snow in the Capital.

    Progressive sure know how to spread the BULL.

    February 12, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Wisconsonite - Vote for Consumer Protection Regulation of the Financial Industry

    I live in Wisconsin . . . . I can TELL you about snow!

    February 12, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Tracy

    It's global warming. Because warming is warming and cooling is warming too.

    February 12, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Wisconsonite - Vote for Consumer Protection Regulation of the Financial Industry

    Hey southerncousin, I just wonder, based on some of your super-smart comments . . . are your parents first-cousins?? ??

    February 12, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. duh ray ray

    I could never figure out why people named Richard want to be called Dick?Must be the same as buying a big truck they can drive in the snow and ice like they are invincible.

    February 12, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. howie

    All I can sayis that this man isn't very smart to issue such a dumb statement, however, you can expect this type of statement from a Illinois senior statesman.

    February 12, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Dumb question from a guy who lived his whole life in California, but why is it people always mention milk and bread as bad weather staples? I think I'd go for soup... something a little heartier (and warm). Is it the simply not having to heat it up. I'd think you'd have a gas stove, or generator if you lived where the power goes out in the winter.

    February 12, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ooops, that's right, I forgot about losing power. Yeah that does suck big time, seriously. That may account for some of the pre-hysteria. It is no fun wondering when, or IF, Pepco is going to show up to restore power. No heat, no fun. And you know what that means: NO CABLE!!! Homicide rate goes up when people are homebound with NO CABLE looking at folks they don't particularly care for to begin with!!

    February 12, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. DC Kiwi

    It was amusing to watch everyone stock up on 6 months worth of toilet paper and line up for an hour to do it. But I wouldn't say it was panic. What was stupid was those that though they could drive around in it without issue. But they had Florida plates.

    February 12, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    And there are people who drive in the rain like there is snow on the ground, no wonder they panic.

    February 12, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Mark

    Was Obama (NOT A DC NATIVE) the one that called it Snowpocalypse (or something similar)? Who is the one instilling fear ahead of a snowstorm? Sounds like the former Senator (and no president) from Illinois.

    February 12, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. Rochestersnow

    I live in Rochester. Let me tell you about OUR snow DC.

    February 12, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    To: Howie at 6:09 – lighten up, dude. The man made a joke. Humor-challenged much? P.S. He's right. And the people in LA are even worse about rain!

    February 12, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    That darn George Bush....and Global Warming, too!

    February 12, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Objective Thinking

    This is how I feel about Southern Californians in the rain. When it rains here in SoCal, people panic.

    February 12, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Objective Thinking

    Sniffit said (February 12th, 2010 4:43 pm ET):

    Just when you can't believe that the GOP is as out of touch with real Americans as they are, something like this happens


    Yeah, this comment shows that a person is out of touch. Wait a minute, Dick Durbin is a Democrat. Never mind. His comment is perfectly accurate.

    February 12, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. polly

    Government official: People are in panic mode because they can't afford to miss work. They're worried about the economy.

    February 12, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    This subject is the priority of our elected representation? talking about the weather and that it is snowing in winter?
    Let's hope that who ever is this representative's voter district will "Fire" his butt come the fall elections.

    February 12, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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