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Scorecard: the week's winners & losers

Undeterred by the fact that an earthquake striking Western New York is an incredibly rare and often undetectable event, hundreds of emergency responders and National Guardsmen across the region will participate in a joint exercise to prepare for just such a scenario November 1-6 in Tonawanda.

When you think about it, Buffalo got dealt a pretty solid hand in the natural disaster department. Former Buffalo mayor Jimmy Griffin said it best when he advised citizens in the grip of a pesky blizzard to stay home and “crack a six-pack”. Artvoice couldn’t agree more. Try that same survival technique in the face of a pyroclastic lahar.

Here is our list of the cities that might have a better rep than Buffalo, but are also likely to face complete and utter biblical-style destruction at some point in the future. It was nice knowin’ ya guys.


Victims: 4,038,741
Method of Destruction: Volcano

Sleeping idly in the shadow of 14,411 foot stratovolcano Mt. Rainier, the caffeinated city should stay up at night awaiting the next cataclysmic eruption (last activity recorded in 1854) that unleashes a torrent of boiling-hot pyroclastic lahars on a collision course with the city. Oh yeah, they’ve got earthquakes too, big ones.

Approx. Time Left: 80 years

‘Six-Pack’ Rating:

Oklahoma City

Victims: 1,262,027
Method of Destruction: Tornado

It’s as if trailer parks have a homing beacon for these things. There have been 123 tornadoes in the OKC area since 1890, including nine apocalyptically violent ones (eight F4’s and one F5). The record for tornadoes in a single day is 5 on June 8, 1974.

Approx. Time Left: 15 years

‘Six-Pack’ Rating:


Victims: 5,413,212
Method of Destruction: Climate Change, Hurricane

Those who believe that climate change is a myth, probably don’t live in South Florida where rising sea levels threaten large portions of a city that averages only 6 feet in elevation. We won’t even get into the annual hurricanes, whose destruction is nowhere near as gradual but just as shit-your-pants deadly.

Approx. Time Left: 50 years

‘Six-Pack’ Rating:

Los Angeles

Victims: 17,755,322
Method of Destruction: Earthquake, Forest Fire, Mudslide, Drought, Tsunami

No other city lives closer to the precipice of disaster at all times than La-La land. Aside from the constant treat of “The Big One”, a massive earthquake which according to Hollywood will sever California from the Continental U.S., there’s the annual summer tradition of wide-scale, unpredictable, doomsday-scenario fires. Even if relief from this Hell on Earth comes from rain, your house awaits inevitable destruction from the impending mudslides that follow. This is proof that when 90% of the world’s celebrities AND the entire porn industry call you home, you’re just begging the Spiteful One to be smoten.

Approx. Time Left: 15-20 minutes

‘Six-Pack’ Rating:

The Week's Winners & Losers

Bills Fans

That sound you hear is the heart being ripped from the collective chest of Bills fans after YET ANOTHER soul-crushing, last minute loss on Monday Night Football. I dream of a world where there is no hunger and Tom Brady has no knees.

County Downsizing

Five of the fourteen County legislators who voted in July to downsize the Board from 15 to 13 members flipped their votes to block the effort to overturn County Executive Chris Collins’ veto. Here’s to saving your own skins guys.

Earthquake Preparedness

Thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Homeland Security Department, Western New York can sleep a little sounder knowing our emergency teams will spend a week prepping for... wait, an earthquake? Apparently terrorism is sooooo 2001.

Obscure Presidents

On Sept. 14, the Ohio Statehouse passed out red carnations in honor of 25th President William McKinley on the 108th anniversary of his death at the Pan-Am Expo in Buffalo. Five dollars was given to anyone who actually knew who he was.

Celebrity Perks

While Erie County denies federal investigators from entering county jails to investigate claims of prisoner abuse, Keanu Reeves was permitted to scout potential filming locations at Erie County Holding Center last week for his upcoming movie.

By the numbers...


Age in years (114 years, 80 days) of Williamsville resident Olivia Patricia Thomas, now the oldest living person born in the United States after the death of Gertrude Baines (115 years, 158 days) on September 11. Born on July, 29 1895, Thomas is only 50 days younger than the current verified world’s oldest living person, Kama Chinen of Japan.


Number of metro areas that gained jobs during the second quarter of 2009 whencompared to the first quarter according to a report from the Brookings Institute. Buffalo joined Akron, Ohio; Columbia, S.C.; Madison, Wis.; and McAllen, Texas.


Percent voter turnout in the Democratic primary for mayor of Buffalo this year. The 38,914 voters who cast ballots represent a 36% increase over the 25% voter turnout in the 2005 primary. Incumbent Byron Brown won with 63% of the vote. Brown raised $1.1 million in his campaign treasury for the election, which, if he’d spent it all, would average $44.72 per vote (24,595 votes).

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