Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Mess

The D.C. area had a snowstorm yesterday. Nothing like anyone could have predicted. It wasn't like last year's storm in the tally levels. I must admit that was remarkable. No there was not the inches as last year but where this storm lacked the amount it paid us in punch. The punch being the density of the snow that fell. A thick damp snow that weighed down trees and shrubs and packed up so fast. With the snow falling about 2 inches and hour it did not take long for a mess to be created. Those lucky few who stayed home or left before lunch were able to get home safe. Those like my husband who shrugged off the storm were the unlucky ones trapped on area roads. Hours and hours of driving for little distance made for a dismal situation. Cars were stuck all over. Some were in the ditches but most were right on the road trapped. That snow posed a good question. How long does it take before that snow will pack up under a car and render it useless? Several hundred people discovered that firsthand. Keith on his way home helped a few people in that circumstance. It took a great effort of many with only the help of a large truck and tow rope to salvage that woman's car from the roadside.

An hour into his drive Keith was able to travel 8 miles. 8 miles! He found refuge at a co-worker's place long enough to eat and rest. After looking at several DOT cameras and other traffic websites he and his co-worker thought all had settled down. The cameras showed cleared roads and freely moving traffic. That was the furthest from the truth. A half mile on the interstate and he too was stuck again. Regretting his choice to trek home. It took him 4 hours to get home arriving close to 2am. Many people were trying alongside him to get home. All of those poor people stuck even trapped on the road. Few plows were seen. The roads were not tended to and that made for a terrible trap for those who thought they would be able to drive home. Many people were trapped trying to get on the interstate as most buses seemed to have spun out and blocked the on ramps. Road conditions were simply awful. All of which were greatly underestimated by the municipalities.

With a snow day for kids many are home digging out. Children are taking full advantage of that snow making forts and sledding runs. Now it does not look like anything of the tragic mess it was last night. It is the price we pay for a D.C. winter wonderland.

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