The snow finally halted after an entire day of heavy accumulation so the Washington, DC “Blizzard of 2009” is officially over. Now it’s time to dig out the sidewalk, get the kids over to the sledding hill, and venture into a snowbound neighborhood before the onset of cabin fever. It looks like we’ll have one of those incredibly rare events in the Mid-Atlantic, a White Christmas, assuming it doesn’t all melt away over the next few days.
We topped out right at about sixteen inches (41 centimeters), which I believe was the same as the "official" measurement at the airport about four miles away. There are drifts reaching much higher that were kicked-up by the ferocious wind yesterday afternoon, but sixteen seems to be the average based on a number of unscientific measurements taken at various points around the yard.
Several of the regular readers of the Twelve Mile Circle live in northern climates and if you’re one of those you’re probably scoffing at this image. For the Washington, DC area, however, this is an amazing total that happens about once every decade or so, and it has never happened in December. Many of the school systems have already thrown in the towel and decided there’s no way the streets will be cleared in time for class on Monday. Sixteen inches is pretty much even for readers in the Great Plains or Canada, isn’t it? Come on. Be honest. 😉
There’s always somebody who thinks that just because he (and it’s always a "he") owns a Four-Wheel Drive SUV that he’s invincible. I found this one abandoned in front of my house this morning. The driver attempted to exit from a partially cleared Snow Emergency Route onto a lightly traveled side street. It’s tough to make much progress when the snowdrifts reach higher than the floorboards. The license plate said Georgia so I guess he’s probably never experienced anything quite like this. Personal experience can be a cruel teacher.
The plows on the larger road piled a good three feet of solidly packed snow behind him. I was just about to write that he’ll be stuck there for a few days but I looked out the window and noticed the police showed up with a tow truck and pulled the vehicle to a safer place. It looks like his lucky day.
It’s a beautiful sunny morning and it’s time to head out with the kids. This is the sled hill at the local Middle School about a half a mile away. It’s not the largest hill around but it’s perfect for an eight year old and a four year old to feel like they’re sledding down a ski jump. The walk down here also allowed me to observe that nearly every other street in the county seems to have been plowed except ours. They forgot us again. Darn. I’ve lived this story before and I know what it means for me.
We weren’t going to let ourselves get trapped for three days like the last time they forgot us in the big snow of 2003. Six of us who live along the street all got together this afternoon and dug it out by hand before the snow had a chance to turn to ice. It took us about an hour and a half and I think we did a pretty good job too. Now we’re free!
What a wonderful winter day.