Snow days can be boring, especially when the drag on beyond just one or two. The novelty of the storm starts to wear off, books get read, TV’s shows get old, board games get overplayed and you start to wonder what you’re going to do with your life until work starts again. For couples trapped at home together, certain… activities present themselves as more opportune than at other times during the year. Aaand, that’s what happened during Snowpocalypse 1.0. and that now, 9 months after the storm, lots of babies are soon to be born. WaPo reports that are hospitals are staffing up to deal with the spate of births scheduled for August. Not everyone buys into “disaster” induced conception, but the theory seems sound to me. It’s amusing, at the very least.
As of noon, DC has officially hit 100ºF, according to NBC4. The record to beat is 103ºF. We’re getting close!
To help you stay in a cool state of mind, here are more photos of the White House and Lafayette Park area from right after the February Snowpocalypse: Continue reading
It’s going to be in the sixties and sunny for the next few days, and memories of record snowfall and Metro closures are quickly fading. But I want to take you back a month, to twenty-inch snowfalls and closed federal offices. Every time that we’ve had a massive snowfall in the area over the last 22 years that I’ve been here, someone suggests that Metro should buy equipment to deal with big snow falls. And every time the idea gets shot down with an argument about how we can’t afford to be prepared for once every seven years/decade/lifetime storms.
With each mounting inch of snow, and each dollar that it costs to dig out, I began to doubt that, and I decided to see how much it costs to buy equipment that might help Metro fight the snow. I contacted the friendly folks at the Chicago Transit Authority and asked them about their equipment and what they do to handle the snow.
Metro closes all above ground stations when snow reaches between six and eight inches. They do this to protect the undercarriage of the trains and for fear that trains won’t be able to get power from the electrified third rail. In contrast, CTA has no such predetermined parameters and try and maintain normal service until it is unsafe to do so.
Remember how it snowed in February? I definitely don’t need to remind anyone that the city lost a lot of events in the storms. Well, among the many things that got Snowpocalypsed was the annual Fat Tuesday parade hosted by the Clarendon Alliance. Not to fear, instead of being completely swept away in a snow drift, the parade transformed into a St. Patrick’s Day eve festival – i.e., tonight! If you want to check it out, and it actually is more fun than you’d think, floats will begin rolling up Wilson Blvd. at around 8 p.m., starting from Barton Ave.
In the area or venturing out to Clarendon for the parade? Why not give a little back while you’re out preparing for St. Patrick’s Day? Relay for Life Arlington will be hosting a post-parade gathering at Mister Days at the corner of Washington blvd and N. Highland St. Present this coupon, and Mister Days will generously donate a portion of your check to Relay For Life of Arlington. You can also make a donation at the door, and there will be a small raffle for gift certificates to the bar and other exciting items.
Snow. You remember it, surely? Anywhere between two and four feet over the last week. It crippled our roads and sidewalks, and it’s left several small mountains in most of our neighborhoods. I’m sure you aren’t surprised that it also crippled Metro.
The bus system has to rely on local municipalities to clear snow from the roads. Many snow emergency routes were cleared fairly quickly, but the conditions on secondary streets varied wildly, leaving many buses running on altered routes, even today.
The subway system was also hard hit. Above ground service had to be shut down, and only fully came back online on Friday afternoon. By that point, the Federal government had reopened to one of the worst commutes (by car or by rail) that I’ve seen in 22 years here. So what happened and why, and what should Metro be doing differently in a storm?
Parking in the snow route
Originally uploaded by carlweaver
Okay, people. It says “snow route” on the sign and the radio stations are warning people that there’s a snow emergency in the District. Even our very own lovable Tom Bridge warned us that parking here could lead to some heavy fines. Is $250 worth the cost of a parking space? It is Georgetown and parking is pricey, but for $250 I could park for a month here.
The good news is that these cars do not yet have tickets on them. The bad news is that soon they will. Go move you cars if one of them is yours. With all that saved money, you could buy about ten lunches at any Georgetown restaurant, or maybe about 50 of those fancy cupcakes everyone thinks are the cat’s pajamas.
For some reason (I still can’t fathom why) the Metro closed at midnight on Friday and Saturday. This meant that for the average person out on the town, taxis were the only option for getting home, and apparently cabbies got wind of this. Instead of turning on their meters and offering their fares the normal rate, drivers would jack prices up two and three times the normal, knowing that cab scarcity and the freezing cold would leave their patrons with little recourse but to accept the gouged prices. This is illegal. But, when the driver says “30 dollars to take you there” and pulls away when you inform him of the law, what can you do? So, as one of those screwed-over patrons from last night, I offer a hearty “burn in hell” to the cabbies of DC. Seriously, die in fire.
- Walk in the street.
- Walk in the street two abreast.
- Drive too fast on slick roads.
- Ride your bike like a jackass in these conditions.
- Cross the street against the light.
Let’s be careful out there, folks. Safety is a shared responsibility. I have seen blatantly stupid behavior out there. If you are driving, slow down and accept that traveling will take a little longer for a while. If you are walking, be smart. Walk against traffic, on the sidewalk if you can, and single file. If you are biking, simply try your darndest to follow traffic rules. Those cars you are used to barely not hitting you are going to have a harder time braking in the slush and snow, so don’t bike like a d-bag.
Snowy Bike by dmolsen.
Want to commemorate surviving SNOW-MG 2010 or brag to your friends back at home about how you watched DC become something reminiscent of a ghost down during a zombie apocalypse during “snowmaggedon”? Thrillist DC is giving you that chance.
You can rep the District all year long with their new “I Survived…Snowmageedon” T-Shirt.
Sick of snow all together? You can also show your DC pride by sporting these trendy new sealed and water resistant dog tags are made from real maps of DC. You might get lost if you ever want to use them to find your way around, but it’s a nice alternative from being constantly reminded about all this snow that just doesn’t seem to want to go away.
fling by mennyj
As I write this, the mild winter sun illuminates the pale blue Phoenix sky and warms the earth to a perfect 74 degrees. Retired people wearing athletic gear and sun visors pass by my window in their electric golf carts, either on their way to the 1st hole or on their way home from the 19th hole. With nary a breeze in the air, the statuesque palm trees stand tall and perfectly still. Yet what you may be most envious of are the copious amounts of bread, eggs, and milk within a five minute drive. Despite the circumstances that brought me here to the desert, life is good.
As you read this, your electricity may be out, your car may be stuck in a snow drift, and you may be out of milk and bread. As you “work from home”, city workers are doing their best to clear the roads, restore your power, and keep things in order. The city’s budget goes further into the red as more of the white stuff comes down, but what I’m most jealous of is all of the fun that I’m missing out on. As a native Coloradan, I grew up in a blizzard and wish I could be there with you building igloos, throwing snowballs, and launching your kid into a snow bank.
The snow is always whiter on the other side of the fence, isn’t it?
You may have seen a bunch of the pretty pictures from our weekend snowpocalypse in this morning’s flashback, and you might have even taken the advice about how to shoot in the snow and are out there taking pictures, but it’s very likely you don’t have access to a helicopter.
Sgt. Simeon Klebaner of the US Park Police’s Aviation division does, though, and while out on patrol snapped some fantastic aerial shots of our fair town smothered in almost two feet of snow.
Yes, I know there’s another storm coming, and you’re all sick of not being able to go anywhere, but look at those photos. They might make you feel better about snomgasm 3.0!
Beautiful Time Lapse courtesy of Spodie Odie! It gets really great about halfway in. Be sure to add your snow photos to our pool this weekend!
Yes, that’s right, a blizzard warning. The National Weather Service has issued a statement going into effect at 10pm warning of blizzard conditions in the District. Earlier today, a similar warning was issued for Baltimore and Southern Maryland, but it seems the effects are projected to be further south than originally expected. So, look for 2 feet of snow on the ground by the time you wake up tomorrow, and in excess of 20 inches when all is said and done. Welcome to the true Snowpocalypse. December’s got nothing on February.
Krispy Kreme closed
Originally uploaded by carlweaver
My lovely wife and I had lunch in Alexandria today and afterward had a hankering for a doughnut. Of course, I thought, let’s go to Krispy Kreme. For those of you who never leave DC, there are hot doughnuts now on Rt. 1 south in Alexandria.
When we got there this sign and a locked door were all that greeted me. You think it got bad when you couldn’t get your coffee? This is dire, my friends. Big Daddy needs his doughnuts. I’m not screwing around anymore.
Is there an area Krispy Kreme that is open in this Snomageddopocalypse?
no pants metro ride
Originally uploaded by laurarotondo
Have you been outside yet? Lovely Wife called me at 10:30 from the Weaver Compound in Arlington to say it was snowing somewhat heavily. We had not yet seen flake number one over in DC where I work. Now it’s a different story, of course. My office closed at noon and I am home, getting ready to dig out the hatch to the underground bunker.
If only Mother Nature would respect the rules. First rule of bad weather: Schedule it for a day other than Friday, because let’s cut to the chase here. No pants + snow = just plain messy.
This is a mad house!
Originally uploaded by carlweaver
This was the scene last night in the produce department at the Safeway on Lee Hwy. Lots of thing were still available, but probably not the things you would care to eat if you had a choice. Beets, radishes, papayas and kale were still there. On the shelves were pig knuckles, potted meat, mustard, clam juice and laxatives. That was about it.
Since the snow has been delayed a bit from its predicted early morning start, what last-minute items are you heading out for?
Sure, you may have seen the earlier post about where to sled in the District, but with less than 24 hours to go before an epic snow, it’s too late to order your very own version of Rosebud from Amazon, and all the local Targets, WalMarts, and hardware stores are sold out. Luckily, the folks at HacDC are coming to the rescue, with a late night impromptu sled-building workshop tonight at the Columbia Heights Hackerspace at 1525 Newton Street NW.
Sled building will commence once tonight’s Dorkbot DC meeting finishes up, sometime between 9 and 10 PM. But come early at 7 for the Dorkbot presentations!
We’re tracking reports of a couple different snowball fights prepared for Saturday in the wake of what will be a second historic storm in a year! We’ve seen a Facebook invite for a Snowball Event on the Ellipse. Maybe the President will come out and throw the first snowball? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. There’s another snowball event put on by the NAKID Kickball league scheduled for 3pm by the Smithsonian Metro station, which I think is a great place to have a snowball fight (Metro accessible? Brilliant!)
Amongst our Twitterati, folks are also calling for a second snowball fight at 14th and U Street, this time without the gun-toting off-duty detective (Stay home, Baylor!) as well as a fight on Logan Circle. Watch this space for additional snowball fights, and add others as you hear about them in the comments!
Some of us went sledding. Some of us stayed inside, covered in blankets, with hot cocoa and a movie. Others saw snow for the first time and looked up in awe, while others who were more accustomed to traditional winters brushed it off after a few hours.
But let us not forget those who are now hurting from the great fun everyone else was having.
The weekend before Christmas is always a huge money maker for retailers. Thanks to the biggest snow storm in DC history, retailers were left feeling the freeze.
The DC area, this weekend, was something of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Driving down 395 on Saturday, one would have seen abandoned cars spun out at odd angles and their stranded drivers trudging towards some nameless help. Most residents stayed holed up in their homes, living off of the provisions they had dutifully stocked the day before. Basic commodities were impossible to come by and the majority of services simply shut down. As the snow storm abated, DC residents peered from their homes at the changed landscape, and painstakingly began the cleanup, trying to return to normality.
Ok, sure, that is a bit of an over-dramatization, but seriously, 395 did look like something out of 28 Days Later. This snow, like any snow, threw into sharp relief how woefully unprepared DC area citizens are for wintry weather. So, as a northerner, I take it upon myself to save you all from yourselves before the next snowpocalypse.