Mid-Atlantic shuts down ahead of huge snow warning

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    Feb 05, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    Mid-Atlantic shuts down ahead of huge snow warning

    By NAFEESA SYEED, Associated Press Writer Nafeesa Syeed, Associated Press Writer
    1 hr 11 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – Shoppers jammed aisles and emptied stores of milk, bread and shovels Friday as a massive snowstorm blew into the Mid-Atlantic. Forecasters predicted a record 30 inches or more for the nation's capital, and authorities already were blaming the storm for the deaths of father-son Samaritans in Virginia.

    The region's second snow storm in less than two months could be "extremely dangerous," and heavy, wet snow and strong winds threatened to knock out power, the National Weather Service said.

    Flakes started falling around noon in Washington, where the federal government sent workers home early. The storm's wide swath and predictions of historic proportions for an area ill-equipped for snow had airlines canceling flights and school districts closing hours before any snow arrived.

    The last time D.C. got at least 28 inches of snow was in 1922. The city has seen more than a foot only 13 times since 1870, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was expected to track through Virginia and West Virginia, across Maryland into southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    At a Trader Joe's in Falls Church, Va., Errol Bailey, a 55-year-old tailor who works in northern Virginia, said he'd already stocked up on food at his home in Largo, Md., but realized he should have provisions at work too.

    "I've got some cashews, some orange juice, some bread, cheese and I'm about to pick up a bottle of wine here now," said Bailey. "I hope I'll be enjoying the wine at home, but if it gets real bad maybe I'll have to pop that open at work."

    Many residents scrambling for food and supplies found they were too late.

    In Alexandria, Va., James Ivery, 60, and his wife had already bought supplies but were back at a Harris Teeter supermarket to get out of the house one last time before the storm. Many shelves and bins were emptied of milk, vegetables, eggs and cold cuts.

    "It just seems like people are panicking. I don't think it's going to be too bad," Ivery said. "As long as I got power and satellite service, I'll be fine."

    Metro, the Washington-area rail system, said ridership Friday morning was down about one-fourth from the same day last week, a sign people were heeding official warnings to stay home. Metro warned it would likely have to close all but the underground portions of the system during the storm.

    In western Virginia, a tractor-trailer struck and killed a father and son who had stopped to help another driver who had wrecked in snow on Interstate 81, Virginia State Police said. William Edward Smith Jr., 25, of Morresburg, Tenn., and 54-year-old William Edward Smith Sr. of Sylva, N.C., died at the scene, authorities said.

    Across the region, transportation officials were deploying thousands of trucks and workers and had hundreds of thousands of tons of salt at the ready.

    "This is not a good mix," said Joan Morris, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. "Heavy, wet snow with gusting winds is going to make it a very tough storm for us. I expect visibility will be very poor in spots, and we'll have to deal with drifting snow."

    Blizzard warnings were in effect for much of Delaware and southern New Jersey from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, with strong winds and blowing, drifting snow.

    Philadelphia could get about a foot of snow and up to 20 inches was expected in the Pittsburgh area.

    The second big storm comes less than two months after a Dec. 19 storm dumped more than 16 inches of snow on Washington. Snowfalls of this magnitude — let alone two in one season — are rare in the area. According to the National Weather Service, Washington has gotten more than a foot of snow only 13 times since 1870.

    The heaviest on record was 28 inches in January 1922. The biggest snowfall for the Washington-Baltimore area is believed to have occurred in 1772, before official records were kept, when as much as 3 feet fell in the Washington-Baltimore area, an epic event George Washington and Thomas Jefferson mentioned in their diaries.

    Some flights at Reagan National Airport were delayed Friday morning. At least 18 afternoon flights were canceled, including those run by Delta and US Airways. Southwest Airlines canceled Friday afternoon flights at Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington airports. Amtrak canceled most trains heading south from Washington.

    Virginia's General Assembly, 100 miles south in Richmond, canceled Friday's floor sessions and committee meetings, the first time anyone could remember that the threat of snow had sent the whole Legislature home.

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has been in office less than a month, declared his second snow emergency, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments. The assistance includes deploying National Guard soldiers and emergency response teams.

    Between the December storm and several smaller snowfalls, the region's road crews have had plenty of practice in the past two months.

    Maryland highway officials said they have spent about $50 million so far clearing and treating roads this winter. That's almost twice the $26 million that had been budgeted.

    The Virginia Department of Transportation said it already spent the $79 million budgeted for statewide snow removal and was tapping into emergency maintenance funds. Once that $25 million reserve is exhausted, the department said it will have to dip into other programs to cover its costs.

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 05, 2010 9:18 PM GMT
    I'm loving this winter!
  • swimjohn

    Posts: 252

    Feb 05, 2010 9:20 PM GMT
    I know 3rd big snowstorm this winter. More than any winter I've been alive for
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    Feb 05, 2010 9:23 PM GMT
    I'm supposed to get 2 feet here in Rockville, Maryland. This is the second time this winter. This shit is bananas.
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    Feb 05, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    i love snow and i loved when it snowed last week, however this weather just completely sucks, rain, snow, wind and cold all at once.. not cool.
    hopefully it will end by the beginning of the week.

    be safe to all of you near the VA and MD area.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 05, 2010 9:26 PM GMT
    TheIStrat saidI'm supposed to get 2 feet here in Rockville, Maryland. This is the second time this winter. This shit is bananas.


    We are looking at 2+ in Silver Spring...whoo! Another little bit middle of next week, and possibly another big one next weekend. I love this weather!
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    Feb 05, 2010 9:34 PM GMT
    DCEric said
    TheIStrat saidI'm supposed to get 2 feet here in Rockville, Maryland. This is the second time this winter. This shit is bananas.


    We are looking at 2+ in Silver Spring...whoo! Another little bit middle of next week, and possibly another big one next weekend. I love this weather!


    You're my friend and I love you.

    However.

    There's something wrong with youicon_lol.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Feb 05, 2010 9:43 PM GMT
    All the snow sounds fun. Another clear and sunny day here in AZ at 70 degrees...Yawn!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 05, 2010 9:46 PM GMT
    I know that you guys don't have the equipment down there to clean up, but I can't help but think it's cute.
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    Feb 05, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    The problem is they've used their snow budgets here, so it's going to take a lot longer than last time to clean up. Literally, we are all on our own. It really is the Snowpocalypse this time, hehe

    Though some are calling it the Superbowl Superstorm of '10
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 05, 2010 9:54 PM GMT
    just remember - push the snow with your shovel, like a snow plow.
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    Feb 05, 2010 10:40 PM GMT
    All down to Global Warming.








    Tosh
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    Feb 05, 2010 10:58 PM GMT
    yeah, all this global warming is just too hot for us lol
  • DCEric

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    Feb 05, 2010 11:02 PM GMT
    hardonguy saidyeah, all this global warming is just too hot for us lol


    I know you are jocking but as a meteorologist, statements like this make my head hurt.
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    Feb 05, 2010 11:04 PM GMT
    Started out as snow here this morning (NC). Then it just became ice...then rain. Lots of rain. All day...rain. Still, rain.
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    Feb 05, 2010 11:07 PM GMT
    We stocked up yesterday here in DC, tho I went out this afternoon to the market and hardware stuff for more suppliesicon_redface.gif.

    My partner thinks I go overboard on snowstorms but I've lived though 3 or 4 of the top ten, so I like to be prepared.

    The squirrel who built its nest in the hawthorn outside my window has been stuffing it with more leaves every day. Guess the snow makes him a little squirrely too.
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    Feb 05, 2010 11:12 PM GMT
    I blame DCEric for this...he is the meteorologist icon_biggrin.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 05, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
    baltdcguy saidI blame DCEric for this...he is the meteorologist icon_biggrin.gif



    Mr.DCEric... the blame rests with you!
    LOL

    Glad it bypassed Kansas. What tiny amount of snow we received melted...
    was very glad.
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    Feb 05, 2010 11:42 PM GMT
    Now they're calling it "Snowpocalypse" and "Snowmageddon". Expecting 18" to 24" here in southcentral PA....Wahoo!!!...Just hope the electricity doesn't give out... icon_eek.gif
    Got plenty of food and beer icon_wink.gif
    ...and a bottle of GROUSE...just in case...
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    Feb 06, 2010 12:07 AM GMT
    DCEric saidI'm loving this winter!

    Yeah, baby!!
    This is great.
    We've been cheated the last few years. This season rocks.
    Snow is WAY better than the usual 33 degree rain.
    icon_cool.gif
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    Feb 06, 2010 12:19 AM GMT
    I know this snowstorm is a genuine hardship, even a danger, for those hit by it. But I also lived for 11 years in North Dakota along the Minnesota border, and there we were always prepared for something like this, and much worse. We routinely stocked emergency food & supplies, and many of us had kerosene space heaters, in case we lost all power for a few days, so that we and our water pipes wouldn't freeze when it was 30 below outside.

    But one time it got the best of me, and I was trapped indoors for 3 days. A heavy overnight snowfall with high winds piled a drift against the front door of my townhouse in Fargo, the only entrance. Snow also completely covered all the first-floor windows, and trying to jump out from the second floor would have only buried me over my head. My double garage was detached and outside, so its door wasn't an escape route for me, either.

    I tried pushing the snow away with the aluminum storm door from the inside, but it was too packed and high, and the hinges were bending. And even if I had managed to squeeze out, I had left the snow shovel in the garage, so I'd have to claw my way through snow over my head. So I just had to wait it out. Fortunately I never lost the electricity, nor cable TV, Internet and phone service.

    My BF couldn't get out of his own house until the second day, either, nor drive until a crew had cleared his 100-foot-long driveway on the third day when the roads were also passable. That's when he drove over to my place with a shovel to dig me out. I stood at the front door as he tunneled toward me, finally breaking through.

    Then we went over to his place, since not much was open for us to do, and I needed a change of scenery. We promptly had sex, too, as I recall, but I forget if I slept over there, or if we went back to my townhouse that night. Snow can be a bitch, but also a kind of blessing at times, when it gives you nothing better to do than cuddle in bed with your BF for a day or two.
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    Feb 06, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    turbobilly saidNow they're calling it "Snowpocalypse" and "Snowmageddon". Expecting 18" to 24" here in southcentral PA....Wahoo!!!...Just hope the electricity doesn't give out... icon_eek.gif
    Got plenty of food and beer icon_wink.gif



    ....18" to 24"....sounds like 3 or 4 good, hard dates....icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif
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    Feb 06, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    Sporty_g said
    turbobilly saidNow they're calling it "Snowpocalypse" and "Snowmageddon". Expecting 18" to 24" here in southcentral PA....Wahoo!!!...Just hope the electricity doesn't give out... icon_eek.gif
    Got plenty of food and beer icon_wink.gif



    ....18" to 24"....sounds like 3 or 4 good, hard dates....icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

    ...or 2 or 3 really memorable ones...icon_cool.gif
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    Feb 06, 2010 4:51 AM GMT


    ?!?!? Unnecessary
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 06, 2010 4:56 AM GMT
    Pinny: I am never going to click play on anything you post ever again. My ears. I don't think I will ever be able to hear again.