After nineteen inches or so of snow back on December 19-20 of last year, most of us Washingtonians had figured we had seen the last big snow dump for a while. Based on my experience we could expect to wait another five to eight years before we would get a snowstorm that would exceed a foot.
And here it is less than two months later and the snow is back, but even worse. I will let the meteorologists tell us what the official tally was. Based on trying to shovel out our driveway late this afternoon after the storm ended (and getting only about a third done) it is clear that this storm will exceed last December’s storm. Based on my shoveling, I’d say we received somewhere between twenty four and twenty seven inches of snow. Washington Dulles Airport (just a few miles away) reported received 32.4 inches of snow so maybe our actual total was higher. Areas north and east of us reportedly received more snow. So it is a good bet that this snowstorm will go in the record books, actually exceeding the crippling snowstorm that dumped twenty eight inches back in 1979 on Gaithersburg, Maryland, where I was living at the time.
As with the December storm, this one I got to ride out in the comfort of my house. Our electricity stayed on but many Washingtonians were not so lucky. No property damage for us, as best I can tell. Our next door neighbor’s purple plum tree though fell to the ground under the weight of the snow.
The storm was preceded by the usual frantic preparations that clogged roads and emptied store shelves. Friday found me nervous, because I was expected in Georgetown to have my sutures removed and the snow was to start around 10 a.m. Fortunately, we could be seen early and the snow when it did start came down wet and for some hours did not stick to the pavement. For a few hours, the storm actually made getting into and out of D.C. a breeze compared to a normal Friday. Most people just stayed home. We were able to buy food without too much trouble before the storm hit as well.
As usual, we expect it will be a few days before we see a snowplow on our street. More than likely they will do what they did last time: plow one lane and throw some sand down. This means of course that our driveway will temporarily extend six to twelve feet into the road, which we of course will have to shovel. Ah, the paradise of living in a low tax state! We are learning more of that good old American self reliance!
No question about it, it was a lot of snow and perhaps I will not live to witness a larger snowfall. Look at how the snow accumulated on our deck and you will get some idea of the volume of snow we received. I will let Mother Nature take care of the back deck. Hopefully it will be melted by spring.