It started snowing yesterday morning and it hasn’t stopped. It’s coming down pretty heavy here in Upper Marlboro. Some folks are talking 18 inches or more in our area. Other places within the D.C. area have gotten 20 to 26 inches.
By Ashley Halsey III and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, February 6, 2010
The full weight of winter brought life in much of the Washington region to a standstill Saturday as a storm predicted to be one of the most powerful on record dumped 12 to 21 inches of snow overnight.
Police reported two fatalities — a father and son hit by a tractor-trailer in Virginia when they stopped to help a stranded motorist — and with the snowfall expected to outpace plows’ ability to clear it, officials pleaded with people to stay off the roads until conditions improve.
People were confined to their homes by the mountains of snow, many in the dark as trees brought down power lines. Montgomery County, and Potomac in particular, seemed to be the hardest hit.
Pepco reported 89,094 customers without electricity, the largest cluster in the Potomac area of Montgomery County. BGE had 30,356 customers without power; 8,000 in Anne Arundel, 2,400 in Howard County and 4,800 in Prince George’s. Dominion had 71,000 customers without power, nearly 58,000 in Northern Virginia.
Transportation agencies struggled to keep up, the job made even more difficult by trees felled by high winds and the weight of the accumulating snow.
Metro, the transportation lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people, opened at 7 a.m. Saturday, but service was available only to underground portions of its system. Trains were running on 30-minute intervals. Metrobus and suburban transit services ceased operations and officials warned residents there would be no public transportation for the day.
Flight operations at Reagan National Airport were suspended for the day and only a smattering of international flights were expected at Dulles, according to Tara Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport reported most flights were canceled.
And though the Postal Service creed may be “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” the agency suspended service across the Washington region on Saturday, surrendering to one of the largest snowfalls in the region’s history.
“No delivery, no retail, no collections due to the storm and for the safety of our customers and employees,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Deborah Yackley.
The decision impacts mail service in all of the District, Maryland and the northern and western parts of Virginia south to Fredericksburg.
I went out on my balcony and took this picture. It’s so cold outside.
I went to work yesterday and we had a four hour early dismissal. Since I start work very early I got off very early. Picked up something to eat and headed home. I was so happy to get home. Monday is my day off and it looks like everyone might be off that day as well. It’s gonna take a while for folks to dig out of 18 inches or more of snow. According to this New York Times article:
Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parent agency of the weather service, called the blizzard “a potentially epic snowstorm” that could rival the 28 inches of snow that a January 1922 storm dropped on the capital.
“The National Weather Service has been very clear that this is a storm to take very seriously,” she said. The halls of the Capitol building were quiet, and the federal government sent many workers home four hours early on Friday. Dr. Lubchenco said she was making contingency plans for all government offices in and near the capital to be closed through Tuesday.
“If it is as much and as heavy as they are forecasting, it may be a number of days before people are actually moving around again,” she said. “This is a serious storm.”
Check out what the Capital Weather Gang has to say about Snowmageddon.