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Still here. by Leah Jean
I'm still here and my electricity didn't go off. Whew! But now I have the fun task of digging myself back out again. And the plows have already come round so my driveway has another good pile of packed ice and snow at the end of it. Sigh.

I didn't even think about going out yesterday to do anything because it was so windy. It would have been a joke trying to dig out the snow that had already fallen with so much still swirling around. Got to admit that I was a little nervous watching the depth of snow increase on the front portion of my roof though. I have a split level house (about 3 "1/2 floors" as opposed to 2 clear-cut floors). A part of the front roof (covering the garage) extends outside the upstairs rooms. I can literally climb out (and have done so before) onto the that part of the roof thru a bedroom window. I'd guess that the snow is at least 2 feet in spots and kind of blocks my view outside that window. Tempted to take out the window screen and try to brush some of the snow off. Uh, maybe not because the wind would probably blow a good portion in the window. ;)

The news on several channels preempted most of the T.V. shows yesterday to keep us all informed of the blizzard's progress. We had periodic live reports from the emergency crew chiefs, the Maryland governor, and reports from news people on varying scenes. It was warned that you shouldn't go walking around outside because you could become disoriented from all the flying snow. They also said you could be driving a car along when the wind would drive the flying snow in big swirls and you would loose complete visibility. Very dangerous! They even showed footage from someone filming from inside a vehicle. The driver said that he had to pull over for about 3 minutes at one time because he couldn't see a thing.

The governor was pretty impressive giving his speeches about what to do, what not to do, and praising the emergency crews. But he also put out a warning. Apparently some idiots were calling in and complaining that the plow trucks were not getting the snow on their roads removed "down to the pavement". Oh good grief! The governer said that it would take at least another day just to get to all of the roads so only making roads "passable" for emergency crews was the rule for the day. News reporters were also showing side roads where the plows hadn't gotten to during the FIRST big snow ... let alone the second snow. There was just too much to do. But the government had the National Guard out in Hummvees trying to get people to hospitals, etc. if desperately needed. They showed one poor old guy who had to get dialysis for his kidney condition 3 times a week. He was looking a little off color but said that they'd already come once and taken him to the hospital. One woman was out walking the roads because she had to pick up a prescription for her mother.

But the damage has been pervasive. One fire house collapsed under the weight of the snow and one brand new fire engine was lost along with a Humvee and 3 other vehicles. The fire house also caught fire. There were warnigs that anyone with a flat roofed building should try to remove the snow since some other buildings and homes had already collapsed.

A reporter was interviewing a crew of firemen making the rounds of fire hydrants ... finding them and uncovering them so they would be available if an emergency happened. The reporter asked one of the firemen in a 4 man team how long it took to dig out a hydrant. He said, "1 minute". [Snicker.] I noticed that one of the other firemen who was digging at the time turned around and looked at him. Probably thought the guy was nuts for saying that! I'm sure it took at least 10-15 minutes. The one hydrant was sitting back about 15 feet from the road. Or maybe it was only about 5 feet because who could tell where the road ended. :)

And brother, did they emphasize keeping your butts at home and in the house. I heard something about 700 auto accidents at one point ... but with no fatalities ... at least at that point.

Yes, the state of Maryland did break the all time record for total snowfalls this year by a resounding 4+ inches. And we already have the possibility of another snow coming thru next week. Nothing serious though ... I hope. Senator MacClusky (spelling?) who resides in Baltimore said that the State should be eligible for Federal aid. The problem is that a state has to get 28" of snow to be eligible. Maryland got a little under that with the first blizzard but the 2nd blizzard definitely topped that! So she said that there would probably be an exception in this case. And I would think there should be serious sympathy since D.C. got the same stuff. ;)

Lovin' life ... but not snow,


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