DC buried in snow
While President Obama spent the day in Copenhagen with other foreign dignitaries, and the Senate ordered in pizza for a late night deliberation on health care, a very different scene was taking place on the streets of Washington DC. Road crews, salting trucks, utility and telephone crews were bracing for the onset of a snowstorm of record proportions - one forecasted to rank among the top 10 in history to visit DC. Snow started falling in DC around 8:00pm. Meanwhile, many government employees descended in droves into local hardware stores to pick up salt, shovels, snowblowers, batteries, and other paraphenalia to help them cope with the aftermath of being buried in snow. The latest statement from the National Weather Service gives a clue as to what is about to befall the city.
Special Weather Statement for District Of Columbia, DC
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Issued by The National Weather Service
10:03 pm EST, Fri., Dec. 18, 2009
... RECORD BREAKING DECEMBER SNOWFALL FOR BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS BRINGING HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER TO THE REGION OVERNIGHT AND SATURDAY...
TOTAL STORM SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 1 TO 2 FEET ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS BY DAWN SUNDAY... WHICH SHOULD ECLIPSE THE DECEMBER RECORDS FOR BOTH CITIES. THE RECORD DECEMBER SNOWFALL FOR WASHINGTON IS 12.0 INCHES ON 18-19 DECEMBER 1932... AND FOR BALTIMORE TO RECORD IS 14.1 INCHES ON 12-13 DECEMBER 1960.
SHOULD ACCUMULATIONS EXCEED 14 INCHES... THIS STORM WILL MAKE THE LIST OF THE ALL-TIME TOP 10 SNOWSTORMS ON RECORD FOR BOTH CITIES.
HERE ARE SOME HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS TIPS...
1. TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED ON SATURDAY... AS CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY AFTER DAYBREAK. IF YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL SATURDAY IN AN EMERGENCY... CARRY A WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT WHICH INCLUDES A CHARGED MOBILE PHONE... BLANKETS... FLASHLIGHT WITH EXTRA BATTERIES... HIGH CALORIE NON-PERISHABLE FOOD... WATER... AND A SNOW SHOVEL. KEEP YOUR GAS TANK FULL... AND AVOID TRAVELING ALONE. LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR TIMETABLE AND YOUR PRIMARY ROUTE.
2. IF YOU DO GET STRANDED... STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE. ATTEMPTING TO WALK FOR HELP IN A WINTER STORM COULD BE A DEADLY DECISION. RUN THE MOTOR FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES EVERY HOUR FOR HEAT. OPEN THE WINDOW A LITTLE FOR FRESH AIR TO AVOID CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. MAKE SURE YOUR EXHAUST PIPE IS NOT BLOCKED FROM ICE AND SNOW.
3. IF YOU NEED TO USE A PORTABLE GENERATOR... FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS TO KEEP THE AREA SURROUNDING YOUR GENERATOR WELL VENTILATED.
4. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SHOVEL SNOW UNLESS YOU ARE PHYSICALLY FIT. HYDRATE YOURSELF OFTEN WITH WATER WHILE SHOVELING... AND TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS.
5. MOVE PETS AND FARM ANIMALS TO SHELTERED LOCATIONS AND ENSURE THEY HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD AND DRINK.
I live in Washington DC. I will keep you posted on how my day goes tomorrow which will be spent mostly shoveling.
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Omaha, Nebraska, United States