A fellow blogger lives in Virginia. This morning, as I read of Denise and Gregg’s adventure returning home in the snow from Norfolk, Virginia, it reminded me of another blizzard — the blizzard of 1996.
I was living in Silver Spring, Maryland, in January 1996. I had recently separated from my husband of umpteen years and moved into my own apartment. I think I had been in that apartment for only a day before the blizzard hit.
Here’s an account of the storm as provided by Wikipedia:
“Snow began falling in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore during the late evening of January 6 and continued at a consistent rate until mid-afternoon the next day. At that time, the metro area received 13 to 17 inches, and after a few hours of sleet and then a complete stop for several hours, it seemed the worst was over. But overnight, as the storm slowly crawled northward, extremely heavy bands of snow came in from the east. These bands created whiteout conditions as winds gusted past 40 miles per hour, along with thunder and lightning. By the morning of January 8, the bands tapered off, and the metro area was left with a blanket of 15 to 25 inches of snow. Baltimore received 22.5 inches and Washington Dulles International Airport received 24.6 inches. Many areas north and west in Maryland and West Virginia received well over 2 feet with a few locations in the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia receiving up to 4 feet.”
I remember people scooping up snow with buckets and garbage pails. I don’t remember anyone using a shovel to remove the snow. I, on the other hand, had a snow shovel. One of the last things I did after moving my belongings into the apartment was go to the store and purchase a snow shovel. I had heard on the radio that heavy snow was expected, and I wanted to be prepared. After the snow stopped falling, I dug out my car and then offered my shovel to neighbors. I think I could have made a lot of money those few days renting out my snow shovel!
In 1996 I worked for the federal government as a civil service employee. President Bill Clinton was forced to shut down the federal government for nearly a week because of the storm. It was good that I did not have to go to work. Travel was nearly impossible. It was nearly a week before it was possible to get out of my apartment complex.
Here’s a few photographs taken at my apartment complex, in January 1996, after the snow stopped falling.
To my blogging friend, Denise, and others affected by this weekend’s snow storm: Stay warm and safe and enjoy a white Christmas!