Photographing D.C. making snow history
The Feb. 5-6 and 9-10, 2010, mid-Atlantic blizzards
We all have moments that draw us to weather and become etched in our memory as "benchmarks." Last Wednesday, I was walking through a hilly area between Cleveland Park and Van Ness when I came across a woman guiding herself, using ski polls to walk between knee-deep and freshly covered snow ruts. She said, "you are catching history." That was sort of when it hit me. The back-to-back blizzards of February 2010 cemented the idea that this winter, now Washington's snowiest, was indeed something special.
Keep reading for more photos from the February 2010 blizzards, AKA Snowmageddon and Snoverkill...
While incredible in itself, the one-two punch from Snowmageddon and Snoverkill came at the tail-end of what had already been a rather snowy period that began at the end of January. Unlike a tyipcal mid-Atlantic snow event, some snow was on the ground as Snowmageddon began.
Snowmageddon started beautifully, but it was an unusually wet storm and much of the accumulating snowfall in D.C. was heavy and dense. Snow poured down through the night, sticking to everything it could reach. The weight proved too much for many trees and some structures.
Some hearty Washingtonians initially attempted to carry on -- after all, it was just a snow day. On Feb. 6, with already around 20" of snow on the ground around the Mall and to the north, people went out to play.
After two days of digging out, as the sun set on Feb. 8, the day before the second blizzard was set to begin, it was fairly apparent the city would have difficulty taking another 10"+ of snow. Where would it go?
The storm that began late on the 9th really kicked into high gear during the morning of the 10th. While D.C. was placed under Blizzard Warnings during both the Dec. 18-19 and Feb. 5-6 storms, this third blizzard of the winter really meant business in the wind department. Most who ventured out during the previous storm decided to stay inside for this one.
One week after the first storm ended, the city still had a fair amount of cleanup to go. Mounds of snow, missing lanes and sidewalks, and giant slush puddles became a temporary (we hope!) way of life.
As much trouble as these storms caused, making history is not something we do too often in winter around here. In her 50 years in D.C., the woman I spoke to says she never saw anything like it. I wonder if I will again.
For a larger collection of photos, and images up to 1000 pixels in width, please see my Flickr set for the February 2010 D.C. blizzards.
| February 18, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Photography, Snowmageddon, Winter Storms
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