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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 02/12/2010

Snowbound in the suburbs

By Kevin Ambrose

* Monday snow? Full Forecast & SLCB | Report snow totals (map) *
* Snowiest winter ever | Wind chill factor | 'Best of' storm comments *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

A large front-end loader was used to dig out my street in Oakton, Va., on Wednesday evening.

My street was plowed Wednesday night after the second blizzard in a week and after six days of undisturbed snow cover. We were finally able to go out and buy some groceries and supplies. Earlier in the week, my neighbors and I had made numerous calls and sent multiple emails to VDOT to request plowing, and after two failed attempts by a small, front-end loader, a large earth-mover was dispatched to our road. It was impressive to watch the bucket loader move the snow; it wasn't the light and fluffy snow you typically see in the snow belt regions to our north.

The machine struggled at times, but in the end it was able to push and dig the two feet or more of snow off the road. In the process, it created mountainous snow piles, randomly placed along on the shoulders of our road. I am starting to wonder how long it will take the giant snow piles in our area to melt?

Keep reading for a video of the street several hours before it was cleared...

A walk down my Oakton, Va., street Wednesday afternoon before it was plowed out later in the evening.

By Kevin Ambrose  | February 12, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Photography, Snowmageddon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Slow melting better than no melting
Next: Next snow chance just around the corner



Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow I was first!

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

What I wouldn't give to be driving one of those things right now.....
Kevin, I suppose no mail delivery either to your neighborhood this week?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 12, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

My neighborhood had a small "squadron" of 6 personally owned snowblowers go down the street to clear a lane. Of course this had to be done almost continuously as this would not work in 2-3 ft of snow.

Posted by: daddy00 | February 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If your post would have said 'Annandale' instead of 'Oakton', I could have written it. Very early Thursday (1AM) FFX finally sent a plow to our street (after numerous emails/call to VDOT). It took him forever to do our circle and probably would have been faster with a front end loader. As it is, we have huge piles of snow along the curbs but at least there is one lane that is very drivable now. I am betting on May before some of these piles are gone.

Posted by: amaranthpa | February 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted this yesterday, just wondered if anyone has thoughts on the coming clipper. I still think this has some real potential for a moderate (not small) snow event, say 4-6 inches. I think this one looks more vigorous than most, and in this pattern has a shot at surprising us. If so, I'd have to throw the flag for a 15-yard piling on penalty.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse


4-6" is well within the realm of possibility ... and don't really think it would be much of a surpise if it happpens. I doubt anyone would ask you to pick up that flag!

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@celestun100, do you live anywhere near Glover Park. My inner cookie monster is crying out for cookies. Oh, well, I'll head over to Whole Foods and grab one there. BTW, the DC snow removal eqpt is doing serious work in my neighborhood. (repeat post before this new thread was opened up).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Federal Government jumped the gun by opening today...Now we're dealing with a 10:15 AM Metro Red Line derailment between Farragut North and Dupont Circle.

There were 346 people on board the train. Fortunately only one rather minor injury requires hospitalization. But this accident further damages Metro's reputation and points out the futility of responding to budget issues with service cutbacks, making it more difficult to use Metro regardless of weather conditions and our personal schedules.

In Chicago, CTA is implementing service cuts and it's negatively impacting the commute--Chicago had our blizzard a day earlier than we did.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 12, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

A front loader finally showed up in our neighborhood of East Baltimore yesterday. But it was too late for our street...we hand shoveled the block--TWICE! It did help out some neighboring street though, one of which had a six foot high wall of ice and snow in the middle of the street!

Posted by: bachaney | February 12, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47: Our mail arrived the first day after our street was plowed. No trash pickup yet, however.

daddy00: At the top of our road, we organized a shovel and snowblower brigade of neighbors to dig out about 200 yards of the road. Unfortunately, our street is too long to completely dig it all out by hand.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I am in Olney. And I didn't expect miracles with immediate plowing. But we're on day 7 without having been plowed on our cul-de-sac, and our feeder street only got plowed yesterday. Why they didn't stay and complete the job is beyond me. While we were able as a team of neighbors to dig ourselves out a few days ago, the slush has refrozen and we certainly were only able to dig passably -- not nearly as fully as we need to be dug out. I've contacted Montgomery County Gov. three times. I recognize this is a big storm, lots of roads, etc. But 7 days?!?!!

Posted by: akharbison1 | February 13, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

It's not just the suburbs...still blocked in in Glover Park, and no buses running into our neighborhood. The daily trek out to Wisconsin is as far as we can go w/out an SUV...

Posted by: gulickr | February 13, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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