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Blizzard of '96 Anniversary

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I didn't have a full day of school from February 5th through February 21st, a span of 17 days. The area was about as crippled as it can get from a snowstorm/snowstorms (unless something surpasses this like 110 years from now, since it will probably be that long before something even remotely similar occurs ;) ).

There simply were not enough places to put all the snow.

I wasn't really talking about schools closing.

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I seem to remember measuring about 34" for that storm in Frederick. It's right up there with the 1st of the Feb Blizzards in terms of snowfall totals. I missed PDII, but we only got something like ~28" from that one in Frederick.

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'96 was the last storm I remember when things were really crippled. Plowing and salting operations have gotten so effective now that no one is really ever stuck. You saw cars driving around very quickly after Feb 6, 2010. That is an entirely different issue, though. I'll never understand the folks you see who madly spend all morning digging out on a Sunday just to drive slipping and sliding all around to Starbucks and then Office Depot to browse for pens.

I left the DC area in 2003 so cannot speak of later storms but the 1996 blizzard, like the one in 1978 generated significant drifts.

In '78 I lived in Georgian Towers on Ga. Ave. in Silver Spring and saw drifts to the top of store fronts. On the first day, Silver Spring was a ghost town; on the second, road graders and bulldozers created the first paths; on the third and following days, regular snow plows hit the streets.

The storm struck on a Sunday night. That Monday was to be my first day on the job at DTNSRDC (Dept. of Navy) in Bethesda but no one answered the phone there for days. They finally opened the next Monday - after one full week of Federal Government closure!

The '96 storm struck during daylight hours in Germantown and I remember a period of strong winds, intense lightning, and sleet mixing with the snow. Bare trees were swaying wildly. Once we were able to exit our neighborhood I took my video camera and rode with my brother in law in his Jeep towards Boyds and extreme upper Montgomery County. Drifts were everywhere and I taped a county snow plow struggling fruitlessly to get unstuck after two tires left the pavement.

Both storms were great but the blizzard of '78 caused more disruption and paralysis. Has the Federal Government shut down for an entire week since? I would guess not but can't say for sure.

:pimp:

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I seem to remember measuring about 34" for that storm in Frederick. It's right up there with the 1st of the Feb Blizzards in terms of snowfall totals. I missed PDII, but we only got something like ~28" from that one in Frederick.

That sounds very reasonable. I fully believe that total; the bands were not moving on your area for 30 odd hours.

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Not around here as I recall. Wasn't there some scandal about it in Northern Virginia or something?

No scandal just not enough manpower and it was Maryland too. I beleive US 340 out of Frederick was closed for 3 days as well.

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there were places that didnt see a plow for like 5 days after 2/6/10

5 days was nothing it took almost 2 weeks for certain locations after the 1996 storm.

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For the DC/Baltimore metro area, 2/5/10 and 2/10/10 easily beat 96. Normally I say things like these are a matter of opinion, but it's hard to argue for 96 in this case in terms of overall impact.

My favorite was a post from some guy in Nova Scotia during the blizzards. He said that a similar amount of snow dumped there would cripple NS as well, and he had a hard time fathoming how we were able to deal with snow removal.

I know people are comparing individual storms only, but when you add in the WSW criteria snow on January 30th/31st and February 3rd, that stretch becomes even more unfathomable. Most places in the DC/Baltimore metro area had more seasonal snow than any major or semi-major city in the US as of February 10th, 2010...more than SYR, more than Buffalo, etc. Obviously at the end of the season those cities had surpassed us, but that stat alone is mind-boggling.

not so sure it is a clear win......Almost as much snow for me 1/6-13/96 as 2/5-10/10...about 31" vs 35".......1996 was a colder storm and a colder aftermath and the sun angle was not as much of an issue...and as someone mentioned, I don't think snow removal operations were as good in terms of effectiveness...DC metro had not had to deal with such an impact since January 1987 and as most know that was a debacle....I'd rate the periods equal for me here in DC in terms of impact.....

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5 days was nothing it took almost 2 weeks for certain locations after the 1996 storm.

maybe but phineas was acting like it was a field day immediately after 2/6.. and it was probably more like 7 days as it was a few days after the second storm

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maybe but phineas was acting like it was a field day immediately after 2/6.. and it was probably more like 7 days as it was a few days after the second storm

as bad as it was, the cleanup in 2010 was much better than 1996.....even semi-major arteries in DC were untouched until it rained and we torched on the 18th.....

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maybe but phineas was acting like it was a field day immediately after 2/6.. and it was probably more like 7 days as it was a few days after the second storm

I know some areas had trouble, but around here everyone was out pretty rapidly. Not so in '96. I'm sure it is regional, but snow removal operations seem way more effective now than 15 years ago.

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as bad as it was, the cleanup in 2010 was much better than 1996.....even semi-major arteries in DC were untouched until it rained and we torched on the 18th.....

i dont know what it was like in 1996. i was not comparing the two.

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I know some areas had trouble, but around here everyone was out pretty rapidly. Not so in '96. I'm sure it is regional, but snow removal operations seem way more effective now than 15 years ago.

they are...in terms of efficacy for sure....and I think the organization and approach is somewhat better though still awful here in DC....1996 was pure chaos....nobody knew what to do at all.....

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i dont know what it was like in 1996. i was not comparing the two.

it was worse in terms of cleanup...2010 the cleanup was awful as well, but it seemed that the main arteries were passable sooner.....I drove down Connecticut Ave on 1/10/96 and it was a disaster and I parked on the sidewalk right in front of 4P's and we got drinks....Couldn't have done that in 2010....I think the effort in 2010 the cleanup effort was more collective....there was more awareness....wider media focus....operations were more effective and sophisticated....

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they are...in terms of efficacy for sure....and I think the organization and approach is somewhat better though still awful here in DC....1996 was pure chaos....nobody knew what to do at all.....

Yup, that was the gist of my earlier post. It was a comedy of errors on my street in 1996 with cars, trucks, and heavy construction equipment all piling up. In 2010 a big plow cut a path early on and then everyone was out. I am sure some cul de sacs in Leesburg had to a wait a few days due to blundering by the local authorities.

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Yup, that was the gist of my earlier post. It was a comedy of errors on my street in 1996 with cars, trucks, and heavy construction equipment all piling up. In 2010 a big plow cut a path early on and then everyone was out. I am sure some cul de sacs in Leesburg had to a wait a few days due to blundering by the local authorities.

your post said no one gets stuck anymore which was wrong.. that's all i was addressing.

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it was worse in terms of cleanup...2010 the cleanup was awful as well, but it seemed that the main arteries were passable sooner.....I drove down Connecticut Ave on 1/10/96 and it was a disaster and I parked on the sidewalk right in front of 4P's and we got drinks....Couldn't have done that in 2010....I think the effort in 2010 the cleanup effort was more collective....there was more awareness....wider media focus....operations were more effective and sophisticated....

Way more personal snow blowers too. They are cheaper and more easily acquired these days. In 1996 the lone guy with a snow blower in a square block area was like God come down to Earth. Now as soon as the last flake hits the ground it is like an indoor tractor pull with 20 snow blowers starting up.

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Yup, that was the gist of my earlier post. It was a comedy of errors on my street in 1996 with cars, trucks, and heavy construction equipment all piling up. In 2010 a big plow cut a path early on and then everyone was out. I am sure some cul de sacs in Leesburg had to a wait a few days due to blundering by the local authorities.

we hadn't seen anything like it in almost 10 years and 1996 was much worse......2010 was not good by any stretch, but the cleanup effort and awareness and focus were on a different level....It was still a comedy of errors here, but less so....

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not so sure it is a clear win......Almost as much snow for me 1/6-13/96 as 2/5-10/10...about 31" vs 35".......1996 was a colder storm and a colder aftermath and the sun angle was not as much of an issue...and as someone mentioned, I don't think snow removal operations were as good in terms of effectiveness...DC metro had not had to deal with such an impact since January 1987 and as most know that was a debacle....I'd rate the periods equal for me here in DC in terms of impact.....

You're right -- perhaps I shouldn't have called it a no-brainer. I guess it depends on your specific location. Admittedly I was too young to even remember 96, so perhaps I am talking out of my ass here (going solely off of reports/accounts of the storm). IMBY (which is all that matters anyway, right? :P ), i measured anywhere between 32-34" Feb 5th/6th, and of course the highest report from the storm came from Howard Co. at 38.3" (though I still think that may be too high). Combined with the 13-16" from Feb 10th, that's 45-50" from both storms combined, which is obviously more than other parts of the region received, so I guess I can understand the need for some debate. Feb 5th didn't really feature all that much wind, but I thought the winds on the morning of Feb 10th were very impressive as well (since a lot of people here like to take wind into account when judging storms).

I still believe that snow totals from Feb 10 take the cake over Jan 96, at least in Central MD. Whether or not the impact was the same as a result of technological improvements is another question entirely.

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Aren't you a writer? Did you not learn about figurative speech or something? Clearly there wil always be the moron who takes his Camry out in a HECS and ends up sideways in a snowbank.

im not sure why you have to spin out of the comment by continually bringing up things that are not the point. 1996 sounds like it was worse.. snow clearing was better in 2010 apparently.

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in 1996 I was in Atlanta for the American Historical Association meeting and once I saw it being hyped on TWC I changed my flight so I could get out Saturday night. I remember seeing the chair of my department in the hotel lobby as I was packed up and leaving. he was asking everyone from our group to join him for dinner that night and I told him if he didn't get out then he wouldn't get back until Thursday. the university was only open one day that week--Thursday--and when I saw him I asked him when he got back. he'd just gotten back that morning.

in DC we went over to sleet and IIRC even a bit of rain (?) (but not as much as 1993). the impressive thing was how much snow we got that entire week, IMO. I think we had about 18" in the front yard of our building. 2010 was much bigger for me as I was out here in WV, but oceanwx talks about how there was so much snow out here from 1996 that the drifts meant his mom couldn't even let the dog out until she got shoveled out.

one of the most interesting things I remember is how quickly the snow melted when the temps got up into the 60s and the amount of fog that was produced in the city.

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You're right -- perhaps I shouldn't have called it a no-brainer. I guess it depends on your specific location. Admittedly I was too young to even remember 96, so perhaps I am talking out of my ass here (going solely off of reports/accounts of the storm). IMBY (which is all that matters anyway, right? :P ), i measured anywhere between 32-34" Feb 5th/6th, and of course the highest report from the storm came from Howard Co. at 38.3" (though I still think that may be too high). Combined with the 13-16" from Feb 10th, that's 45-50" from both storms combined, which is obviously more than other parts of the region received, so I guess I can understand the need for some debate. Feb 5th didn't really feature all that much wind, but I thought the winds on the morning of Feb 10th were very impressive as well (since a lot of people here like to take wind into account when judging storms).

I still believe that snow totals from Feb 10 take the cake over Jan 96, at least in Central MD. Whether or not the impact was the same as a result of technological improvements is another question entirely.

There was also another 4-8-6-10" event a week later I believe on January 11-12, 1996.

But Feb 5-10th beats Jan 6-12th 1996 overall.

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I guess you are just having some OCD rage on this Saturday afternoon?

ahh, your MO to turn it to your opponent having irrational rage. you are funny.

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