kenbates2

East Coast Snowstorm

Published: March 22, 2010

By: Kendra Bates

Deciding when and where to go in the unexpected 2 to 3-feet of snow was a tough decision for most people, but it didn’t stop James West. West like most people ran to the grocery store just days before the news of record breaking snow, so he could be prepared for what he calls “insanity at its best.”

While the majority of blizzards occur on the East Coast, Maryland residents were not prepared for what took place. What seemed like something so small, turned into something so big in the city of Upper Marlboro. Each day as it began getting closer to the snow day, the snowfall predictions began to skyrocket. Lines in supermarkets were long and the shelves were empty just minutes after the stores opened. You can never be too prepared for record-breaking snow fall.

Many parents worried about not getting paid and college students worried about getting behind in schoolwork. While, most people enjoyed the snow, some were disappointed because it was Super Bowl weekend. The amount of snow increased dramatically as the roads were no longer recognizable and people were snowed in.

After only a day of being snowed in, West was able to escape from his friend’s home in his four-wheel drive truck and make it to the liquor store.

“It was pretty odd. We were the only car on the road and the only people in the store. Nothing was open,” West said.

After returning home, he was able to keep busy by throwing a small Super Bowl party with some of his friends from the neighborhood.

 “I enjoyed the break from school, but I was afraid I would get behind in work.”

Even though West was afraid he’d be behind in work, it didn’t stop him from partying like he normally would.

Snowmobiling

Most college students feared how much work they’d be missing. For Ida Martin, fear of missing school was not an issue. Like West, Martin was able to escape the blizzard and go snowmobiling just a few miles from her home.

“I was amazed to see so many other people snowmobiling. I loved the days off from school, it was worth it,” Martin said.

Just as many people thought the worst was over, another huge storm hit just days later. Houses were empty as most people were outside teaming up to shovel. Snow blowers were one of the few snow removers that could get the job done. Snow was piled high off the ground. Power was out in many neighborhoods. It looked like a ghost town. Conditions outside became more dangerous as strong winds gusted making it blizzard conditions. Everything was paralyzed by more than 2 feet of snow.

Children occupied their time by building snow men, having snow ball fights and shoveling snow. People were desperate to get out the house, even if it meant walking several miles to the nearest place that was open.

Even when it hit hard again, people still managed to escape the horrible conditions. Jenna Knopsnyder described the snowstorm as a relief because she managed to go snow tubing all week long. She was thrilled that there were no classes all week.

“I went snow tubing at Hidden Valley Ski Resort,” Knopsnyder said.

The snowstorm didn’t seem to affect her or most college students.

Married couple Thomas and Danielle Clerkley was the first to express their concerns about the snow.

“I went outside to shovel the snow 4 times. It was the most I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime,” Thomas said.

Thomas and Danielle had plans for the Super Bowl weekend and they blame the snowstorm for ruining it.

“We planned to visit my parents’ house for a Super Bowl party, but they had to work.”

Danielle was indifferent about her in-laws having to work but she hoped they’d be safe in the horrible weather. To make up for things, the unexpected visit from her parents made things better.

“My parents lost their power in the house, so they were fortunate to join us for the Super Bowl game,” she said.

She was pleased to know what she didn’t have to work and that her job would still pay her.

“Thomas was stressed at times with the amount of snow that he had to shovel. We are fortunate that our dog loves the snow. She helped clear some of the snow from the snow tunnels she made.”

Removing snow was one of the biggest challenges for residents with vehicles and even snow removal trucks. Removing snow from cars, side-walks and drive-ways takes a lot of time and patience.

“I don’t even own a shovel and they were sold out in the stores. A broom was the only thing I could use to get the snow from off my car,” Tiara Austin said. 

The snow prohibited Austin from leaving her house since she lives a quarter of a mile from her neighbors and several miles to the nearest convenient store.

 “There is so much snow and there isn’t anywhere to put it.”

She doesn’t get to see her family often. She attends college pretty far from home, so she enjoyed spending quality time with her family and dog.

Power  lost, everything  closed

Driving anywhere was treacherous and authorities advised people to stay off the roads. Almost every church, mall and restaurant was closed throughout the week. The storm brought in school closings for one week and long lines at supermarkets. So many homes lost power and no means of public transportation were operating. It was obvious that the East Coast had experienced one of the worst storms in the history of storms.

For most people, the blizzard was not tragic. It gave parents a break from work and students a break from school. Many of the neighbors teamed up together to shovel the neighborhood several times a day to avoid the huge load at once.

“If we can get through this snow storm, we can get through any other storms”, Knopsnyder said.

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