On top of all of this, another 10-20 inches of snow is expected. Yes, we are completely and totally fucked. I've lived in DC since 2002, and I recall back in '03 when we had a few big snowstorms. I wasn't here in '96 for the blizzard, so the idea of a city being shut down for essentially a whole week is a completely foreign concept. However, this much snow is also a completely foreign concept. I grew up in Chicago, which gets a lot of snow. I'd only heard stories of snowstorms measured in "feet." Sure, in Chicago you might get a few storms in a row that add up to 2+ feet, but I can't remember this much hitting all at once.
So how do we feel about the Fenty's handling of the snow? Back in December, we were all impressed by how the city handled the big snow. We saw trucks treating the big streets, and come Monday we were perhaps a bit surprised that OPM closed the government. However, for us city dwellers we need to also think of those out in the 'burbs. As I write this on Monday night, a lot of streets in the District are still a mess. 16th Street NW is finally a bit clear, but still with some ice and slush. Columbia Road is still slushy, and will likely re-freeze tonight. Side streets are mostly impassible. For many of us, though, the conditions of the road aren't so important. We can trudge through the snow and make it to CVS or Safeway. Of course, the shelves are bare (as the Mayor of the Sandinista Safeway, I am upset with the lack of perishable goods), but imagine living 4 miles from a grocery store, and being in a still-buried subdivision. However, what do we think? Fenty opened the government knowing that Metro would be limited (mostly non-existent today). Why did he do this? It would have been very easy to simply say:
Good evening. As I speak, crews are working around the clock to clear District streets. However, given the limited service provided by Metrorail and Metrobus, and the fact that many residential areas remained snowed in, I have decided to close the District government. The Federal government is also closed, and I urge all residents to stay off the roads so our crews can continue their work. While the work of the government is very important, the safety of our employees is paramount.No really, how hard is that? You don't even have to take the blame! Blame Metro! Blame the suburbs! Look, any of you government-types that want to hire me, I'll write your tweets and blog for you. It'll be great, and you'll be doing a whole lot better than you're doing now, 'cause ya'll suck.
So yes, all in all we are totally fucked. If the weather models prove true, and we get another, say 16" of snow by Wednesday night, we'll be buried through the weekend. Metro will be screwed until probably Friday, and most stores will remain unstocked throughout the week. This isn't pretty, people. City dwellers, this is one of those times where the premium we pay to live so close to everything is so worth it.
In case you missed it: Tooting my own Tweet horn: @DaveStroup: maybe kwame brown should get on foursquare, then he could be the mayor of something.