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Pffft! You Call This A Blizzard?

During the weekend here on the east coast we experienced what the experts termed a “blizzard.”  Loosely defined, a blizzard is, “A violent snowstorm with winds blowing at a minimum speed of 35 miles per hour and visibility of less than one-quarter mile  for three hours.”, so I suppose that I can accept their hype.

In all actuality, it started snowing at my office around 9:45am local time on Friday and didn’t stop until 3:30pm Saturday.  No official measurement at the Kharmin household, but our best non-snowdrift including calculation puts the amount of snow received at around 26 inches… or, as our five-year old daughter put it, “Too much snow.”

Saturday morning, around 7am, I started by digging out the heat pumps.  They are on the windward side of the house, thus bearing the brunt of the drifting snow.  Having already dug them out once at 11:30pm the night before, I thought the job wouldn’t be so hard in the morning.  The “blizzard” gifted me with an additional foot of snow around the heat pumps– a foot beyond the foot I had already shoveled the night before.

Blowin’ snow; Kharmin-style!

Next, the driveway.  Four hundred plus feet up an incline of about 30° once past the pad by the garage.  This is why we bought the snow thrower years ago.  A Yard King 33″ wide, 12hp beast of a machine, capable of handing snowdrifts in excess of three feet.  The initial foray from the safe confines of the garage (where the outlet is, you know, for the electric starter on the snowblower?  Yeah, like I’m hand-cranking this thing.) was arduous, however it was very much throwing the snow.  The pull up the driveway though proved to be a far different scenario. The heavy snow proved too much for my beast to drive through.

Mrs. Kharmin came out with our daughter (who, for a time, entertained herself with her sled down the part of the driveway hill that I had been able to mostly clear to this point before making her aforementioned comment and retiring back inside the house) and she helped to clear a path wide enough for the snowblower– the plan being that once up the hill gravity would help drive the machine back down through the snow.  Four hours later we found success in our endeavor and cleared a path wide enough for a vehicle to pass.  Unfortunately, during that four hour trial an additional four inches of snow fell, re-covering our efforts.

Up and out!

Figuring that the snowblower could handle a measly four inches, I returned to the bottom pad to clear the snow that had been ignored during the assault on the hill.  Defeated, I retired to the garage after only 10-15 minutes of that work, however I had cleared enough to get both of the vehicles out of the garage if necessary.

Normally, with five or so inches of snow or less, I hardly consider clearing the driveway as both my truck and Mrs. Kharmin’s Tahoe have four wheel drive and can handle it.  This time, with snow still falling, we called in for additional help and paid a local with a bigger truck (and a plow!) to finish the job that I was, by now, too exhausted to accomplish.  By Sunday afternoon, we were dug out.

Daughter: “Too much snow!”

Now, it’s Monday.  Both Mrs. Kharmin’s work and our daughter’s school are closed today, but I decided to brave the roads with my truck.  Funny how roads marked as a “Snow Emergency Route” were in pretty sad shape.  Several trees had fallen across the road, partially blocking them.  Snow plows just went around them– one was marked with a road-worker’s reflective vest lying atop the mound of snow.  It’ll probably take a few days for crews to make some semblance of order on the secondary roads… just in time for the next wave which is predicted to drop an additional 8-10 inches in two days.

Bring it on.

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1 comment to Pffft! You Call This A Blizzard?

  • Mom

    Route 4 down our way is cleared and mostly dry in our area. Hubby says that once he crossed the Pax River this morning that same road barely had one lane passable and Woodyard Road was still covered with some snow. I overheard a comment in the grocery store this morning that PG roads are in horrible condition. I imagine there is going to be a lot of complaining about PG County’s efforts or lack thereof? I just returned from the grocery store. I expected a whole lote more shoppers than I saw. Perhaps a lot of people still can’t get out of their driveways. Anyhow–I’m all restocked and ready for the next round. Did Mrs. Kharmin’s parents get their electricity back on? Hubby says some coworkers just got theirs back Sunday afternoon–and their cul-de-sac is till not plowed this morning–so they haven’t been able to leave to seek warmer shelter. I can’t imagine no heat for that long.