By Lynn R. Mitchell
8:30am: Good morning from my snowy corner of the world west of Staunton. It was a frigid 10 degrees overnight with clearing skies after the snowstorm moved out, and a full moon. There’s between 18 inches and 3-4 feet of snow (from drifting) … a winter wonderland with snow-flocked trees and piles of the white stuff along the road and driveway.
To see photos from throughout Virginia during the blizzard, see Day 1: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016 blizzard and Day 2: Live-blogging the January 22-23, 2016 blizzard.”
The snowplows came through in the middle of the night to clear the road. Our thanks to VDOT. And our thanks to Dominion Virginia Power for their part in keeping the lights and heat on through the blizzard.
By this time yesterday we had been up for 3.5 hours as the snow continued to fall and the wind howled. Today we have awakened to a cold sunny morning after the full moon came out overnight and illuminated everything. I woke up briefly sometime in the early hours to see the moon and then went back to sleep.
Our neighbor — bless his heart — is out there again clearing our driveway for the third time during this storm. Today neighbors will check in on each other, clear driveways, and make sure everyone is okay.
Ivy, Va: West of Charlottesville, Mark Robbins sent this beautiful morning pic and said they have 18 inches of snow.
9:45am: Simon Kinsinger who lives in Stuarts Draft (southeastern Augusta County) posted this video of the “Ghost Train” clearing snow from the railroad tracks running through the county:
10am: It’s game day! We’ll be cheering for our Carolina Panthers as they play in Charlotte where the entire region has kicked in to help clear the stadium after the weekend winter storm. Link: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/panther-tracks/article56040885.html
Mr. Mitchell got the griddle out this morning and made pancakes with real maple syrup and sausage … the leftover Santa Fe Chicken soup is heating on the stove for later in the day.
Meanwhile, here’s our cleared street this morning, taken by Mr. Mitchell….
10:20am: Jay Hughes ventured outside in Alexandria to see the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2016 that buried his neighborhood in 2+ feet of snow. It was the storm that shut down D.C. Amazing footage … video link here: https://www.facebook.com/jay.hughes3/videos/10206779852587543/?theater
10:35am: It’s already 35 degrees out there and the forecast was for a high of 38. The melting will definitely begin….
10:40am: From the Center of the Universe in Kents Store (Fluvanna County) where they had at least 17 inches of snow and sleet … this is what Melissa Kenney called her extraordinary icicle:
10:50am: News-Virginian political reporter Bob Stuart, who lives in Waynesboro, is digging out from the blizzard. He wrote on Facebook: “Was able to hike to 7-11 to get some coffee — 1.5 miles or so. Lots of folks out shoveling and snow blowing. I shoveled for 30-40 minutes. The rear of the car looks good, but the driver’s side is buried under an avalanche. Anyone with an extra shovel or snow blower is welcome to join me, and you will be paid!!”
2pm: Do you want to build a snowman?
2:20pm: Trixie’s fur kidz can take only so much of today’s cold sunshine in Roanoke….
3pm: Denver Broncos game is coming on as they take on the New England Patriots. #OrangeCrush #Peyton
3:20pm: The Fishersville (Augusta County) Food Lion pic sent by Mike Judge….
3:30pm: The roof at Wayne Lanes bowling alley in Waynesboro collapsed under the weight of the weekend snow, and now we’re hearing the Redskins indoor training facility has collapsed.
Meanwhile, school closings are coming in for Monday. The local closed schools, according to WHSV TV-3:
Blue Ridge Community College, Augusta County, Waynesboro, Rockingham, Rockbridge.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the following RVA area schools are closed Monday:
Amelia County: Closed Monday
Chesterfield County: Closed Monday
Colonial Heights: Closed Monday
Dinwiddie County: Closed Monday
Hanover County: Closed Monday
Henrico County: Closed Monday
Louisa County: Closed Monday
New Kent County: Closed Monday
Petersburg City: Closed Monday
Powhatan County: Closed Monday
Richmond City: Closed Monday
4:50pm: Neighbors helping neighbors … my parents’ next-door neighbor Buford Scott cleared their driveway in Midlothian, and his wife Beth help with shoveling. Mr. Lucy wrote:
Buford came over with his small 4-wheel drive tractor with front blade and cleared a nice single path to our street, and then cleared out the parking area east of our garage doors so that we could pull out, back out, whatever. We always have a pile of snow off the garage roof which accumulates just outside each door. I was out there clearing a path through that for each car when Beth came walking around the back of the garage with two shovels. She said they saw no lights and thought we were away, and they were going to clear those door openings for us too. So she helped me finish what I was doing. Great neighbors!! They had already been down to Beth’s parents’ house a block away and cleared their drive which is on a corner lot. Salisbury road has been plowed and clear, but not our street, which is now passable never-the-less. When they plow, then our driveway will be blocked.
Mr. Mitchell, who cannot sit still for long, has been across the street and next door with his snow shovel.
Speaking of shoveling, sad news from Virginia Tech with the death of one of their professors from shoveling snow. The article is in the Roanoke Times: http://www.roanoke.com/news/education/higher_education/virginia_tech/virginia-tech-video-producer-dies-after-shoveling-snow/article_690a112d-d8c3-5f7b-b0a1-500d9b86e67b.html
6pm: Speaking of schools being out, The Hill reports that the U.S. House of Delegates will remain out this week due to the snowstorm that swamped D.C. They were only scheduled for Monday and Tuesday due to the Democrats’ annual retreat Wednesday through Friday, and with more than 10,000 flights cancelled, it appears to be a sound decision.
6:30pm: Denver is going to the Super Bowl! Broncos 20, Patriots 18. Now to root for our Carolina Panthers against the Cardinals.
7:30pm: State of Virginia employees have a snow day on Monday.
7:40pm: The full moon rose behind the ridge as I watched from the deck. It had the yellow color of a harvest moon as it began to climb into the sky….
8:10pm: Panthers are leading 24-7 with less than 2 minutes until half-time.
8:15pm: Have you ever wondered what winter was like in Colonial Virginia? It was a subject that interested me as a child when I read that Thomas Jefferson rode his horse in snow up to the horse’s chest. That amazed me — it still does. This article tells about winters from the 18th century with information we know mainly because some of our Founding Fathers recorded temperatures, snowfall, and other weather events. Link: http://makinghistorynow.com/2015/02/have-you-heard-of-the-washington-jefferson-snowstorm/
Here’s an example:
January 28, 1772: This storm was named the “Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm” since it was recorded in both of their diaries. The storm left nearly three feet of snow from Charlottesville to Winchester to Washington, D.C. In the middle of the blinding conditions, Jefferson and his new bride were struggling to return to Monticello following their wedding just weeks earlier on New Year’s Day. This storm remains the unofficial greatest snow in Virginia. Remember, the NWS didn’t start keeping official records until the 1800s.
10pm: CAROLINA PANTHERS WIN 49-15 over Arizona Cardinals. Super Bowl 50, here we come! They will be facing my other favorite team, the Denver Broncos. What a game that will be on Sunday, February 7. My dream Super Bowl….