Washington Social Diary: The White Out

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The N Street house Jackie Kennedy called home after the assassination. The decimated magnolia trees were grand.

The Washington blizzard of last weekend was dense and intense, and even beautiful, but the white out of the last 24 hours was brutal and a challenge even for those skilled in winter weather extremes. This was not a storm made of only fat flakes falling heavily from the sky.

It had the heavy snowfall but it came with howling winds – some gusts clocked at 50 miles per hour – and deep drifts. I stood next to one that was six feet tall. If the weekend was the blizzard of 2010, this was the white out. Shovels, snow boots and mittens were no match for the wintry blast.

The snow drifts on Wednesday in Washington obliterated the streets and were many feet high.
The digging out process creates huge snow piles that could be around into March.
Cars buried in the snow drifts.
Somewhere in there was a sidewalk.

The federal government was closed for another day, and is closed again today (a record), the postman hung up his mailbag, public transportation and the airports shut down; Congress, schools, businesses, museums, restaurants and movie theaters were dark. Cab drivers gave up. The Four Seasons Hotel offered generous “snow” discounts to residents who fled homes that were without power since the weekend. The employees abandoned a northwest Safeway store, leaving customers to the “honor system” to pay for what they took from nearly empty shelves. To compound a monumental clean-up challenge, a quarter of Washington’s snow plows are kaput.

Cabin fever has reached a critical point. I’m guessing in nine months we’ll have a boom of newborn “blizzard” babies as well as finalized divorces. Some couples – and families – have not spent this much time cooped up together.

Wednesday evening these Georgetown University students, Chris Gooch and Drew Indorf, volunteered shoveling services in the neighborhood.
After the storm, Wednesday 8 pm, the wind down from a howl to a moan.
A Georgetown street Wednesday night after the white out. With approximately 60 of the city’s snow plows out of commission, the clean could require the National Guard.
Snow drifts right up to the first floor windows of this Georgetown home.

The beauty of New York Social Diary is that all on one site it’s possible to read about this ridiculous Washington winter and zany, sunny Palm Beach. Oh how I yearn to trade in my heavy snow boots for a pair of skinny sandals, my winter coat for a slip dress. In idle moments I wonder if Hilary Geary Ross would care to exchange assignments? My guess is probably not.

For now, set aside thoughts of palm trees and experience our record-breaking winter, a video of the Wednesday white out in Georgetown.

Photographs by Carol Joynt. Carol is the host of The Q&A Cafe in Washington, D.C. Visit her at: caroljoynt.com.

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