Nation's Capital Buried By Record Blizzard

Intrepid Washington Correspondent "digs" Snowmageddon

A local blogger shows us the scene Saturday afternoon, below Reuters covers the really white, White House.

Washington, DC -- The nation's capital is paralyzed by upwards of 30 inches of snow, breaking a record set in 1922 and straining the regional infrastructure to the breaking point.

Upwards of 100,000 customers are without power and in DC's northwest Maryland suburbs, snow depth measurements are approaching  three feet in some areas, with drifts in Kensington, MD, Wheaton and points east high enough to obliterate the "Stop" on stop signs.

High winds have knocked over trees throughout the affected region, contributing to power outages.

With temperatures expected to dip farther below freezing in the next 48 hours, the snow is going nowhere fast, weather, news and government outlets are reporting.

Traffic along district streets, area highways and at major airports Dulles, Washington's Reagan National and Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International is at a standstill, with states of emergency declared in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware, making it unlawful for motorists to be out and about.

Three reported roof collapses have thus far been reported today (Saturday), one at a private jet hangar at Dulles, with four jet aircraft inside. No injuries have been reported in that collapse, where five people reportedly were sheltering, but damage assessments to the aircraft are ongoing.

Another roof collapsed at a warehouse in California, MD, and a house in downtown DC suffered a similar fate, again with no reported injuries in either collapse.

Significant snowfalls are reported as far west as Pittsburgh and southward along the Ohio River into Kentucky and southeastern Ohio, most of West Virginia and south-central Virginia, likely setting up conditions for significant flooding of rivers and watersheds in the buried areas once the heavy snow begins to melt.

National Guard troops in most of those states have been activated and on duty since the potential fury of the storm became evident, but relief efforts and detailed needs assessments are awaiting the end of active snowfall.

Red  Cross disaster response teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are on stand-by and, in some areas, are already establishing shelters and preparing to support rescue operations as conditions allow.

One Kensington, MD, resident speaking with Cape Cod Today called the white stuff "heart attack snow," after tunneling through drifts to clear space for his dogs to "walk."

Health officials are warning that the snow is "heavy and wet," cautioning residents attacking drifts with their snowshovels to pace themselves to avoid injury. Emergency assistance may be difficult to dispatch to those in need, given the impassable roadways.

One Kensington, MD, resident speaking with Cape Cod Today called the white stuff "heart attack snow," after tunneling through drifts to clear space for his dogs to "walk."

Cars are buried in some areas up to their windows, signaling that snow removal -- always a problem in Washington's downtown -- will be difficult, as plow trucks have no place to put it.

Officials say in some locations, snow will have to be "mined" out with heavy equipment and trucked away, with no estimates about how long it will take to reach worst hit neighborhoods.

A blizzard warning for Washington, DC, eastern and southern Maryland and Delaware has  been extended until 10 p.m. tonight (Saturday), as the storm slowly travels toward the northeast, taking aim at New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York City.

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