OK, so I live in Northern Virginia…specifically, Fairfax County – a densely populated (#36 on this list), highly-educated (McLean, #5 on this list, is in the county), wealthy (#3 or 4 on this list, depending on whether you count the city of Falls Church as a “county”) area full of (self) important people. We imagine ourselves as sophisticated and capable. We are very near the capital of the richest nation-state in history, and many of us work for a powerful government which can wield trillions of dollars in technology and manpower.
And the jurisdictions around us rival us in these categories. This is a powerful area.
And it snowed.
Okay, it was a historic snow – somewhere in the top 3 to 5 snowfalls ever in this area. And it paralyzed us completely.
But the snow ended on Saturday, the 23rd. Today is Thursday, the 28th…five full days later.
I understand that the snowfall total (we had 28 inches here) stressed all essential services. But it did more than that – it appears to have permanently broken them.
A pickup-mounted snowplow tried to clear our development on the night of the 22nd, got stuck. Another came to help it. After a few hours, they both got unstuck and fled. Our condo board e-mailed that they’d hired front-end loaders to come remove (as opposed to “push into the yard”) the snow on Sunday the 24th.
The hired snow-removal crews never showed up. * By hand*, the neighborhood shoveled out all the cars, the parking lots, the sidewalks, the access roads. I was part of that team. I still hurt. But we got most of it clear by the 24th – and I mean entirely clear, people could drive out and return; you could see pavement. We got the rest of the area cleared by Monday the 25th.
Eventually the front-end loaders appeared on the 27th, and pushed piles of snow across the sidewalks, blocking some of what we’d dug out, removing nothing I can detect.
No word from the condo board or president on the delay. No call back from local government officials. Hell, I work at a federal government agency (as a contractor) and many people “teleworking” didn’t return e-mails or phone calls…some of them even today. It’s like the End of Days – civilization has just stopped.
The local Fairfax Connector bus service declined to run normal service until today, the 28th. I understand they couldn’t run on Monday, the 25th. But on the 26th and 27th, the roads looked good on my route – my wife had no trouble driving me to the Metro station.
But hell, yesterday I waited 2 hours and 5 minutes for a bus. The Connector people who could speak intelligibly and were willing to answer questions – a small percentage of the ones I could find – said “the roads are impassable and traffic is a nightmare,” but when I finally got my bus, it drove normally in low-density traffic, on cleared roads. No sign of trouble at all.
But perhaps the clearest sign of the apocalypse is the US mail.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…my ass!
[li]No mail Saturday the 23rd. OK, historic blizzard.[/li][li]No mail Sunday the 24th. Ok, Sunday, no delivery. We cleared our lot, access roads, and sidewalks.[/li][li]No mail Monday the 25th. But the main roads are cleared, and there’s treated and salted pavement from them to my mailbox. There’s no snow nor rain nor bullshit to stop mail delivery to me, but maybe someone else hasn’t dug out.[/li][li]No mail Tuesday the 26th.[/li][li]No mail Wednesday the 27th.[/li][li]No mail Thursday the 28th.[/li][/ul]
We know it’s not been a case of no mail for us, because the whole time we’ve had outgoing ,mail in the box and the sign flagging it sticking out for the postal worker, or any surviving part of civilization, to see it. And it hasn’t been picked up.
No word so far from the Post Office. Nothing on the news. Googling turned up this:
It’s THURSDAY. Snow is still VISIBLE, but as an impediment to transportation, it’s OVER.
What the frosty fuck? Is this some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland? has everyone simply given up, and we’re now fighting over dead rats?
Are we waiting for Kevin Costner?