End of Days -- Civilization Collapse due to Snow

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?

You forgot the fact that schools have been closed all week, and that the government was closed Monday and Tuesday, with three hour delays yesterday and today. It’s INSANE.

Oh, and Metro rail service didn’t get fully back up and running until yesterday.

Us not-so-smart folk here in California enjoyed a 70+ degree day with lots of warm sunshine. In fact, I almost put the roof down on my way to the market this morning wearing my flip flops, t-shirt and shorts.

Sailboat, please tell me your a contractor for the military working on building a large snowball cannon to shoot the most deserving sub-humans. :mad:
Our HOA hired a new plowing contractor this year. They showed up for a bit on Sat morning & made a single lane pass down some of the streets. They had a front end loader here, but the operator was using it like a plow & didn’t get the concept that he could use the bucket to lift the snow up & move it out of the road. It was then left (illegally) parked for the most intense 9 hours of the storm. Ummm, dude, you’ve got a front end loader, you can either plow or pickup the snow & make yourself a parking space that isn’t 5’ from the corner, especially when cars are fishtailing their way into the development.
By the time they came back on Sunday, the 2’+ of snow was too much for their pickups so they couldn’t plow some of the streets at all. One of the two pickups had a full bed salt spreader that was obviously filled with salt judging by how high the kid sitting on the pile was. Apparently this is sacred salt because they never bothered to use any of it despite it being forecast to go back below freezing Sun night. They never showed up at all on Monday. The replacement was 4 tweens with shovels doing ¾ of a mile sidewalk with shovels starting after 6pm Tues evening. Then last night they had a bobcat running around at 10pm. Ummm, the ideal time to clean the street is when all the residents cars are parked there, not during the day when most people are at work. :smack:

I can’t wait for the annual meeting in a few weeks. Those imbeciles on the board are gonna get lynched!

You know people are going to throw that back at you when the next big quake hits, right?

Hopefully it’ll be in Northern California, where it’ll cause 100 million dollars worth of improvements.

(Seriously though, I hope you’re all safe and warm)

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Hey, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad!

So sorry you had to wait a few extra days to get your Netflix DVD of Princess Bride shipped. Sounds like a nightmare.

I suggest you find all the people who wished for “snow and cold weather” and those who think “Winter is Awesome!” and hit them right in the face with a snowball!

I’m assuming all the “non-essential” government workers were out again, as usual…:rolleyes:

I realize it’s the Pit, where people earn their street cred through snarkiness. But you’re smart enough to find the italics function, so you understand that what I’m complaining about here isn’t the content of my mailbox. It’s the Katrina-like abdication by the people who claim they are reliable…especially contrasted with the fact that ordinary people are able to function under these same conditions.

No, I’ve been back at work since Wednesday. And anyone who was telework able had to telework or take leave.

Allow me to gloat: everyone knows that DC is the region’s whipping boy. Oh, the incompetence! Oh, the laziness! Oh, the shiftless civil servants, drawing a paycheck and doing nothing in return!

We had our shit together by Tuesday night. It’s all you suburbs who are fucked up now, ha-ha.

DC schools were back in on Wednesday. Not some nine hour delay, either. The roads don’t look like its the afternoon of the first day of spring, but things are working. In fact, I made it to work on Wednesday morning in near-record time.

This reminds me of when blowhard Chris Matthews, Bethesda resident, criticized the DC mayor because Matthews couldn’t get his Jag out of the circular driveway leading to his 5,000 square foot crash pad. You live 10 miles from DC, bub. We got our shit together, and we don’t owe you shit.

28 inches? Back to normal in 24-36 hours tops, here in the Twin Cities metro area (MN). But then we have a massive investment in snow removal equipment that other regions possibly don’t.

But it will be a warm disaster! :smiley:

You are probably not the company’s only customer. Due to whatever vagaries of scheduling, some other development got their street plowed during the day - they worked overtime to have someone in your area when they did.

Well…excepting present company, of course!

Either that or some drunk was joyriding in a bobcat.

True. Of course DC had less snow than we did. Or maybe not. Who knows, actually? Turns out DC wasn’t able to manage an official measurement.


I’ll point out that National Airport is in Virginia.

You suburbanites can’t do anything right.