Here in the DC area we have not had an appreciable snowfall in two years. That is until—voila!—this week. Two to five inches of the white stuff fell, schools were closed, and with the temperatures bouncing up and down around freezing, some treacherous icy spots added to the excitement.
Of course, our mini-snowstorm compares poorly to the famous Knickerbocker Storm of January 27 and 28, 1922. A slow churning extratropical cyclone blizzard that crept up the eastern seaboard, it dropped 28-plus inches of snow on DC (36 inches were recorded in Rock Creek Park) in just two days. The storm served up 16-foot snow drifts and caused the flat roof of the largest theater in DC at the time (the 1,700-seat Knickerbocker Theater in Adams Morgan) to collapse. Army Major George Patton, later of World War II fame, was called in to lead the rescue effort.
Only the great Washington-Jefferson Storm of January 1772 is cited as having dropped more snow in a shorter amount of time on DC. The Washington-Jefferson Storm caused the adjournment of Congress and was so named because both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson recorded a “great storm of 3 feet of snow” in their respective diaries. Official weather records were not kept until after the Civil War.
The Home’s Executive Director, Erin Marovelli, hailing originally from Minnesota—affectionately known as the ice-box state in winter—was our main shoveler and de-icer of the Home’s steps and walkways. She was quoted as saying—on the second shoveling go ’round—”In Minnesota, they teach you, shovel early and often to prevent a heart attack, use bite-sized loads of snow, and if a neighbor offers to help, by all means, let him and give him some hot chocolate for his efforts. Our Guests prepared themselves well before the storm. Most have been huddling inside until the uneven bricks and cobblestones of Georgetown—notorious tripping hazards in the best of weather—are cleared up.
We hope you all survived our snow-dusting with aplomb and fellowship. In any case, temperatures should reach the fifties mid-week, so relief is on the way. We are not-so-secretly wishing for more beautiful snow to lace our backyard trees this winter, but for the sake of our Guests, we decidedly do not wish for more ice, no matter how pretty it can be.