We just had our first snowstorm of the season in Northern Virginia. As far as storms go, it was great! It began late on a Saturday evening and continued until Sunday evening. All told, most areas got 8-12 inches. School was closed on Monday and delayed 2 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is still lingering on the grassy areas, but most roads are clear at this point.
Seeing how things were the next day (and the next), there are obviously some reminders that could benefit us all.
1. Clean off the roof of your car...please! Even today (Wednesday), I saw SUVs, and even mail trucks, with large amounts of snow on the roof. As the temperature goes up, these large snow blocks are going to come loose and blow onto the cars behind them, temporarily blocking the drivers view. It is a simple thing to do. Take your broom and push off the snow. Imagine how badly you would feel if snow blows off your car, hits the car behind you and they have an accident!
2. Clear the area in front of your mailbox. According to the United States Postal Service, postal carriers will not deliver mail if access to the curbside residential mailboxes has been impeded by the snow accumulations.
3. Shovel--even if it isn't your property! I went to the Fairfax County site and this is what they suggest for county residents to clear:
- The sidewalk in front of your home
- Sidewalks in front of vacant homes or homes where residents are unable to shovel
- Fire hydrants
- Bus stops (there are more than 4,000 in the county!)
- Sidewalks/paths that lead to schools or community buildings
- Bike trails
- Storm drains
- Parking identified as accessible spaces for people with disabilities
I took the dog for a walk today and there were definitely incosistencies in the way that sidewalks have been cleared. I had to go into the street to walk safely in front of a number of homes. The busstop was cleared, luckily, but the path for many students to get there was not.
As the snow begins to melt it will be important that the runoff can get to the storm drains, so that will be very important, too.
It is fun when we get a snow storm, but we all need to keep in mind our neighbors and the other drivers on the road. If you are able, take just a couple of minutes and shovel the sidewalk in front of your home, clear the snow off your car and think about what you can do to help our in your neighborhood. Enjoy the snow!