- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2010


Long before back-to-back blizzards made the winter of 2010 historic for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, it was already a significant season for Shawn E. Rowe.

His son, Chase, was born Jan. 23.

Mr. Rowe, a dispatch supervisor for the Virginia State Police, had planned to be off work from after his son’s birth until Monday. But Mother Nature had other plans.

He ended getting called back to work last Friday night and worked through the weekend blizzard. He said he was lucky to make it home Sunday morning for a couple of days, but was back at it Tuesday when the snow came again. Mr. Rowe hopes he’ll get to go home again Thursday morning and maybe then he’ll be able to take some time off to spend with his family.

“It’s the nature of the job,” he said. “When things happen you just have to do what you have to do to get the job done.”

Mr. Rowe’s story is just one of the many snapshots of those for whom taking a snow day or working from home simply isn’t an option.

But their jobs may still not be over, as forecasters warned of a third wave of snow that could hit the Northeast on Monday.

On Thursday, D.C.-area schools and the federal government remained closed. The snow had stopped falling nearly 12 hours earlier, and temperatures near 32 degrees helped with melting and street clearing. But winds blowing snow on already shoveled sidewalks remained a problem.

The region’s three major airports — Washington Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall and Ronald Reagan Washington National — have reopened but flights are delayed.

Amtrak has limited service in Washington, especially along the Northeast Corridor where downed trees have contributed to delays. And limited subway and bus service have slowed local commuters.

The storm has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths, mostly in traffic accidents.

Crews in Maryland worked to rescue motorists stranded on highways in snow drifts up to 8 feet and utility workers scrambled to restore power to more than 100,000 customers.

Paul Kocin, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the storm compares to some of the greatest ever largely because of its timing. He estimated 50 million people were affected.

As a result of Wednesday’s snowfall, the three airports set records for snowfall in a winter season: National reached 54.9 inches, Dulles reached 67 1/2 inches and Baltimore-Washington International reached 65.6 inches.

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