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Snow stories: What you want to know

Washington Post readers are consuming enormous amounts of snow news, even if distributors are having a very tough time getting the print edition out to subscribers this morning. And the hundreds of you who have responded to Story Lab's Assignment Editor query asking what stories you want us to send reporters out on in this storm have some very intriguing and creative ideas.

You can read a few dozen of those on the comment board of the above-linked post, but here's a sampling of another huge pile of splendid ideas that you've been emailing us:

As she looks out on drifts of as much as three feet in her yard, Connie suggests that we report on what homeowners should be doing now: "Clearing off air conditioner units? What to do to prevent damage to trees? (Should we go out with out our big boots on and shake the branches? I’m worried we’re going to lose some of our big evergreens – their branches are so weighted down with snow, the branches are folding. Can they take the strain?) Digging out around basement doors? Thanks for the remarkable job you continue to do to cover this storm!"

Cathy wants us to focus on the plow drivers who are out there while we're warm inside: "What is it like to drive a plow truck in DC during the biggest storm of the year? How long are the shifts, how does the public react to the service, what are some of the perks/dangers? What does the driver do the other 360 days in the year?"

Donna in Gaithersburg suggests that we look at the longer-term meaning of the storm: "Please assign a reporter to explain why there is concern over global warning yet we have the biggest snow totals since forever this year. I don't get it. Perhaps it's because I'm not a science geek."

And Joel from Montgomery County asks that we visit a church near him: "Opposite the black community of Scotland on Seven Locks Road in Bethesda between Democracy and Tuckerman, there is a one-room white clapboard church with a small poor congregation. Access to their service coming up Sunday will be difficult in all respects, but the faithful will make their way as to a country church anywhere. Worth looking at?"

We have reporters fanning out across the region and they will be following up on several of your suggestions, with more to come in the next days. Keep the ideas flowing--they are very much being used to inform and guide our coverage.

By Marc Fisher  | February 6, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Assignment Editor, Build-A-Story  
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Comments

How about reporting on how we can help those in need? Do people need help digging out? Can those with 4WD/AWD help transport people in need?

Posted by: patrick25 | February 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I see the calls on tv for people with 4WD to help at hospitals. Would love to hear more about people that do this as well as how the hospitals run. How do paramedics reach people's front doors? How many women will give birth at home this weekend? Are 911 operators providing more direction than usual due to access issues?

Posted by: Marimom | February 6, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

What about roof loading with heavy snow!!
Do building Codes allow for this kind of load??

Posted by: jdsims | February 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Please urge people to take a broom and sweep the mounds of snow off the top and sides of their snow-choked heat pump. Here at the Colonial Village II in Arlington, I had to trudge through snow at least 18 inches deep to get to the two banks of units closest to my apartment. I cleared the snow off the top and sides of several heat pumps, looking for my unit number on one of the heat pumps. Finally, I found an adjacent unit number and later verified which heat pump was mine by first turning down the thermostat for about 15 minutes, removing the screen from the window above the bank of heat pumps, and noting which unit started back up when I turned up the heat. I'll finish the snow removal job later this afternoon. I noted one of the heat pumps I cleaned was giving off the smell of burned insulation, which means trouble ahead. This is not the kind of weather that you want your heat pump to fail during...

Posted by: Dr_Gene_Nelson | February 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

What are people who have lost power supposed to do with the temperature getting down to 10 degrees tonight? There has been very little coverage of this sort of stuff by the television stations.

Posted by: drvote | February 6, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"Opposite the black community of Scotland on Seven Locks Road in Bethesda between Democracy and Tuckerman, there is a one-room white clapboard church with a small poor congregation."
Nice idea for a story. But why do you say they are poor? Surely they are rich in spirit. Far too often, black is equated with poor; big fallacy that must stop--by the Post, other media and readers and viewers.

Posted by: independentwun | February 7, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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