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You Be The Editor: Assign Snowpocalypse stories

There are two kinds of reporters: Those who love a great weather story and those who should have gone into accounting.

We're having a ball dispatching reporters all over the place to capture the frenzy of buying at local markets, the preparations by government officials to deal with the coming mountains of snow, and the struggle of transportation authorities to find ways to move people around starting Friday afternoon.

But what stories do you want or need to read in the coming days as 20 or more inches of snow fall and the region attempts to dig out? If you had reporters to assign to produce the stories you'd find most useful, enlightening or entertaining, where would you send them Friday and on through the snow-Super Bowl weekend?

Send your ideas to Story Lab and we'll share them with our assignment editors and we'll put the best idea into play....Email your assignments to or put them on the comments board right here....And have fun out there....

By Marc Fisher  | February 4, 2010; 4:13 PM ET
Categories:  Assignment Editor, Build-A-Story  
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Please send Hank Stuever out to do something. Anything. No matter what he comes up with, it will be worth reading.

Posted by: laura33 | February 4, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

love to see photos of all the empty shelves!

Posted by: jeffreymays | February 4, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Write about how a blanket of snow softens the harsh sounds of a metropolitan city, find the places of silence - the capitol grounds, the national cathedral gardens, Mount Vernon (what would this storm have been like in 1799). Why does a snow storm seems to give us permission to sit and read for hours without feeling guilty. What will people read? I plan to finish The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and then tackle The Fourth Part of the World, Tony Lester's majesterial account of the historic Waldseemuller map at the Library of Congress. And then take a nap! No church? time for coffee and reading the papers from cover to cover, catching up on long magazine articles set aside "for when I have time". And, of course, another nap.

Posted by: choralsociety | February 4, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Who exactly are those poor "emergency employees" who need to work in storms like this?

Posted by: mariljeff | February 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I like Marlijeff's suggestion. During the December storm, the OPM message was a snippy "all federal employees are expected to work." Since it was a Saturday, presumably most of those were emergency types. I felt sorry for them after reading that caption on tv news.

By the way, is there ever any institutional memory about weather that lasts from President to President and OPM director to OPM director?

Posted by: Elkay1 | February 4, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Good suggestions here, especially re having Hank write something. Also a nice contrast in the idea that a storm gives most of us an opportunity to curl up with a book while others are called to duty.

I was briefly hospitalized recently, and one of the nurses mentioned having slept in the building the December storm. Not exactly the same as being an emergency worker, but very much a worker affected by the emergency.

Posted by: ndgirl | February 5, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Something about Capitol Hill staffers might be interesting. Given the workaholism there, you might find examples of people sticking around to work on things that don't sound very interesting to most people, but warm the hearts of policy wonks. Might also be a good contrast between members of Congress who were reported to be scrambling to get away last night and staffers who are on the job today. Even better if you could find some in the office tomorrow.

Posted by: ndgirl | February 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes to mariljeff's suggestion -- and for the plow drivers, too. How hard is it to get down your hilly cul-du-sac with an 8' plow blade?

Posted by: OtherSideoftheRiver | February 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a story/photos about the few who escape the madness and panic to enjoy snow in the parks/woods on XC skis, and of course the many kids sledding on real sleds or whatever they find that slides.

Posted by: phlippel | February 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a story about essential employees that we don't always think about such as zoo workers or animal shelter employees. It's not like you can telecommute to those jobs.

Posted by: DobeDad | February 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Write about the folks who either have to, or want to work tomorrow (Sat)and what motivates them to do so: restaurants; grocery stores; gas stations; etc. that stay open?
Along the same lines: what's gonna be open tomorrow in my area? If I trudge through the snow, will I be rewarded by an Irish Coffee or a cheeseburger? If so, from where?

Posted by: dschalton | February 5, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

On the web-site: publish real-time road conditions tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. Where is it safe to drive? Where is it passable? What's sealed off from the main roads? When are areas scheduled to be plowed? Detailed accounts of airport delays, etc.

Posted by: dschalton | February 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Send him to my house, to see how a Washingtonian survives just fine without buying a 36-pack of toilet paper and enough food for an army. I sent you an email about how insane people get. Not that I'm any sane, but nobody knows that yet. Enjoy dispaching reporters!

Posted by: ileschinder | February 5, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

send a reporter to Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs, Wisp, and Snowshoe and report on the conditions.

Posted by: rtkx7hwed | February 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

How nursing homes, group homes, rehab facility, hospital staffs are managing. Lots of those nurses' aides, kitchen staff , etc rely on Metro. How do they keep providing essential services?

How are homeless folks especially those who live outside managing? What kind of extra outreach is being directed their way?

Posted by: babloom | February 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Robin Givhan on blizzard attire. She could focus just on hats, footwear or handwear. Jackets aren't so interesting. It's what's on the appendages that provides character and color. Let Robin loose!

Posted by: interactingdc | February 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

How about a story about those guys who go door to door looking for a job shoveling snow? How much do they make in a day? What time do they start? Or is the snow too deep for even them to get around? What are people willing to pay?

Posted by: dottie_b | February 5, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

To second babloom: how are medical emergency service providers managing? Send a reporter with a fire department or EMS squad on Saturday. How do they get to victims, and then get their victims to aid?

Posted by: cjohnson1 | February 5, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

To follow up on the fashion story - where are people buying the last minute gloves, snow pants, boots, etc. I went to Target to buy boots and snow pants and found--bikinis? DSW devoid of useful boots (plenty of knit boots - nothing useful for over 1" of snow). Couldn't find ski pants at REI - had to buy rain pants.

Posted by: readerl | February 5, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

This is kind of a different angle, but I wonder what these back to back storms have done for churches and businesses. I got an email that my church has cancelled services again on Sunday. I am sure collections are down overall this winter because even when services are not cancelled attendance has been down. Also, what about people like nail parlors, beauty salons and barbershops, not to mention restaurants that rely on weekend business for tips and business overall. They must have take a hit this winter with so many of us snowed in and unable to make appointments or dine out. I am sure there are other examples.

Posted by: KCRoz | February 5, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh and by the way who coined the phrase "Snowpocalypse?" That's been making the rounds online for the past days.

Posted by: KCRoz | February 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I know he's not a reporter, but it would be fascinating to read Colbert King reporting on how people are coping in some of D.C.'s neighborhoods.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 5, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Find the person who thinks anything is open. There must be one. Otherwise why are all the TV stations compressing the screen to tell us Capitol College, et. al, are closed? Also, ask channel 9 whether they intend to run such information during the Super Bowl and ruin the viewing experience. They routinely do it during lesser sports events.

Posted by: civiccenter | February 5, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Here are a few ideas:

-- Dramatic rendition of the development of this storm that reads like The Perfect Storm (i.e. why is this SNOWMAGGEDON)

-- I like the suggestion of EMS situations - how do ambulances get to those in need?

-- Blizzard Babies always makes a good story

-- Or... blizzard babies 9 months from now?

Posted by: hikermom | February 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Let me have a 2'nd bite at my 7:07 PM comment. It would be fascinating to read Colbert King's reminiscences of past snowstorms. His account of his working father cutting the grass in his yard with hand-held shears because he couldn't afford even a push-mower is one of the most interesting and moving details I've ever read in a WaPo column.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 5, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

It has been mentioned that there will be some Blizzard Babies down the road. How about some name suggestions for these babies.

Posted by: leerchr | February 5, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Write a story about the Bon Appetite employees who have to stay in a hotel overnight (Holiday Inn georgetown) so they can make sure American Universtiy student dining hall is open during the snow storm. They are there right now.

Posted by: psinha4569 | February 5, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Why not cover Washingtonians in exile (like myself) who are having snow envy? The repetitious log-ins to and other news stations, the sense of nostalgia for those occasional storms which finally force an ever-busy city to rest. The sense of longing for that quiet in DC, somehow amplified because it's DC.

Posted by: MakingSense2 | February 5, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Do a story about women in our area whose due date for their babies is Sunday and how they are coping.

Posted by: elizestrada | February 5, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Electrical outages. The power lines here in University Park are sagging under the wet snow. Tree branches are heavy too. The wet snow on them will freeze tonight, and the wind will break the weighted branches and they'll fall on power lines.

I've already heard a transformer blow and our lights have flickered a few times. I'm very worried that when thousands of homes lose power, it will be impossible to get repair crews and their trucks to the damage and repair it during the blizzard, and the crews will be overwhelmed afterward.

Before Hurricane Isabel, repair crews came to our area from around the country, and we were still without power for four days. That wasn't so bad in summertime, but no power for days in winter will be dangerous.

Posted by: pundito | February 5, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

what's up at the national zoo?

Posted by: abmcc | February 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

There's going to be a huge snowball fight at Dupont Circle tmo. Learned via Facebook.

Posted by: freen | February 5, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

some great ideas here!

How about: what happened to the surpluses in city/county/state budgets when snow removal wasn't that expensive in a warm winter - was it redirected so nothing left for a "rainy" day?

Find some stranded smug people from buffalo or wherever and make them try to walk/drive on the slush/ice/snow mess we get here. Then ask them what happens to all the snow that gets plowed over and over all winter never melting? do they have like 10 foot walls on each side of the road?

find any groups using listservs or whatever to use up youthful energy helping elderly folks shovel out.

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 5, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

How about honking big trucks and SUVs that people drive in the snow and the people who love them?

Posted by: Zeromeo | February 5, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

You guys should send Brady Dennis out to do man on the street business interviews!

Posted by: phruphru | February 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Love the suggestions to cover essential personnel - hospitals, police, utility workers repairing downed powerlines...

Isn't there a Super Bowl this Sunday? Are the bars going to be less crowded than normal? Or packed with people ecstatic to be out of their house? It could make for an interesting setting.

Posted by: NickNaigm | February 5, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I know there's no shortage of good DC-based stories, but I'd second a vote for wistful Washingtonians in exile. I was born and raised in DC, but have lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for the last 15 years. We're on track for our second-lowest snowfall season on record and are insanely jealous of DC right now. DC got more snow in the December Snowpocalypse event than we've had cumulatively all winter. I'm walking on trails I should be skiing on, and my snowshoes are probably doomed to spend the season as little more than wall decor.

Posted by: kerynnfisher | February 5, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the pundito. I lost power at 7:00 p.m. in Montgomery Village. Fortunately for my 14 month old, it returned a little after 10. TG is more accurate. This storm is challenging enough for those who are trapped inside. I can't even imagine it without electricity or heat. You have to feel for the PEPCO crews who are stuck outside in this trying to restore power.

At least we know where the flashlights are, now.

Posted by: ms7136a | February 5, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Please don't do the following: pictures of front end loaders loading trucks in the salt domes, stories/photos about empty supermarket shelves; sledding children glad to be out of school...rulers in the snow...blah
Instead, how about a story on pets or vets and how to keep them safe and comfortable in blizzards, or a story about backyard wildlife (birds and squirrels) and some things we can do to help them stay alive (food and water above the snow). Or 101 ways to keep cabin fever at bay! I like the zoo idea are the remaining pandas enjoying the snow?

Posted by: lizzard2 | February 5, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

How did people get home from the Caps game? Anyone trying to get to above ground stations like Shady Grove? And if they got that far, was there a snow plow in sight? Why'd they go out in the storm in the first place?

Posted by: jburnetti | February 5, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

i want to know how worried i should be about my roof.

i have a rowhouse in dc with a flat roof. i just got done shoveling, and it seemed really heavy.

if we get two feet of heavy snow, what will that mean for roofs?

Posted by: newsbriefings | February 5, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps there are some baptists who have gone out to "kidnap" the homeless and put them up somewhere?

Posted by: SnottyNozeBratt1 | February 5, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to know how this storm comports with a) the general predictions of the effects of global warming on the region
b) what climate scientists predict in terms of winter storm intensity and frequency
c) what DC/Virginia/feds are doing to prepare for the expected changes.

E.g. I noticed that Obama's budget reserves money for "emergencies". How much money is being spent on climate disasters through emergency mechanisms? Should there instead be a increasing budget for climate disasters? Is this another looming ballooning budget item like health care that needs to be addressed ASAP?

Admittedly, this is a lot for one article...

Posted by: ABHFGTY | February 5, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking a lot about the homeless, and how they are faring in this storm.

Posted by: uuu123 | February 6, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

How about an article that inquires how the rest of the country is feeling about their federal government virtually shut down.
Does this make Americans feel less safe, concerned, happy, sad, or just wish the government would remain shut until spring. It could be a semi-humerous piece.

Posted by: MM55 | February 6, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

So much of coverage is centered on DC and immediate surroundings - what about us folks out here in Fauquier county - where a lot of roads are gravel - the kids have already been out of school all last week - MANY people aren't going to be getting out of their places off the 'main' gravel roads for a while. What about the importance of 'country stores' - like here in The Plains, in Orlean etc when there's no chance of you getting anywhere further - but you might be able to hike to the country store if you need something when snowed in.

Oops power about to go out!

Posted by: Savekidsresale | February 6, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of country stores. And you know many pass by on their way to WalMart, but it's a strange relationship... The country store is generally overpriced, but they ARE there...

How about a piece on all the "Unsung Heroes" of these storms?

Everybody wants to talk about Police, EMS workers, Snow plow drivers... How does the guy at 7-11 always make it? Or the Safeway or Giant employees? I had a 6am shift at Giant during the 95 storm and had to leave my house on foot at 3 am to make it. No buses, still snowing.

I had to be a dang fool to do that for $6.90 an hour to afford a roach infested apartment, but you can bet your minimum wage hike the store was full of yuppies all day.

No gratitude. CVS will be open, Restaurants... businesses which keep their employees "on the bubble" between homeless and sheltered seem to have the best attendance on snow days.

And many of those employees dont have cars and cannot rely on Metro. Like I said, I walked for 3 hours each way... brought a change of shoes with me for when I got to work.

If you really really look around, you'll see many people working. It's only the Gov and those who follow the Gov that get to sit at home and "sip Hot Cocoa."

Posted by: Thinker_ | February 6, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

After the storm stories addressing:
1. telecommuting as an option for employees in case of emergencies
[in the face of a storm of historic propostion the federal Government advised its employees to stay home, but required the use of leave -- except in the case of some agencies that offered the option of telecommuting);
2. structural integrity of roofs (including the flat roofs of the large apartment buildings in DC)[a continuing issue after the Knickerbocker storm];
3. how to prevent/handle leaks from the melting snow/ice;
4. how to plan for an emergency evacuation in case of an unannounced event, recognizing that Metro shuts down or may not be an option;
5. how/what to have in place (non perishable items) for emergecy preparedness that will prevent a rush to store;
6. the shortcomings of digital television transmission in emergencies -- the absence of small battery portable tvs, the loss of reliable over the air signal because of interference.

Posted by: Truth27 | February 6, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Dear Marc Fisher, Namaste (Indian greetings)
What would I like to read in the Washington Post on a morning when it is snowing heavily all over.
Firstly, I would like to see a photo on the front page that cheers me up when I have gone without a cup of tea. The cheering photo may be of a human being or an animal. It may be a contrast between a beauty and a beast. Never mind if it was published two decades ago. Afterall, human history repeats itself. So do stories and photos.
Do show a good photo of a family or some kids surrounded by heavy snow and no way to get out.
A good description of life as it ambles in Washington DC will make a good reading . Everyone wishes to know about the neighbourhood and what is cooking there.
Please make sure that the story that you publish must be a TRUE one and not a cock and bull story.
If you likle my suggestions, please tell me. I shall send some more. May be I email a write up of my experience on the India-China border immobilised by a heavy snowfall and no where to go. One likes to read about the distant land and people too when circumstances are similar.
Bye now.
Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Posted by: vedicupvan | February 6, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

How about interviewing President Obama and ask him why, in just over 1 year in office, he felt it necessary to usher in 2 major snowstorms? What a waste of tax dollars for snow removal! Or is this just one of his ways of increasing employment? Are these snow removal jobs going to U.S. citizens or to illegal immigrants? Well, we sure got our "change".

Posted by: nikosd99 | February 6, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

How to stay warm when your heat is out.

Some helpful tips or suggestions from some pro on how to keep your house temperate even if you have lost power and have no heat. What tricks can you use (bathtub, gas stove, etc) to keep things livable (and when should you book a hotel room).

And push the power companies for estimates of how long it will be out.

Posted by: idiparker | February 6, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Theories of snow shoveling. Should I shovel now and then again when the snow stops? Wait until the snow stops and try to take on the whole white mess at once?

Posted by: abmcc | February 6, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Switch this comment system to the system used on other articles where you can check the "recommend" box. I see a lot of articles here I like.

Posted by: readerl | February 6, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

See if you can get Brigid Shulte to leave DelRay. You can document her travel to an entirely different suburb, once that has interesting people who are not her neighbors.

Posted by: rhinsker | February 6, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

interview the drivers of tractor trailers who are on the roads causing accidents. why are they out there? these vehicles are not safer than cars in this weather. they have no chance to brake. and one killed two people yesterday. is there such a pressure from companies that people are risking their lives and others to move cr*p to W*lm*rt or what?

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 6, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The headline is incorrect. "Snowpocalypse" is sooo last year. This weekend's event is "Snowmageddon." Get on the (snow) ball!

Posted by: foofoofoo | February 6, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Please flip the sort order so that the most recent comments are on top like most comments to the Post online.

Posted by: foofoofoo | February 6, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What is happening to people who get stranded?

We picked up a guy on Greenbelt Road last night who wanted a ride to Glen Burnie. We took him as far as the 24-hour CVS by the BW Parkway so he could get warm. Road conditions were too treacherous to attempt to take him part of the way.

Posted by: | February 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send Michael Williamson out for some of his amazing photos!

Posted by: nomorewholefoods | February 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I second the idea for an article about how fans got home after the hockey game last night. Are they still there?

Posted by: dottie_b | February 6, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The accumulated weight of this snow can cause structural challenges to your home and increases the chance of lower level flooding. Remind people to take steps to limit the damage this can cause. Some solid tips at

Posted by: bnmkaren1 | February 6, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

What does this mass cancellation mean for schools? What is the realistic answer to whether or not schools will have to make up the days or not. What's the law in Virginia? Why should teachers/kids be forced to make it up in Fairfax County when teachers are expected to continue teaching and giving assignments to kids via Blackboard? Will the governor grant waivers considering the State of Emergency AND the budget? What are the other effects on schools besides missed days? Sports? The ACT was canceled on Saturday? Schools planning theater shows? Kids working on the yearbook or newspaper?

Posted by: chad7 | February 6, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm staying in a hotel, and I spoke to a man who is only here for 2 days, has a rental car and is flying out tonight. He cant remember where he parked, and its funny to see him brush off every license plate in the lot to find the car. Must be a dumbass of so many proportions

Posted by: anaislynne | February 6, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Im interested in some history of weather forecasting. In 1922, did the city know the Knickerbocker storm was coming? Im guessing they had weather balloons, and use of the telephone, they would be able to communicate from around the country impending storms. But, when was radar available? satellites couldnt have been available until the 1960s. Computer forecasting probably not until the 80s. How about in 1850? how could you have prepared for this, or you were just always prepared for something like this. We had a week to get ready for this. Though, back in 1850 or even 1900 and 1950, without 24/7 grocery and retail, people were more self-reliant.

Posted by: apeirond | February 6, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a story and accompanying photos of the National Cathedral grounds crew who practically live there (especially Director Joe Luebke) until all snow is removed from walks and roads. They do an amazing job.

Posted by: anonempl | February 6, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This is a storm of "epic" proportions, yet only Metro seems to be treating it like it is -- deciding ahead of time to shut down before conditions reached their emergency proportions. Why can't the rest of us see this as highly unusual and not operate as if it's just a slightly more than usual amount of snowfall. I mean, in Germantown, I see people digging out their cars. They don't need to be going anywhere! And if they are getting a jump on Monday, then they'll only lose their dug-out parking space to someone who couldn't even get home Friday night.

We're too into the routine to know when to get out of the routine.

Is this truly Prozac nation?

Posted by: Xlnt | February 6, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

how about something on how officials do (or should) triage. WHy clear interstates when no one should be on them and it's more important to clear roads between homes/businesses and emergency services. i'm much more interested in whether the fire truck and ambulance can get here than whether the trucks can get around on the interstate.

why aren't tickets being issued to people violating the snow emergency rules?

why aren't there more militaristic "curfew" declarations - i read something about all the people being rescued overnight. they should have been rescued and taken to jail!

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 6, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

A photo of the Old Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers..

Posted by: eburbage33 | February 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

someone get in touch with Gene Weingarten for some snappy snow sarcasm.

What? Gene's at the organized snowball fight? I hope he read the liability disclaimer!

Posted by: dswhite | February 6, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

baby delivery stories. I've been wondering how/if moms and dads get to the hospital to deliver new babies

Posted by: holleyknaus1 | February 6, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How about a story on the volunteer 4-wheel drivers that help out local hospitals?

Or a story on how local condominium communities will be faced with massive snow removal costs of tens of thousands of dollars?

Or a story on people who were planning a big event today, such as a wedding, but had to cancel or "make do."


Posted by: Moosehead2 | February 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

How is that 'Global Warming' thing working....?....

Posted by: UpAndOver | February 6, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I second the request for advice to homeowners. For example, we have power for now but have a snow-laden tree branch hovering menacingly over a tree line. But what to do? Shake the branch? Even if we could reach it (we can't) cutting off the branch at the moment seems incredibly risky.... Is prayer the only answer?

Posted by: iglooowner | February 6, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Robin Givhan: On what people are wearing as they dig out.

Gene Weingarten: Dog poop in snow, in graphic detail.

Posted by: RobertWeinstock | February 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Profiles on young snow-clearing entrepreneurs would be nice.

Oh, how about an update on the POTUS's opinion of all us DC weather wusses?

Posted by: outtacontext | February 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I want to read frequent updates on how the various jurisdictions are doing with the snow clearing.

Posted by: dottie_b | February 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Ocean City in the snow, and especially the snow on the sand.
I'm viewing the cam, but it isn't very clear.
And I do like the suggestion of writing about emergency workers and flat roofs.

Posted by: lu1wml | February 6, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I would really like a good look at how "Liberal Leave" affects the region. Often, even with really dicey conditions the government announces Liberal Leave. How does this pinch some Fed workers? How does it affect the employees of the many businesses who "follow the Federal government leave schedule" but whose employees have nowhere near the leave allowances of federal workers. Are there agencies where LL means virtual shutdown and others where it means pretty much everyone works? And businesses too? And how does it affect the many DC workers from the exurbs?

I'm also curious about the phenomenon of DC Public Schools (almost) never closing. Why? How? How do teachers manage it?

Posted by: ArlingtonSnowGal | February 6, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Another hot topic is the controversial snow total numbers that DCA consistently provides. Over on Capital Weather Gang it is a big question with few answers. Why are the numbers low? Who does the measurement? How? Why is DCA the official weather spot for DC? What other DC weather totals might be considered official? Can it be changed?

Posted by: ArlingtonSnowGal | February 7, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Oops, one the storm approached hashtag pandemonium broke out. #Snowmageddon was a favorite, but there were many others including #snOMG #snowpocalypse #snowgasm #dcsnow... Which ended up most popular, where did it originate? How can leading hashtags be chosen in the future? Who notably used the hashtags? (I heard CNN and President Obama were partial to Snowpocalypse.)

Posted by: ArlingtonSnowGal | February 7, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

With two roof collapses at Manassas Airport and the Prince William Ice Forum, what is the maximum load of snow on roofs, and should homeowners be getting the 30" of snow off their roofs before the next snow comes on Tuesday?

Posted by: CindyB1 | February 7, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

The Osbourn High School Future Business Leaders of America (Manassas, VA) are shoveling snow in neigbhorhoods for money donations to their club:

Dear Local Neighbors:

Can you believe we are still digging and shoveling this winter --- well no more! Let past and present Osbourn Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members clear your snow! Please respond if you are interested in being cleared out:
Single Family: (1) drive way cleared for, $32, (2) vehicles brushed off, $9 for 2, (3) sidewalk cleared, $21.
Townhome: (1) Steps Cleared, $17, (2) vehicles brushed off and dug out $23, (3) Sidewalk cleared $12.

Shoveling snow is a tedious task for homeowners and an exceptional entrepreneurial opportunity for students. Our future workforce is part of an innovative generation and this task will couple networking through technology to perform laborious efforts. For you, it will eliminate the activity of shoveling, which provides more time to rest, complete indoor initiatives, or just sit back and relax while watching the snowfall!

If you are interested --- appointment scheduling will revolve around your preference and begin after the last of the snowfall this evening. For phone scheduling, please call 202-658-9027 (cell) or 703-392-6165 (home).

We appreciate your interest in advance and hope you decide to enjoy the snow-in comfortably!

Posted by: CindyB1 | February 7, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

The Osbourn High School Future Business Leaders of America (Manassas, VA) are shoveling snow in neigbhorhoods for money donations to their club.

Posted by: CindyB1 | February 7, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

How about a story about how dialysis patients must get out of their houses to continue with their dialysis treatments. My father is on dialysis, lives in College Park and needs to get his treatment Monday morning at a center down in Hyattasville. He has a car, but does not own a 4wd vehicle. My mom and I are not sure what to do. We both live in Laurel and neither of us own a 4wd drive vehicle either. He is 57, so not exactly elderly, but still he needs dialysis to rid his body of poisons and stay alive. What do folks like that and others with medical emergencies do when their streets are blocked with snow and/or trees and they lack appropriate vehicles?

Posted by: tynitra | February 7, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

still harping on this theme of individual liberty to be stupid and selfish versus collective needs and what that does to govt. More socialist forms of govt seem to be better at disaster response because of stronger control and population's acceptance of joint activities.

Noticing plows at mall parking lots when no one should be trying to get out there....why is local govt not willing or able to order shutdown of businesses that don't need to be open (no one needs anything from bloomingdales this weekend!) and redirect the private snow operations personnel to emergency assistance.

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 7, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

It's not profound, I just want to know why the school systems are taking so long to announce that schools will be closed. Parents need to make plans. For all the times we've wimped out and closed school unnecessarily in the past, this is one time we should be closing.

Posted by: MarylandMama | February 7, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Could you remind people to shovel out the fire hydrants near the home?

Also, could you just remind people to start shoveling their sidewalks? The snow isn't going away anytime soon and we all need to be able to get about.

Posted by: MarylandMama | February 7, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed some people shoveling out their cars but not their sidewalks. It's impossible to drive right now. What is it about our suburban culture that has become so car-oriented that we don't even think of shoveling so that people can walk?

Posted by: MarylandMama | February 7, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

interaction between official organizations:
I've read more about Metro concern about Caps fans than about Metro trying to clear out tracks to get people to DCA for flights or across river. the above-ground-only routes are really really limiting. How does the airport authority, the city, the county, the state, the metro interact? Is anyone calling the shots?

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 7, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Most of the cab drivers in my area are African immigrants. We often talk about the snow. Some are no doubt long-time drivers who are as experienced or more than anyone else. Others may be new to the whole thing. How did they learn about driving in snow? Are they worried? Is there pressure from cab companies (or as in MoCo's Barwood monopoly, pressure to make money to pay the high fees to the company) to be out even if cars are not 4WD or don't have snow tires or drivers are not experienced?

Posted by: ACNonPro | February 7, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I want to know more about how WMATA publicized closing below-ground metro over three hours early, and what their reasoning for doing so. The WMATA website, when I got home from walking from Capitol Hill to Mount Pleasant, said they released a memo on February 5th. They've since changed it to say that they released the memo on February 6th at 4:45. This must have put many lives in danger. Soon after Metro closed, cabs were driving around populated areas at highly unsafe speeds offering people meterless rides. If WMATA had continued to run the metro, these cab drivers would probably not have been driving in icy conditions.

Piece could also tie-in the local news. We watched over 15 minutes of coverage at 7:00 pm and the Metro early closings were not mentioned, in favor of interviewing more kooky people with trash bags on their feet. Can we count on our local news to provide imporant infomation, or can we only count on them to provide urgent videos of people sledding?

Posted by: stsavage | February 7, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know how people in, say Wisconsin and Buffalo, cope with huge snowfalls and carry on. What makes us so different? (I lived in LA where a rainstorm is considered an emergency, and I never did get it.)

Posted by: newmarket26 | February 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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