Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bethesda snow aftermath update

Bethesda is experiencing clear skies for the first time in two days this morning, as a full moon set prior to sunrise. Winter Storm Jonas has left the area, where damage is far less than what could have been.

Wind gusts of 60-65 MPH never materialized, fortunately. Snow totals varied across Bethesda, but some spots did reach the widely-expected 30" mark, including Garrett Park, according to the National Weather Service. In contrast, the Town of Somerset in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area had only 22". Olney led the County with 31.5", and Damascus was a close second with 30".

The current temperature in downtown Bethesda is 18 degrees, but wind gusts are making that feel like only 6 degrees. Today will be clear and sunny, with a high of 29 plunging overnight to a brutal 9 degrees, in time for what will be an equally-brutal commute Monday morning.

Embarrassingly, New York City received more snow than the District, yet kept the underground portion of its subway system in-service throughout the storm, while our Metro system simply shut down for the weekend. Metrobus service was also suspended through Sunday.

Montgomery County's Department of Transportation snow operations map shows primary roads still in the process of being cleared, and no action yet on primary or secondary neighborhood streets.

Interstate 270 has reopened moments ago.

Pepco, which should be commended despite the storm's winds not reaching the speeds predicted, is currently reporting that all customers have electricity. That's certainly impressive under the circumstances, but we'll find out if it holds for the rest of the day.

Whole Foods in Bethesda (River Road) remains closed today. Westfield Montgomery Mall is expected to announce at 10:30 AM whether it will reopen this afternoon.

Stay tuned here on the blog, and 24/7 on Twitter at @BethesdaRow for updates.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's with this photo of you and the umbrella?

G. Money said...

Really, WMATA should be embarrassed about making sure that full service can resume as quickly as possible? Why do you always have to be such a smarmy asshole?

Anonymous said...

What is the status of the state roads? If they are clear, will you credit Hogan? If they are not, will you blame the MoCo Machine?

What does blue signify on the county street map?

Will you post your self-published forecast from Saturday morning, that from the NWS, and compare them to the actual snowfall received?

Will you post any pictures of the snow, or will you be content to post that stock photo of you with the umbrella?

Will you again brag about having heard thunder yesterday morning?

Anonymous said...

In all fairness to the DC Metro, the NY subway systems have been dealing with many more snow storms and blizzards by comparison. The subways are vital to NYC as well as the buses. NYC learned some hard lessons over the years in bungling snow removal and not being prepared for re-routing of subways. The DC Metro, I'm sure, has learned something with this storm!

Robert Dyer said...

6:14: Blue means primary neighborhood roads that haven't been touched yet.

It appears the snow total was reached in some parts of Bethesda, as the NWS data indicates.

"Will you again brag about having heard thunder yesterday morning?"

I might.

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money - "do you always have to" use such foul language?

Stopping service only delays restoration. The best way to keep a railroad running is to keep the track hot by running a lot of trains over it, and constantly plowing.

Years ago, Metro kept going, and buses kept running modified schedule on major roads. Now everybody just cops out and shuts down. If New York can do it, why can't we?

Robert Dyer said...

5:29: Did you ever ask Doug Kammerer that?

Anonymous said...

Dyer's claim about Metro "running continuously" during previous storms is b*llsh*t. That certainly hasn't been the case during the previous 2'+ storms. Trains cannot plow snow, only special plow cars can. The third rail in particular is a huge challenge to keep clear.

Robert Dyer said...

8:18: I'm talking about way back, in the 90s. I'm smart enough to know that subway cars don't plow snow, thank you very much.

The bigger question is, how do our County and region become more competitive if people like you are always defending mediocrity, and refusing to criticize or improve anything? Everything [isn't] awesome.

Anonymous said...

"... as a full moon set prior to sunrise."

It most certainly did not.
Sunrise: 7:21 AM
Moonset: 7:26 AM

Your Astronomy skills are a perfect match to your skills in Meteorology.

G. Money said...

Oh, you mean in 1996 when they kept the Metro running during a blizzard and there was a train accident that killed the operator? Yeah, great idea, Dyer. Let's not defend mediocrity when we can shoot for abject failure!

Anonymous said...

Dyer,
I'm sorry you have to constantly deal with these asshole trolls. Please know that many enjoy your posts and find them informative. It's amazing has cruel and unnecessary people can be when they are able to hide behind the virtual curtain. Keep up the great reporting.

- Happy Reader

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dyer. In the past, Metro always kept the underground part of the rail network open. On the other hand, the government practically declared a state of emergency and told people to stay off the roads.. so maybe Metro would have no riders anyway.

Anonymous said...

Deflecting. It's a simple question. I'll ask Doug the same question 5:29 asked too

Anonymous said...

Dyer, if you are looking to criticize Riemer, go after the sidewalk snow shovel bill he sponsored 2 years ago. According to that, residential homeowners must have their sidewalks cleared 24 hours after the end of the snowfall or face fines. For central business districts that's fine, but it's ridiculous in residential areas. No way I can have 200 feet of sidewalk (I live on a corner lot) by 9pm tonight. Give me the fine.

Anonymous said...

He's just telling it like it is. As you often do as well in your opinions about others.

Anonymous said...

So, Metro shuts down all weekend to prepare for Monday. We're expecting some service Monday!

Anonymous said...

Note to an uninformed blog writer, there is no such category as "primary neighborhood street". Streets are categorized as Arterial, Collector, and Local. In between you will find principal, major and minor levels, with the local consisting of the last level of streets, found in the neighborhood. Lets all be clear about this. MoCo will generally not get to the local level until the end of the spectrum, which may not be until Monday. This level is generally left to the responsibility of HOA's in newer neighborhoods. Older communities are at the mercy of the schedule of priority from top to bottom levels. Keep this in mind for future reference

Robert Dyer said...

10:42: That phrase is taken directly from the MCDOT snow plow map. So you must be saying MCDOT is uninformed, as it's their official term.

Basically, no one outside of urban districts will be able to go to work tomorrow, costing at least some people a day's pay.

#GovernmentThatWorks #not

Robert Dyer said...

11:04: Our elected officials can't even provide the most basic functions - functioning transportation system, balanced budgets, schools, accessible post offices, or even plowing streets after it snows!

We're paying these clowns $100,$250K a year to tell us to "stay in your homes"?

Robert Dyer said...

9:21: I expect Hans to be out there collecting fines from his constituents tonight. What's that? He's too low energy to do it? Super low energy. Even lower than Jeb Bush.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I expect the trolls will get only get testier the longer MoCo tells them to remain indoors. Troll cabin fever is a thing.
#FreeTheTrolls

Anonymous said...

10:42 AM
Robert is right on the way the County refers to streets now. Let's stick to that so we all know what we're talking about. It's right on the map.
Looks like it will be awhile before all neighborhood streets are touched by plows, according to the map.

Anonymous said...

I repeat what's with the photo of you with the umbrella?

Anonymous said...

The umbrella isn't nearly as ridiculous as the green grass in the background.

I don't understand why he can't be bothered to post a more timely photo.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, Dyer - have you lost all sense of proportion? No jurisdiction in this area is going to be able to instantly and completely dig itself out of a 24-30 inch snowfall, just 18 hours after it ended. Were you not here during the 1979, 1983, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2009 and 2010 storms? It sure seems that way.

Your insane resentment of those whom the citizens of Montgomery County elected instead of you, has rendered you completely incapable of objective, rational analysis.

Anonymous said...

I admit- I'm disappointed that Dyer's troll/non so secret admirer was so boring this weekend. I expected at least some entertainment from the snowbound troll!

"insane resentment" indeed.

Anonymous said...

That map is over 12 hours old. Do you have any plans to update it?

Robert Dyer said...

4:50: I will post updates, but this map was to illustrate the situation as it stood this morning for this article.

Robert Dyer said...

3:00: Actually, it's been 24 hours, and with no commuters on the roads to get in the way. Does it make sense to wait for weekdays rush hours to clear the roads? Again, plow and salt truck crews are working hard, but did County leaders fail to put enough equipment/contract personnel in place even with many days advance notice?

Anonymous said...

You can't plow a road before it has started to snow, you dunce.

Robert Dyer said...

5:49: You pre-treat roads before it snows. No one ever said to plow before it snows, "you dunce". You sound like a complete nutjob.

Robert Dyer said...

3:14: If the roads aren't ready for the workweek, and people either lose income or wreck their cars trying to earn one, the Council's constituents will have some justifiable "insane resentment" toward our elected officials. The Council clearly doesn't have the energy and stamina to get things done. If they can't do the job, they should retire.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:49 PM - you are implying that there was no pre-treating. How would pre-treating alone, have prevented two feet of snow from accumulating on the roadways?

Robert Dyer said...

4:21: I never said that. I was responding to your odd statement about "plowing before it snows". No, you don't plow before it snows, but you do pre-treat, which both the state and County failed to do earlier last week.

Pre-treating would definitely help, but who in the world said it would stop snow from falling?

Anonymous said...

Didn't all the major government entities say pre treating wild have been ineffective?

Robert Dyer said...

5:29: If so, why did the County claim to have pre-treated at least some roads (there wasn't evidence of pre-treating on roads I traveled on [and slid on] last Wednesday evening). Just to waste money?

Anonymous said...

Good question. Which is it? Did the county pretreat and do a good job? Or did they pretreat and it was wasteful? Or did they not pretreat because it would have been wasteful? Or did they not pretreat and should have?

Which in your opinion happened and which in your opinion should have happened?

Jason White said...

Why are these assholes plowing snow from between the sidewalk and street, every night??? It's so loud and completely pointless!! The roads are clear, the sidewalks are clear, why worry about the rest, just let it melt! Not to mention the costs of this ridiculous undertaking, and the dumbasses driving the front end loaders who completely burst all the irrigation pipes under the soil. I've lived in Chicago and I've never seen anything as stupid as this. Send the trucks to where they are actually needed.

Jason White said...

Why are these assholes plowing snow from between the sidewalk and street, every night??? It's so loud and completely pointless!! The roads are clear, the sidewalks are clear, why worry about the rest, just let it melt! Not to mention the costs of this ridiculous undertaking, and the dumbasses driving the front end loaders who completely burst all the irrigation pipes under the soil. I've lived in Chicago and I've never seen anything as stupid as this. Send the trucks to where they are actually needed.