WASHINGTON - Allow us to be blunt for a minute—about those of us who live in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We are blunt individuals who say what we think and don’t hesitate to call people out when things get messy. And while we realize things didn’t go 100 percent right for everyone in last weekend’s big blizzard, we decided to take a different approach in looking back on it as a whole.
So instead of calling people out for what they did wrong, we’re looking at what went right—and who is responsible for it. In fact, we’re handing out high fives for what we thought worked and why. See if you agree.
1. THE ELECTRIC COMPANIES
That’s right: Pepco. BGE. Dominion Power. You can’t ignore the fact that we had very few power outages in this blizzard. Remember the Derecho storm in June 2012? Thousands lost power for days. The public backlash was so aggressive, the power companies spent the last three years trimming trees from power lines. The payoff? Outages in this storm were extremely low—especially considering how big the storm was. This time, the lights—and more importantly the heat—stayed on.
2. THE SCHOOLS
All of the major school districts in DC, Maryland and Virginia shut down on Friday, and early on, they said they’d close for both Monday AND Tuesday. Let’s face it—up until now, most districts have used zero of their built-in snow days. Instead of taking a “wait and see” approach and making a day-of 4:30 am call, the schools proactively kept parents from guessing, and kept school buses off the roads.
We’ve all raked them over the coals—rightfully so, most times. But let’s face it: whether it was the new general manager, or the desire to avoid an avalanche (no pun) of more criticism, Metro made the right call this time. Shutting down the system for two days was gutsy, and it was unpopular with some folks. But by staying closed, Metro not only insured its own trains and buses wouldn’t get stuck with passengers onboard, but it also discouraged folks from leaving their homes and venturing out into a dangerous blizzard.
4. THE POLITICIANS
Yep, let’s face it. The leaders of Virginia, Maryland and the District were on point in this blizzard. Governor Terry McAuliffe called out Virginia’s National Guard before the first flake hit the ground. Governor Larry Hogan shut down Maryland’s Interstate 270 for a 12-hour long plow-a-thon—something that’s never, ever been done before. And the Blizzard of 2016 turned soft-spoken D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser into a round-the-clock press conferencing, snow-updating, one woman fountain of information.
5. THE WEATHER FORECASTERS
Last but not least, these guys and gals deserve major props. How many times have we people had snarky things to say about weather forecasts that didn’t live up to their expectations? But this time… the forecasters were all over it. There was plenty of warning. The blizzard did what they said it would do—and that gave the rest of us plenty of time to prepare for it.
That’s just five, but there are certainly more folks out there who are high-five worthy. You might agree, or disagree- or have a better idea! Post your comments on our FOX 5 DC Facebook page and tell us who you’d like to high five!