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A blizzard of hits for tongue-in-cheek D.C. snow Web site

By Marc Fisher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 4, 2010; 6:10 PM

Where Andrew Church grew up, not all that far up I-95 from here, snow was a form of weather. After four years of life in Washington, Church has come to understand that snow is a transformational experience, a devastating interference with the way things are supposed to be.

So when Church and his roommate, Chris White, decided Thursday to have some fun and create a quickie Web site about snow in Washington, they called it http://snowpocalypsedc.com and they knew that its content would be a single word, rendered in bright red, in flashing letters:

"PANIC!!!"

At about 1:30 Thursday afternoon, Church tweeted an announcement of his site's existence to his friends. So did some folks at the public relations firm where Church is a Web developer.

Within minutes, the site went viral. Four hours later, it had attracted well north of 55,000 views. It was being e-mailed all around town. It was featured on several local news sites. Washington City Paper declared it "The Best D.C. Snow Web Site Ever."

"I had no idea it would spread like that," Church said. "It was just for fun, between our friends."

Church, who hails from West Chester, Pa., and White, an Upstate New Yorker, have no intention of conforming to local tradition and retreating into a snow cave for the duration of the season. Church planned to spend the weekend in outdoor pursuits, playing football in the park, in the snow.

But there are certain civic obligations that come with being a Washingtonian, even for relative newcomers, and Church dares not defy the word of the local weather gods. After work Thursday, he was headed to the grocery store.

"That should be a whole lot of fun," Church said.

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