The streets of the Washington area were like the insides of an old refrigerator trying to defrost itself yesterday: gray slush and icy water everywhere and generally a mess. It was hard to walk and drive in many places and no fun to play.
Friday's spanking new, white snow turned into the icky slush after 1.23 inches of freezing rain Friday night and early yesterday morning.
Snow flurries and dark, cloudy skies today should combine with the freezing rain to finish the cold, wet weekend in the Washington area, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Service also predicted for today blustery winds, gusting at 15 to 25 miles-per-hour that should combine with25-to-30 degree temperatures to make ice skaters, gas station attendants and persons going to the corner store feel like it's zero degrees outdoors.
A 30 per cent chance of snow is also forecast for today. Heavy sleet or snow is predicted for the Washington area Wednesday.
Yesterday's temperatures ranged from 35 degrees at 6:30 a.m. to 37 degrees at 3:10 a.m., according to the Weather Service. Harold Hess, a forecaster with the Weather Service, said there was a 70 per cent chance of rain or snow last night.With today's possible snowfall, an inch or less of snow should add itself to the 4.5 inches that fell in the Washington area early Friday morning, Hess said.
"We've been spoiled around here with little or no snow in the last two or three years," said Hess. "Generally, this now is just helping us to get back to normal...during the '70 s we've had few snowfalls of over four inches."
Most well-traveled highways and avenues in the area were clear of snow yesterday but side streets and sidewalks remained covered with ice.
"It's surprising we haven't had as many accidents as we normally do since the snow started falling Friday," said Sgt. Ronald Pavlik of the D. C. police. "I guess a lot of people who normally come into town saw how bad it was going to be and didn't drive."
The freezing rain that pelted Washington Friday night and early yesterday morning left 12 inches of snow in Allegany County in western Maryland. Those accumulations added to the four to five inches dropped in the counties Friday morning.
The storm that hit the Washington area Friday belted New Englan yesterday. The Associated Press reported that the storm left more than 15 inches of snow in eastern New York and caused a blackout in Long Island, where 200,000 households were left without electricity because power lines snapped under the weight od ice and snow.
Telephone service for 8,000 telephone company clients on Long Island was also temporarily stopped by the storm.
The 4:50 p.m. shuttle flight from National Airport to Boston's Logan International Airport was canceled because of the storm over Boston. Several shuttle flights from New York to Boston were also canceled yesterday.
The high temperature in the Washington area yesterday was 37 degrees at 3:10 p.m. and the low mark was 35 degrees at 6:30 a.m.
Along Georgia Avenue, near Howard University, four young boys carrying aluminum shovels across their shoulders marched door-to-door in an effort to make money out of the ice and slush covering streets.
"Please, Mister, let us clear your sidewalk," asked Jeff Turner, 12. "We can do a good job," he told Harvey Ward, who was trying to use a rolled a bedsheet to cover and drafty space between his living room window and the window sill.
Ward finally negotiated a $4 fee for the boys to clear his sidewalk.
Since yesterday morning, the boys said they had earned more than $90 shovelling snow, "We had Big Macs and hot chocolate for lunch, Jeff said proudly.
On the George Washington Park way, heading toward National Airport, Art Willows, who lives in Reston, had run out of gas. His suit and coat spotted from slush splashed on him by passing motorists, he still stayed out on the parkway trying to hitch a ride.
When offered a ride he accepted with a hearty, "thank you. I'm about froze to death.Knew I had another mile in that thing, thinking it was so cold I didn't even want to stop for gas until the car heated up."
In the shopping areas of Landover, Lanham and Alexandria, store owner complained that the bad weather had cut into what they hoped would be good shopping day.