Snow way out

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Snow way out

With Downtown Charlottesville receiving 23" of snow by Saturday night, the trouble was truly knee-deep. Up on Greenbrier Drive, a whopping 29" piled up; in Meade Park, only 18" were reported. On Wintergreen Mountain, 31" of powder fell, making for a lot of envious would-be skiers whose cars had gotten stopped long before reaching the resort.

Commuters from outlying rural areas, if they hadn’t left Charlottesville by 4pm or so, faced hours-long journeys home. Rte. 29 between I-64 and the Nelson/Albemarle county line was closed until Sunday, and Rte. 53 remained closed Monday. Citizens with four-wheel-drive vehicles volunteered to drive others around. On Monday morning, the Virginia Department of Transportation was still calling the condition of all roads in Albemarle and Charlottesville “severe.”

With nearly 2′ of snow to contend with, even walking Downtown from West Main Street was treacherous this weekend. Few courageous motorists took to the streets in their four-wheel drives, but mostly, only pedestrians—and dogs—braved the slippery terrain. On Saturday, Mudhouse on the Downtown Mall was open for business, and busy. “It was mostly exciting for small children,” Danielle Taylor told C-VILLE. CVS was also open, but closed at 1pm.

According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, 30 shelters were open throughout the state. Heavy snow caused nearly 55,000 power outages. The State National Guard dispatched 150 soldiers to southwestern Virginia to assist with recovery and State Police answered nearly 16,000 calls since Friday. Emergency Management was in the process of delivering 100,000 gallons of water to residents. A reported two deaths were confirmed to be related to the snow.

The Free Speech Monument at the end of Main Street gets half-buried in snow. The Charlottesville Transit Service announced that the only routes running on Monday were the Free Trolley and Route 7 to Fashion Square Mall. According to City Spokesperson Ric Barrick, Monday night’s meeting of City Council was canceled due to icy conditions.

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