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Durbin on how Washingtonians cope with snow. Lynn Sweet's yard

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The view from Lynn Sweet's yard

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WASHINGTON--Even by Chicago standards, the record snowfall here is a lot. Some are calling this Snowmageddon 2010. Washingtonians have real snow and ice worries. I can't open my kitchen door because the drifts are more than three feet high. I worried that the snow would crush my flat roof.

Two back-to-back blizzards this past week brought the total snowfall so far this winter to 55.9 inches, as measured at Reagan National Airport, the most in 121-years. Now, that's worth complaining about. Usually this place shuts down just on the prediction of snow, with President Obama much amused during his first year in the White House at the contrast between coping Chicagoans and Washingtonians freaked out by an inch of powder.

We Illinoisans accept snow is part of our lives and presume we will dig out of it sooner than later. In Washington--where it snows almost every year, so this is not a surprise--the presumption is reversed, with the recovery from a snowfall--record or otherwise--later than sooner.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who first lived in Washington as a college student in 1963, took to the Senate floor on Thursday to marvel how this city deals with snow.

"I never could get over how people in this town reacted to snow. I am convinced that infants born in Washington, DC, are taken from the arms of their loving mothers right when they are born into a room where someone shows a film of a snowstorm with shrieking and screaming so that those children come to believe snow is a mortal enemy, like a nuclear attack, because I have seen, for over 40 years here, people in this town go into a full-scale panic at the thought of a snowfall.

"We joke about it. Those of us from parts of the country that get snow and know how to live with it cannot get over how crazy the reaction is many times. But in fairness, this has been a heck of a snowstorm," said Durbin.

Durbin thanked Capitol personnel who came to work despite the storms and a message to the folks in the city. "This was a heck of a snowstorm. You had every right to be concerned. Some of the other ones, maybe not, but this one was the real deal."


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 12, 2010 5:25 PM.

Giannoulias challenging Mark Kirk, John McCain on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Feb. 13, 14, 15, 2010. Camp David is the next entry in this blog.

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