too much snow

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Peartree

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Having lived in the western (flat) part of Ohio, we often had six inch snowfalls that would result in 20+ FOOT drifts out in the country.

The bad news is that once the snow gets deeper than the plows, heavy equipment is required. Front end loaders can clear up the big piles, but the city/county has far fewer of them than they have plows, so it will take a LONG time to get to everyone.
 

MarkII

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I can remember looking out the window of my parents' house and barely being able to see the top of a semi trailer going by because the snowbanks were so high!
Oh, I can relate to that... Digging tunnels through the drifts in order to be able to get out to the street. ;)

I now live in the desert of southern NM. A couple of light dustings of snow per year, and it's melted by 10am. Lots of wide-open spaces for rockets, too. :p

-John
Yeah, and don't hesitate to rub it in, too, you lucky dog. :roll:

I have this feeling that you will be receiving a BIG package from MDRA or NARHAMS next week.

MarkII
 
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ben_ullman

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Having lived in the western (flat) part of Ohio, we often had six inch snowfalls that would result in 20+ FOOT drifts out in the country.

The bad news is that once the snow gets deeper than the plows, heavy equipment is required. Front end loaders can clear up the big piles, but the city/county has far fewer of them than they have plows, so it will take a LONG time to get to everyone.
Thats part of the situation our city is having. We have the plows to take care of it but when your in a blocked city its hard to just plow it all. It needs to be scooped. and theres all of maybe 5 loaders.

Ben
 

MarkII

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Thats part of the situation our city is having. We have the plows to take care of it but when your in a blocked city its hard to just plow it all. It needs to be scooped. and theres all of maybe 5 loaders.

Ben
In parts of the country where this sort of thing is common, payloaders for scooping snow are part of the standard array of equipment. And because logging is still a significant industry in my area, there is quite a bit of privately-owned heavy equipment that can be pressed into service if necessary.

MarkII
 

MarkH

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Thats part of the situation our city is having. We have the plows to take care of it but when your in a blocked city its hard to just plow it all. It needs to be scooped. and theres all of maybe 5 loaders.

Ben

They're dumping it in the Harbor in Baltimore.


I measured another 20" today in a low spot (Sykesville, MD), but we could have gotten 2 feet. It's hard to get a good reading with the wind gusts. I think it just stopped for good.

:snowman:
 

foose4string

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I saw an unusual looking probe this afternoon. I'm expecting a fleet of AT-ATs to come crawling over the hill by morning. Wampa ate my Tauntaun last night! :mad:
 

Bazookadale

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They're dumping it in the Harbor in Baltimore.


:snowman:
Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
 

foose4string

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Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
I agree, it doesn't seem safe for the environment but where do you put it? It would seem to me the same danger lies from normal runoff or when flooding occurs? Not to mention fertilizers. Then you have countless factories and industrial plants that line the river and harbor that are most likely polluting on a daily basis. City Harbors aren't exactly estuaries. Again, I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, but can't think of another solution at the moment. Probably a good thing I'm not a mayor.
 

DAllen

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Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
That would be a silly law since 100% of the runoff from every street in PA and the rest of the planet either winds up in the ground or into an open body of water with all it's oily residue.

Personally, I think it's a great idea so long as it isn't screwing up the traffic.

-Dave
 

MarkH

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Yeah, in Baltimore the melted snow would just end up in the storm drains and then flow into the harbor anyway, so I don't see much difference.
 

Bazookadale

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That would be a silly law since 100% of the runoff from every street in PA and the rest of the planet either winds up in the ground or into an open body of water with all it's oily residue.

Personally, I think it's a great idea so long as it isn't screwing up the traffic.

-Dave
I know they stopped doing it in the city of Harrisburg a few years ago - don't know if it was a local ordinance or state. As far as silly laws - these are tree huggers we are dealing with!
 

Peartree

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Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
Of course I suspect there is *some* difference between dumping salt laden snow into a freshwater river in PA and the ocean in Baltimore. :)

I've heard here too though that using a heated device to melt snow and dump the resulting meltwater into the storm drains would get you in trouble with the EPA. I don't understand why the EPA thinks this is a problem when it will all go into the storm drains in the spring anyway...:confused2:
 

rocketsaway

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The only "law" Im aware of is that you can't shovel your snow back into the street. 30" in one day 1996 Philly dumped snow over bridges into the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. With over that, "Im sure" theyre doing it now.
This is an unprecedented event.
 

cobra1336

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At work (Highway Department) we had a DEP inspection. She said that our salt barn could not have an open end and needed a door. I asked why? She said if it rains the salt may find its way towards a storm drain. I asked her "do you know what we do with all of that salt?" She said "What?" I said we throw it all over the roads !!!!:bangpan:
 

Queeg500

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how much of a delay was there between her answer "What?" and yours?
 

rocketsaway

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The brine used on roadways is very corrosive nasty stuff, so I was told by a PADOT crew. Its meant to wash off cars after the snow melts. Sometimes they spray the roads and no snow. That brine dust sticks to your undercarriage and starts to rust if it isnt washed off. And will pit paint. Ive seen perfectly good looking cars on the outside where the unibody was eaten thru. I can understand the concern for dusting and washoff into small roadside streams and vegatation. Rock salt is different? Sodium chloride? Calcium chloride? Magnesium chloride? What's used?
 

SecretSquirrel

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Dallas is covered in snow today, now I can't get this out of my head....

[YOUTUBE]Ws5Xeu3BEQk[/YOUTUBE]
 

Peartree

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The brine used on roadways is very corrosive nasty stuff, so I was told by a PADOT crew. Its meant to wash off cars after the snow melts. Sometimes they spray the roads and no snow. That brine dust sticks to your undercarriage and starts to rust if it isnt washed off. And will pit paint. Ive seen perfectly good looking cars on the outside where the unibody was eaten thru. I can understand the concern for dusting and washoff into small roadside streams and vegatation. Rock salt is different? Sodium chloride? Calcium chloride? Magnesium chloride? What's used?
Sodium Chloride. Around here It comes out of the same Diamond Crystal mines that your table salt comes from (just straight to your highway dept. instead of going to processing and refining).

Oh, and the Diamond Crystal mine is about a half a mile UNDER Lake Erie.
 

spaceclipper

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COOL so many fellow Marylanders here! :) My snowblower decided to have an ignition failure today but at least I got the cars dug out before it quit. But we have another snow storm headed here this weekend, supposed to be much smaller amounts but enough already...
 

MarkII

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Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
I agree, it doesn't seem safe for the environment but where do you put it? It would seem to me the same danger lies from normal runoff or when flooding occurs? Not to mention fertilizers. Then you have countless factories and industrial plants that line the river and harbor that are most likely polluting on a daily basis. City Harbors aren't exactly estuaries. Again, I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, but can't think of another solution at the moment. Probably a good thing I'm not a mayor.
I was just going to say that it's illegal here, too. The town where I live takes all of the snow that they scooped up and piles it onto a large town-owned empty lot adjacent to the town garage, an industrial area. The mounds get really big over the course of the winter, and don't finish melting down until mid- to late July. After the first couple of weeks of melting, they look like dirt piles because sand from the road that was scooped up covers the surface. (A mix of salt and sand is spread on the roads whenever it snows.) But if you go up and stick a shovel into one, you find that it is all snow and ice underneath. The snowmelt drains into a large marsh immediately adjacent to the lot. Most of the solids stay behind in the lot as the snow melts, and stuff that is carried off with the melt is filtered out by the wetland. (One of the reasons why wetlands are so helpful.) In the state-maintained highways just outside of town (there are no expressways here) the state plows just push the snow to the side of the road. When it all melts in the spring, the local surface waters immediately adjacent to the roads turn brackish for awhile due to all of the road salt that is carried into them. The state roads are graded with large gullies or swales on either side that catch and hold the snowmelt. The intention is to keep it out of permanent bodies of water. The ponds that are created by the snowmelt eventually disappear over several weeks due to evaporation and filtering down into the topsoil. During highway construction, the gullies were filled with sand and topsoil because otherwise, they would contain nothing but solid granite. The sand and topsoil filter out the constituents in the snowmelt that should not end up in streams. The same system collects and filters rainwater that drains off the roads during the warm months.

MarkII
 
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MarkII

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There are enormous salt mines underneath the Finger Lakes in central NY. A great deal of the annual production of salt in the US comes from there. My father told me many years ago that very large salt deposits are also located deep underneath the city of Detroit. When I was a kid I was always fascinated by the idea that there were enormous caverns of salt a quarter of a mile beneath my feet. Salt used for roads primarily comes from such sources.

MarkII
 

dedleytedley

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There is a big salt mine in "South Detroit". Every Canadian has a box of Windsor Salt in their cupboard. I recall an article describing how bizarre salt mines can be. There are always creaks and groans as the salt masses slide past each other on the cleavage planes. The salt is removed leaving galleries with thick masses remaining between them. Over time the salt moves to fill in the voids.
Your snowmageddon reminds of an extreme snowstorm that hit Victoria on the day after Xmas '96. Over a meter of wet, heavy snow fell in 24 hours. There was only two graders for the entire city to clear the snow so everyone was reduced to foot travel for two days. It was interesting how the city changed for the duration of the crisis. People became much friendlier and the local grocery store was abuzz with people making connections. Neighbors came out of their homes and helped each other. For those few days there existed the kind of community we'd all prefer to live in. The local armed forces were called out to patrol the few roads kept clear and given the mood of the people it seemed absurd. Afterward the paper reported that crime was virtually non-existent for the duration. Ted
 

MarkII

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I wasn't there, but my sister was in Buffalo for the Great Blizzard of 1977. (Three Nor'easters simultaneously converged on the city.) Snow drifts up to the second floor windows. Single story homes completely buried in snow. City placed under control of the National Guard for a month. My sister tells the story of one man who went out on a snowmobile in the city and became disoriented because he couldn't find any indications of which street he was on. He finally stopped at what appeared to be a clearing and tried to dig down to find a street sign. Instead a couple of feet down he found the overhead traffic signal for the intersection. The signal hadn't fallen down - it was still suspended in its normal location. But the snow was so deep that it had covered the entire intersection up to and over the overhead traffic signal. There was another incident of a snowmobiler colliding with the top of a house chimney.

Those of us who live in areas in the north that normally get deep snow have been largely unaffected by what has been happening to the Mid Atlantic coast. But I am mindful of the fact that this is the third major winter storm to hit the Mid-Atlantic since December. We can deal with such things OK out in the country, but when so much snow hits heavily populated metropolitan areas, the results are not good. Each storm has also come with high winds and very cold temps., too. This is nasty, and those of us who are familiar with severe winter weather should not underestimate the disruptions and suffering that our friends in the affected areas are experiencing.

MarkII
 

foose4string

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Having lived in the western (flat) part of Ohio, we often had six inch snowfalls that would result in 20+ FOOT drifts out in the country.
Drifts like this?


This was taken yesterday morning behind my house.
 

sunward

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My sympathies guys.

A little on the cold side, but warmer than normal. We have had almost no snow this year.

If anyone was closer, I would come down and help out with the snowblower. But too far.
 

Peartree

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Drifts like this?

This was taken yesterday morning behind my house.
Yup. Exactly like that. Once I saw a very large font end loader digging through one and the drift was taller than the bucket could reach so after each scoop he had to back out so he could dump the snow.

Best of luck to you and yours.
 

Micromeister

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Well Luckly the sun is shining and some of this stuff is melting. and YEAH!
here it is 11:00 am on friday and we just got our first pass thru with a HUGE truck plow!
Pushed about a 4ft x 2ft deep pile back on our freshly cleared yesterday vehicles but I see bear asphult for the first time in a week! Perhaps we'll be able to get out of here sometime later today. I'ma so happy! LOL!!!!
 

rocketsaway

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Pretty sure that's illegal in PA - snow removed from the streets might have oil residue in it which would pollute the water.
It looks like things have changed in 14yrs.

"During the record-breaking blizzard in 1996, dump trucks were used to get rid of snow- dumping it into the Schuylkill River.
That's not an option this time. The mayor was asked about it Monday and noted that plowed snow may contain all kinds of melting agents and other street debris. Environmental issues were raised back in 1996.
Nutter said dumping will not be an option this time around. They will plow and hope for the best."
snow01dump.jpg
Navy yard.

A couple of reasons why this event is such a big deal for eastern cities.

snow01homeless.jpg
Homeless camp


snow01philast01.jpg
Typical Philly side street.

(Photos from Philadelphia Inquirer)

My driveway was plowed today.
 

MarkII

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I read somewhere that some cities were piling it into vacant lots and in open areas in parks. Cities in the mid-Atlantic zone are no strangers to snow. What do they do with their usual allotment of the fluffy stuff after they clear it off the streets?

MarkII
 

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