Shutdown by Blizzard 2016

Blizzard 2016 and 2009

In the distant past, William (Skip) Davis maintained the FGC property including clearing the snow. Alfred (Moose) Coleman performed the task in recent years. Then, three years ago, the co-op’s directors and property manager had a light-bulb moment and hired e-Landscape to handle snow removal. It was a resourceful step because during the weekend of January 22–24 a blizzard dropped 17-plus inches of snow throughout the DMV, shutting down public transportation and bringing the city to a standstill.

Shortly after the monster storm ended, the snow removal company arrived with their equipment and went to work. Within a few hours FGC’s property was accessible to pedestrians and vehicles. Additionally, appreciation is owed to a couple of co-op residents who, before the arrival of the snow removal team, took it upon themselves to shovel narrow walkways among the buildings. And one more thing — to err on the side of caution — professionals were hired to clear the snow off the roofs of the 61-year-old structures.

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Shovelers needed. As to be expected, during the fierce storm the appeal for shovelers was the most prevalent request on Listservs (and probably other social networks, as well). And aside from the usual complaints about unplowed side streets, snow woes included these:

  • A Shepherd Park resident, who I will call Joe, was shoveling the sideway in front of his property while two strangers were clearing snow next door at Joe’s neighbor’s place. As Joe was finishing up, he saw the scoop break on the shovel one of the volunteers was using. Joe generously asked the stranger if he wanted to borrow his shovel to finish the neighbor’s walkway. The stranger accepted the offer and assured Joe that he would honor his request and return the shovel after finishing up. Need I tell you that Joe never saw his shovel or the pair of rent-a-shovelers again? A perfect example of the idiom, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

  • Meanwhile on another block, a resident reported that after she and her friend had cleared the snow from her property they left her friend’s galoshes and her Nike boots outside on the porch, beside the doorway, to avoid tracking snow inside. Within three hours when she opened her front door to retrieve the footwear both pairs were gone. Message to the thief — did the shoes fit?

  • Blizzard 2016 put many businesses and individuals in economic and financial hardship, but volunteer shovelers made some nice pocket change. Perhaps the most astonishing snow story I heard involved a man who offered to remove the snow from in front of a resident‘s row house for the non-negotiable price of $200. It’s possible that the homeowner told the would-be gouger that before he paid him that amount hell would freeze over. For a while during last’s Saturday storm it looked like that just might happen.

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Installing surveillance cameras with video throughout the FGC property proved to be another bright idea for a progressive co-op. To date, the system has been used to spot someone breaking into a car and to solve a mystery concerning a possible dent-and-run, or was it an alleged scratch-and-run, on a different vehicle? Nevertheless, the latter accusation proved false.

Be mindful that Big Brother is watching you. Here. There. Everywhere you go.

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If the first month of the new year is a preview of coming attractions, we are all in for a wild and unpredictable ride.


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