- The wet snow sticking to these trees is causing headaches for Dominion Power. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Today, Dominion Power knows what Pepco feels like. The electricity provider for the Maryland suburbs and Washington, D.C. is a regular whipping boy. Politicians condemn it, the Washington Post investigates it and residents scream about it.
Normally, Dominion Power is held up as the good twin to Pepco. But today, with close to 200,000 Virginia residents without power, it’s taking a beating of its own. In a press release Thursday, the company tried to explain what was taking it so long to repair power lines. One of its reasons? Wednesday night’s snow was ‘Heavy, sticky snow that was twice as wet as typical snow.’ It sounded like non-scientific gibberish to us.
Fortunately, the ABC7 Stormwatch team set us straight. Yesterday’s snow was actually twice as wet as your average snowfall. An average snowfall uses about one inch of liquid to generate 10 to 12 inches of snow. Wednesday’s snow used about one inch of liquid to generate 5 inches of snow. That’s exceptionally wetter and heavier than your average flake.
The wet snow is stickier than the dry stuff, which made it harder to drive through and more difficult to clear from power lines.
“If it was a normal snowfall, it would have generated much more snow,” said ABC7 meteorologist Doug Hill.
What made the snow wetter? The temperature as it falls. The temperature in most of the atmosphere was close to the freezing mark, which meant not all the water froze. At the same time, the temperature wasn’t so warm that snow couldn’t form at all.
In a bold step forward for corporate personhood, Dominion Power is the first company to receive an Honest Abe.