The Lauren, A Condominium and The Blizzard of '96

"There seems to be so much more snow than we need this year."

The Blizzard of '96 officially began at National Airport in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 6, 1996, at 9:10 p.m.
All week meteorologists had talked about the storm. Virtually everyone in D.C. watched the weather charts tracking the storm as it swept up from the Gulf. Friday projections were for up to 6 inches.
The Storm
By Saturday, forecasters were saying this could be the "Storm of the Century" despite the fact that we had just had the "Storm of the Century" in 1993. We like hyperbola, and there is something irresistible about a good blizzard.
Lauren at Noon
Saturday night most of us stayed home. It was going to snow and everyone knows that even the smell of snow brings D.C. traffic to a crawl with a fend-bender at every corner. We alternated between watching Bob Ryan's weather on TV and watching out the window for the first flakes. We were pretty excited.
For many Laurenites, Monday was another question. Federal workers, furloughed since Congress closed the government a month earlier, were scheduled to return to work on Monday. Monday was the big day! Wouldn't it be ironic if...
The Tree
For the next two days, all roads were less traveled. They were closed and we stayed home. It snowed Saturday night and all day Sunday and most of Monday.
A Workaholic
When the storm ended, 17.1 inches of snow were sitting on 20th Street in front of the Lauren, the federal government was closed, Metro was closed, the airports were closed, and most of us were saying 'enough.'
The Skier
Even before the last snow flakes landed, tired of TV and our own home cooking, the more adventuresome of us bundled up and headed for the streets. It was mostly fresh air and novelty.
CVS was open but little else was. Georgio's was closed, the Kozy Korner was closed and stayed closed for the next week. The streets were closed and sidewalks were closed. There was no where to go and nothing to do, but we went out anyway.
The Light
And when we went out we found that Cacho and Sergio and Salvador were ahead of us. They had already shoveled and salted the Lauren entrance and sidewalk.
Dupont Park  
News reports on Monday evening said plows were starting to clear the main arteries through the city. It was Wednesday however before the first plow found 20th Street. Side streets remained impassable for days more. Metro slowly came back to life. A few stores began to re-open with skeleton staff.
Quiet Afternoon
On Thursday, the federal government opened for the first time since Congress closed it December 15 and we tried to go back to work.
Back To Work
But the end was not here quite yet. On Friday the 12th another storm arrived bringing four more inches of snow capped with sleet and frozen rain, and government workers were furloughed once more. It was another week before transportation was back to near normal.
Snow Fall Map
During this entire time, while most of us who live or work at the Lauren stayed home, the staff found a way to get to work. Some did double duty. Some came in on their days off. One desk person walked every evening and morning from upper 14th Street through unplowed streets and unclear sidewalks. Someone was always on duty at the desk. Cacho slept here.
Record Snowfalls
Toward the end of the second storm, someone rephrased Kathleen Morris' famous line saying, "There seems to be so much more snow than we need this year."