Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yellow snow

"A passerby makes his way down Jackson Street in Baltimore as a winter storm passed through the area, Monday, March, 2, 2009. (CLICK PHOTO FOR VIDEO)"

Last Monday, March made its entrance as the old saying goes, "March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb."

Maryland was hit with several inches of snowfall, which in turn amounted to messy commutes, power outages and many closed schools. And I found myself out in it.

I got the call Sunday night when the snow was already supposed to begin falling asking if I'd be able to be on for weather duty.

Without as much as a snowflake falling from the sky and before going to bed, I made sure I had everything in order and ready: my boots and snow gear laid out, cameras charged, full tank of gas in my car, and a shovel in my trunk.

Originally forecasters were calling for 8 or more inches of snow throughout the state. But in the end, about 2.5 inches of snow fell in Baltimore City and up to 5 inches in surrounding counties. Conversely, St. Mary's and Dorchester counties had the largest snowfall totals in the region with 11 inches.

Although the snow wasn't as heavy in Baltimore, I still needed to go out and find some features and move them before 10 a.m.

So up at 6 a.m., I was out cleaning my car and headed downtown by 6:30 a.m.

Initially, I was going to follow the news, see where the traffic was backed up and where the incidents were. Although roads were slick and covered, I wasn't hearing much on the news side other than the typical school closings, minor accidents and power outages.

After successfully, and skillfully, parallel parking in about three-inches of snow near the inner harbor, I trekked around shooting folks doing what they do when it dumps the cold, wet, white stuff.

From playing with their dogs and cleaning off their cars, to making their daily commute to work, I made sure to capture them. Except for sledding children, I was told to avoid them.

I transmitted half my take and moved uptown and then made a couple more frames before getting the call to send some more.

Overall things went well, it got a bit hectic at times trying to dethaw my hands and transmit soaking wet in my car. But I had fun and made some images that I though depicted downtown Baltimore truthfully. My three favorites being the umbrella, the snow plow and guy playing with his dogs.

The latter wasn't put on the wire because the guy said he was a reporter for the Washington Post and I opted not to get his name for that reason.

I must admit that my Subaru saved me multiple times, too. The all-wheel drive is clutch in snow. Not to mention, my radio is great. I got to listen to WBAL all morning long and hear them say "closed" near a million times. Ha.

By the time I was done shooting around lunch time the hype seemed to be over. The main roads were clear, it had stopped snowing, the sun was out, and those on the radio had stopped talking about this winter storm.

And get this, it was 70 degrees in Baltimore later in the week. Got to love March weather.