NPR logo U.S. Capital Digs Out From Wet Snow Blanket

U.S. Capital Digs Out From Wet Snow Blanket

President Obama's motorcade heads through a snowstorm to the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 Carolyn Kaster/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Obama's motorcade heads through a snowstorm to the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

Carolyn Kaster/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington, D.C is shoveling out from under a heavy wet snow Thursday morning after another East Coast storm left hundreds of thousands in the area with power and many evening commuters spent long hours on snarled highways, if they got home at all.

You know it's bad when even President Obama, returning from Wisconsin on Air Force One, couldn't helicopter back to the White House as usual but instead was forced to motorcade on snow slick roads, passing spun-out vehicles along the way.

At one point, the part of the motorcade with the van that carries the news media actually got separated from the part with the president's limo because of all the weaving the White House vehicles were forced to do. They later rejoined and continued on to the executive mansion.

NBC's Chuck Todd apparently had one of the better Tuesday evening commutes. He tweeted:

Right at the 4 hour mark, I made it the 4.6 miles from the WH to my house...

There are reports of people being stuck for twice and three times as long as that on roads partly or fully blocked by cars abandoned by their drivers.

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But the sun has come out and the temperatures are rising to help turn the snow into slush. Meanwhile the federal government is open, if with a lag; there's a two-hour delay.

A number of Washington events have been cancelled or postponed, including a few with talking heads bloviating about what the Democrats or Republicans should do. So maybe this snowstorm isn't all bad.

But for many people it's back to business, at least until the next big storm hits.

Washington has actually been fortunate this winter, having until Wednesday avoided the megastorms that hit further up the coast.

So while we're complaining as we shovel this heavy as Hades snow, we know it could be worse because we've lived it. We survived last year's Snowmaggedon.

At least the snow waited for the State of the Union to be over.