Weather, Not Politicians, to Blame for Gov't Shutdown


WASHINGTON -- Federal offices across the District of Columbia closed Monday as Washington officials declared a state of emergency.

This time, however, politicians weren't to blame for the government shutdown. At fault was the latest in a string of storms that blew in as part of the winter that just won't quit.

Before the storm, rain fell for hours in the nation's capital, making it almost impossible for crews to sand and prep the roads in advance. When the rain ended, hours of sleet started falling.

The sleet was sealed on power lines and trees after changing to heavy snow. Add in powerful winds and the area had a situation ripe for accidents and power outages all around the region.

Airlines servicing the area cancelled hundreds of flights, and school districts shut down hundreds of schools.

Authorities pleaded with people to stay home and off the roads. Most complied, making for eerily quiet scenes all around a city that's usually busy.

But others, like a D.C resident named Mark, took the weather worries in stride and turned them into opportunity.

"I thought it'd be a beautiful day for a walk, taking a bunch of pictures along the way," he said.

Some, like Canadian native Todd, felt right at home in the blustery conditions.

"I'm Canadian and frankly the snow plows don't even come out for a day like this," Todd said. "This is just average winter weather. It's actually quite lovely and the fact that it is easy to get around on foot is great."

Meanwhile, forecasters are saying another storm is likely to arrive by the weekend.


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