Snowpocalypse 3: The Emblizzarding
The East Coast is battling 'life-threatening blizzard conditions' today as one of the most powerful winter storms in living memory continues to dump feet of snow across states from northern Georgia to New Jersey.
The National Weather Service warned that the worst is still to come for many areas as one in seven Americans could get at least half a foot of snow by Sunday, and Washington could see snowdrifts more than four feet high.
Ten states have now declared emergencies, more than 8,000 flights have been cancelled across the country, coastal flooding has been reported in New Jersey and motorists in Kentucky have been stranded in a 35-mile jam for 12 hours overnight with National Guard distributing food, water and fuel.
In New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and has warned citizens to stay off the streets all day today as winter storm Jonas batters the city with wind gusts of up to 60mph with snow falling at a rate of three inches per hour.
(And if you're from the AGW camp, please spare me the usual line about how weather and climate are two different things. Chances are that I am significantly more educated in climate modeling, statistical analysis, and just plain old fashioned common goddamn sense than you.)
The snowstorm bearing down on the nation’s capital is not stopping the small group of soldiers who continually stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Much as they did during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Tomb Sentinels will brave the elements to continue guarding the hallowed memorial.
Since April 6, 1948, Tomb Sentinels from the Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment's "The Old Guard" have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather.“These guys will be out in the snow, no matter what,” said Major Russell Fox, a spokesman for the Army’s Old Guard. “They love what they’re doing and they’re dedicated."And while the rest of Washington may be dreading the storm, Fox said “a lot of the guys are looking forward to this and kind of excited about it.”A “relief” typically consists of six Tomb Sentinels who serve a 24-hour shift guarding the Tombs. They turn over watch of the tombs to another relief every morning at 6 a.m.Arlington National Cemetery closed its doors at noon today and will be closed through the weekend, but plans call for the planned turnover of reliefs to take place Saturday and Sunday mornings.The Tomb Sentinels are a familiar sight to most tourists who visit Arlington National Cemetery. Dressed in their dress blue uniforms, they “walk the mat” on the plaza in front of the white marble sarcophagus that lies above the remains of an unknown soldier from World War I. Unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War are buried in crypts in front of the sarcophagus.The sentinels march in front of the tombs for 21 paces, then face north to stand at attention for 21 seconds before marching 21 paces in the other direction.