Matthew Bryant wasn’t about to let a few feet of snow keep him from visiting his ill son in the hospital.
The 39-year-old father woke Monday to find his street, Sharon Drive in Urbana, unplowed. With his 9-year-old son in Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, he decided to reach Roderick Road by snowblowing about a mile of his street.(tncms-asset)bf5015b4-c128-11e5-8be7-00163ec2aa77"}}
Bryant said he began working at 5 a.m. As midday approached, about 25 to 30 neighbors were helping him, he said.
“It almost brought me to tears,” he said.
His son, Tyler Bryant, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in June, according to Bryant.
Tyler has been at Hershey Medical Center since Christmas Eve, his father said. Since then, Bryant hasn’t missed a day with Tyler.
“You cherish every moment,” Bryant said.
After clearing a path down Sharon Drive, Bryant hit another snag. The National Guard had blocked off Roderick Road to help first responders attend to a medical emergency.
When that situation was resolved around 2:30 p.m., Bryant was free to begin the two-hour journey to Hershey. Bryant packed blankets and food in case he ran into bad roads in Pennsylvania.
Many other Frederick city and Frederick County residents reported on Monday that their roads were not plowed after the weekend blizzard. Given the amount of snow that fell during the storm, clearing the streets was a slow process.
County Executive Jan Gardner said on social media that crews were working on residential subdivisions Monday afternoon to clear one passable lane. Plows would clear wider swaths once all roads were open, she said, adding that it could take until Wednesday to clear residential streets completely.
Gardner, Frederick Mayor Randy McClement and the State Highway Administration have urged drivers to be patient as crews complete the task of cleaning up after the storm.
For some health care providers, however, patience was not an option.
Julianne Woodbury, 25, a nurse in a cardiac intensive-care unit in Baltimore, was scheduled to work Monday. But her Frederick-area apartment complex was not plowed as of early afternoon, so she was unable to leave.
“It’s kind of imperative that I do get to work because we’ve had nurses there since Friday,” she said.
Woodbury was surprised that crews did not plow her complex during the snowstorm. She moved to Maryland from New Jersey, where plows removed snow continually, she said.
“Maryland, as a whole, knew that this was coming,” she said.
Woodbury said she tried to shovel out her fiance’s car because it drives better in the snow. But she broke her last shovel, so the couple had to find another one.
Fortunately, Woodbury said, her employer understands that she lives far away, and the nurses stuck there since Friday had been relieved.
Still, she said she was concerned that emergency vehicles could not access her apartment complex, especially given the prevalence of heart attacks in snowy conditions. Cold weather and the physical exertion of snow shoveling can increase the risk of a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association.
Patty Downs, who lives on Della Road in Dickerson, expressed similar concerns about emergency vehicle access and her older neighbors. The road was unplowed as of 12:30 p.m. Monday, she said.
“I don’t even see how an ambulance could get down here,” she said. “I feel like they forgot about us.”
Downs was scheduled to work in Germantown, but she couldn’t drive in. Instead, she spent the day cleaning the house.
Some people came up with creative ways to move snow instead of waiting for plows.
Rebecca Finkelman said the wake of a plow left a 7-foot wall of snow at the end of her and her neighbor’s driveways off Md. 144 near New Market.
England Acres, a farm that supplies Finkelman with hay for her goats, agreed to dig them out Monday afternoon with a tractor.
Those who didn’t have anywhere to be and didn’t have health concerns prepared to hunker down and wait for plows.
Tom Lane, of Timber Drive in Mount Airy, said he was snowed in as of noon Monday.
“As far as I know, this whole neighborhood has not been plowed,” he said. “We’re just waiting.”
His financial advice office was closed and his two children were off from high school, so his plan was just to “hang out.” He said the snow was too deep to even go sledding.
“We’re managing. We’re not starving or anything,” Lane said.