Spring Snow at Mount Vernon

Snowfall creates a picturesque landscape at Mount Vernon, and unique challenges. Although the estate closed during this snowfall due to inclement weather, many Mount Vernon staff members—including Vice President of Operations & Maintenance Joe Sliger and his team—still went to work to keep the estate, its staff, and future visitors safe.

Even as the snow continues to fall, the staff will keep the roads clear to the historic area in case of emergencies.More than two dozen staff members start working at 5 a.m. to clear the snow from more than 6.5 miles of roadways, parking lots, and 2.5 miles of sidewalks. These tasks take at least six hours to complete, depending on the snow amount and the snowfall duration. Using a truck outfitted with a plow and salt/sand spreader, they start by clearing the staff parking lots and fire lanes to ensure a safe route to and around the historic area for staff and emergency vehicles.

A member of Mount Vernon's operations & maintenance staff clears snow from the Mansion Circle.

The team then uses snow blowers, snow brushes, and shovels to remove snow along the brick walkways and sidewalks. Many pathways around the Mansion and in the historic area are shoveled by hand. This job is very tough for staff because they are out in the cold and can easily get wet from the snow. Although they dress appropriately, they often take breaks to clean off the equipment and warm up inside.

Taken the morning of March 21, 2018

When the estate receives more than 12 inches of snow, the operations and maintenance staff must climb onto the roof of the Mansion and shovel the snow to prevent damage to the structure.

When the snow ceases to fall, and the crew completes its work, Mount Vernon will reopen for visitors to see the home of George Washington.

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