Snow removal equipment shoots snow, ice through woman’s window

WASHINGTON – “I thought it was an avalanche.”

The rumbling sound outside Mary Plummer’s Regents Square condo in Rockville last week woke her from a sound sleep.

“Then I thought some car crashed,” she said. But the noise and vibration didn’t let up.

When she heard breaking glass, she called 911. “I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted it to stop.”

She took the first tentative steps downstairs, and there it was – a mound of snow, ice and rocks in her living room. It had been fired through the kitchen window which was now a gaping hole. Icy air rushed into her home. It happened around 11 o’clock at night, and it took her until about 4 a.m. to clean up the whole mess.

Plummer figures she experienced the same thing that happened to a Germantown family. Plummer heard the story reported on WTOP: A piece of snow removal equipment that shoots a plume of snow, ice and debris into the air and over the sound barriers of Interstate 270 had sent snow, ice and rocks into backyards and through windows.

The property manager at Plummer’s condominium, Brad Blumberg, says five families suffered home damage thanks to the snow removal device.

The force was so powerful that three windows and a storm door were shattered and some of the homes looked like they’d been strafed by gunfire.

Blumberg says he contacted the Maryland State Highway Administration and is working with officials to see who is responsible and how repairs will be carried out.

In the meantime, Plummer says she hopes that whoever employed the snow-blower strategy will rethink it.

“I feel extremely lucky that this debris did not come through the bedroom window.”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

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