Weatherworn area residents -- some still trapped in their automobiles -- struggled to cope with historic winter hardships even as the sun broke through and the snow stopped.
James McLean, a 75-year-old Silver Spring resident, found himself trapped at home after the latest storm pummeled Montgomery County earlier this week.
When days passed without a visit from snow removal crews, McLean took matters into his own hands.
"I'm used to shoveling snow anyway so I wasn't that upset," he said. "But there were a lot of older people here who couldn't do anything."
Such was the case for Ruth Ungerleider, 70, a Fairfax County resident.
"I have a husband who's at the VA hospital in downtown Washington, and I haven't been able to see him for ten days," said Ungerleider, whose Signal Hill neighborhood had yet to see a snowplow Thursday afternoon.
Some Frederick County drivers were trapped in their vehicles since late Wednesday, and were still awaiting rescue crews Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A Maryland State Police spokesman could not estimate the number of people trapped, but said rescue workers had made contact with the drivers and no one's safety was at risk.
A snow removal vehicle made it to Danelle Springer's Fairfax residence Wednesday. But Springer soon learned the truck -- which was mired for a time in the massive snowdrift outside her home -- was merely passing through on its way to nearby Robinson Secondary School.
"They just went off on their merry way while all these people were stuck," she said. "They were going to a [school] parking lot that wasn't even going to be used."
Area hospitals also experienced a midweek uptick in snow-related accidents. Che Parker, spokesman for Inova Health System, said health workers had treated hundreds of sprains and fractures at five Northern Virginia hospitals this week, attributing most to "shoveling, slips and falls."
As anger and frustration festered around Washington, officials asked residents to be patient.
"Citizens need to appreciate the magnitude of this storm and how challenging it will be to remove this much snow," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said on Thursday. "This will take time."