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Jan 14, 2019

D.C. region faces icy road conditions, transportation delays after weekend snowfall

By Dana Hedgpeth Dana Hedgpeth Reporter covering local breaking news 




People walk down a street towards the Wilkes Streets Tunnel during a snowstorm that blanketed the area on Sundayin Alexandria, VA. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
The D.C. region awoke Monday to icy road conditions on some interstates and snow-covered roads in neighborhoods, plus fresh announcements of facilities being closed after an estimated eight to 12 inches of snow fell over the weekend.
The snow caused dangerous road conditions, but there were no shutdowns of major roads early Monday. One crash along Interstate 270 north involved a police officer, but there were no serious injuries.
Federal offices in Washington not impacted by the partial government shutdown are closed Monday, as are most local governments, courts and schools.
There were also delays and cancellations on planes, trains and buses. At the three area airports, roughly 50 flights were delayed or canceled Monday morning, according to FlightAware.com.
On Metro, bus service was running but mostly only on major roads, and the agency warned riders to expect delays. Metro’s rail system was operating normally. On commuter rail lines, Virginia Railway Express canceled service for the day, while MARC advised passengers it was running a limited schedule.
The area was slammed by a second wave of snow Sunday evening, causing some facilities that said they would be open Monday to announce they would be closed after all, due to the severe weather which dumped more snow than many forecasters had predicted.
In Montgomery County, public schools had said their central offices were going to open two hours late Sunday evening but then changed early Monday to being closed. County facilities, including pools were expected to open but then changed to being closed.
In many areas, including Montgomery County, trash pickup is being pushed back a day.
Those who ventured out Monday were met with icy sidewalks and secondary roads and side streets still covered in snow. Officials warned drivers to stay off the roads so crews could work to clear and treat them. If residents do need to go out they are being warned to allow extra time, use caution and pack patience.
Officials said crews were out throughout the area working to treat roads and remove snow, but warned that they face an enormous, time-consuming task.
In Northern Virginia, officials at the state’s transportation department said Monday morning that primary and interstate roads were “good.” Crews are now focusing on roads in subdivisions.
They warned, however, that it will take time to clear the 16,000 streets in subdivisions in the area. The agency said it typically takes up to 72 hours to clear roadways if the region gets more than six inches of snow.
Reports indicated more than 10 inches fell in areas south of the District, including in Charles County, Md. Forecasters said it was the most snow Washington had received since the January 2016 blizzard.
Few outages were reported in the D.C. region on Monday. But on Sunday, Dominion Energy had nearly 21,000 power outages — mostly in Richmond and its suburbs, due to snow and freezing rain, officials said. Pepco had fewer than 50 outages on Sunday.
Two people were killed in crashes in Virginia overnight Saturday and Sunday morning, and officials said they believed the cause was likely bad road conditions due to the weather.
The storm was part of a widespread weather front that also hit parts of the Midwest, killing at least nine people and causing hundreds of crashes. In Missouri, state highway officials said 57 people were injured and four were dead in that state alone in weather-related incidents.