Ice and snow made for dangerous driving conditions around the DMV.
WASHINGTON — Arctic air has arrived in the D.C. region. More snow is in the forecast Monday night and Tuesday morning. Flakes flew early Monday morning, leading to a dangerous Martin Luther King Jr. Day commute for some. The key timing for snow is between Monday at 7 p.m. and Tuesday at 11 a.m.
District officials say a Cold Weather Emergency will be in effect beginning at 7 p.m. in accordance with D.C.’s Winter Plan. As temperatures fall, remember to check on your neighbors and know the signs of hypothermia.
Districts across DC, Maryland and Virginia have announced school closures for Tuesday, January 16, including DC Public Schools, Prince George’s and Montgomery County Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools.
Click here for a complete list of school closures across the DMV.
As of Monday evening, power crews with Dominion Energy and Pepco have not reported any widespread power outages in D.C., Maryland and Virginia as a result of the weather.
A power outage can be caused by a myriad of things but it is important to be as prepared as you possibly can, especially during severe weather. Extended power outages can impact everyone from a home to an entire community. It can cause issues with communication, prevent the use of medical devices, impact access to water and cause food to spoil while grocery stores may be closed.
Dominion Energy says residents should not connect any portable generators to a home’s electrical system. Under no circumstances should you ever bring a generator into your home in order to create heat. Odorless and colorless carbon monoxide gas from gas-fueled heaters and generators can build up, resulting in injuries or even death.
It is important to know how to prepare and stay safe during severe weather. There are several ways you can make sure you are ready.
- High winds and snow regularly down trees and heavy branches in the DMV region, so avoid standing or walking under tree canopies.
- Be supplied: Have medical equipment, medical supplies or any critical medications on hand and enough for 5-7 days.
- Figure out how and where everyone will meet up with each other if you get separated.
- Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.
- Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could cause damage.
Track snow plow activity in your area:
As more snow is expected to fall overnight, counties have announced plans to prepare for the roads for Tuesday’s commute.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced late Monday evening restrictions on bus service that will stay in place as winter weather continues Tuesday.
As of 10:30 p.m. Monday, Metrobus will be operating under a Severe Snow Plan with approximately 40-plus bus routes operating. Under a Severe Snow Plan, bus service is limited to major roads, with additional snow detours possible based on road conditions.
Officials say the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) has been monitoring the snow since last week and pre-treated arterial and collector roadways in a salt-brining operation on Sunday
DPWT is conducting a Full Snow Operation consisting of two revolving 12-hour shifts that started at 10 a.m. on Monday and will continue to 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“If needed, we will run a 3rd shift,” county officials said. “For both shifts, we have about 415 County employees and partners and 150 contractors, totaling to a headcount of around 580 people for operation support.”
While officials recommend staying off the roadways during inclement weather, drivers who must travel are asked to take it slow, turn on the windshield wipers and keep a safe distance from other vehicles and especially behind snowplow vehicles.
Officials say the county is preparing for 3-5 inches of snow heading into Tuesday, which will result in icy conditions.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has treated all roads and crews are reapplying salt on primary roads, according to county officials. Once snow accumulates to three inches, plowing will begin. Residential roads are not typically plowed until about three inches of snow accumulates and major roads are sufficiently clear.
“If you have to travel, please monitor the weather and be safe and smart when traveling,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “If you can avoid driving during the storm, please stay home. Our crews will be out on the roads, and we want to give them plenty of room to operate. We appreciate, and are grateful for, the hard work and diligence of our snow-removal teams.”
MCDOT has seven regional depots that are responsible for clearing snow along 220 plow routes on more than 5,200 lane miles of County roads. The Maryland State Highway Administration clears all State roads in the County. State roads are designated by numbers.
“For residents that need to travel, consider that Ride On buses will be up and running in the morning and are a safer option,” said MCDOT Acting Director Maricela Cordova. “These bus routes travel on primary roads and are supported with emergency snowplows when needed.”
Ride On buses will operate on an S Service Schedule.
Slick roads and icy conditions led to several crashes and closures around the DMV on Monday. Click here to check out the WUSA9 interactives traffic maps for the latest up-to-date information.
- The 1400 block of Rock Creek Ford Road, Northwest was closed due to ice and a traffic crash.
- 7000 Alaska Avenue, Northwest was closed due to ice and an accident. DC Police said multiple vehicles are involved. The road has reopened to traffic.
- Southbound South Capital at Laboratory Road (Exit 1) was closed due to a multiple-vehicle accident. DC Police ask drivers to use alternate routes. The roadway has since reopened.
- DC Fire reports a crash with an overturned vehicle on I-295 southbound just before Exit 1. Firefighters report a dump truck lost its load.
10:51 a.m. – The ramp from K Street, NW to NB Rock Creek Parkway was closed until further notice. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.
11:05 a.m. – The National Park Service has closed the northern section of George Washington Memorial Parkway until further notice due to forecasted severe weather.
11: 50 a.m. – Southbound 495 Express Lanes closed just north of Gallows Rd due to an accident. All traffic on Lanes diverted off to Gallows Rd.
12:22 p.m. – In Fairfax, a crash with wires down has both lanes EB Main St between Presbyterian Way/Yorktown Drive are blocked, one single lane is getting by through the left turn lane. Approach with caution. Repairs are expected to take 4+ hours.
2:38 p.m. – Icy road conditions close Georgia Avenue (MD-97) in both directions between Bordly Drive and Gregg Road. Expect significant delays. Drivers are urged to seek alternate routes.
4:25 p.m. – The Loudoun Co. Sheriff’s Office reports northbound Sully Rd at WB ramp to Leesburg Pike (Sterling) is closed due to a crash. Expect delays.
5:03 p.m. – The Charles County Sheriff’s Office says Charles St (Rt.6) will be shut down in both directions between Dents Ln and Deans Ln due to an auto accident.
Some delays were reported at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports due to severe weather.
If you cannot stay home, AAA suggests drivers always check weather conditions before heading out. Drivers should always travel with a full tank of gas, a fully charged cellphone and wear a seatbelt.
If traffic signals are not working because a power outage, you must stop at the intersection and then proceed when you know other turning and approaching cars, bikes or pedestrians have stopped. Treat a blacked-out traffic signal as a four-way stop intersection.
While driving on black ice, people should proceed slowly and smoothly. AAA says to avoid any sudden acceleration, braking and steering. If you have antilock brakes, use steady pressure – don’t pump.
If you get stuck in snow or ice, AAA suggests straightening the wheel and accelerating slowly. Try adding sand, traction mats or cat litter under the drive wheels to avoid spinning tires.
AAA recommends that all drivers make sure they have an emergency kit ready for any winter weather. Items to have in your car include:
- Snow shovel
- Scraper or de-icer
- Extra blankets
- Warm clothing
- Extra medications.
And: Always travel with a full tank of gas.
As of 11 a.m., no closures or cancellations have been reported in the area due to weather. We will update this section as more closures are announced.
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