Get Ready!

Esa flower ya no retoña, originally uploaded by Nestum23.


The National Weather Service is predicting between 4 and 8” of snow to fall in and around the District beginning late Sunday afternoon. The heaviest snows are expected to fall between 7pm and midnight. District snow crews treated all roads last night as the first of two forecasted storms moved through the area.

Mayor Adrian Fenty announced this morning that a snow emergency will be in effect beginning at 4pm this afternoon. “It is important that our crews have access to the roads from curb-to-curb in order to plow the snow,” said Mayor Fenty. “This is one of the first plow events we have had this season, and we want to ensure we are able to maintain clear and safe roadways as we move into Monday morning.”

During a declared snow emergency vehicles are not allowed to park on routes identified by the red and white “Snow Emergency Route” signs. Once a snow emergency is delcared, vehicles remaining on these routes will be ticketed and towed and charged a $250 fine. A map and listing of snow emergency routes may be found on line at Click on “Snow Plan – Snow and Ice Control.”

Also, travelers should be aware taxi cab fares can be increased to 25% during a declared snow emergency. There is a button on the meters that once pushed will automatically add the increase. Passengers may ask for a receipt to see the total charge. Continues after the jump.

The District’s Snow Team (District Department of Transportation and Department of Public Works) is planning a full deployment beginning Sunday at 2pm. Between 200 and 350 pieces of equipment including heavy and light plows, sprayer trucks and contract plows, if necessary, will be deployed to treat and plow elevated surfaces and roadways, including bridges, overpasses and ramps as well as roadways and residential streets.

The District Snow Team is responsible for 2,950 lane miles of roadway and 241 bridges including 69 primary and secondary routes, 82 residential routes and 75 miles of major roadways and Interstate Highways (part of the National Highway System).

When fully deployed, the team’s resources include nearly 350 pieces of equipment, capacity filled snow domes and over 100 closed circuit television (CCTV) traffic cameras to be used to track progressive treatment and to monitor the surface conditions of the roadway.

In addition to the fleet of heavy and light plows, loaders and spray trucks, the District closely monitors National Weather Service forecasts, and uses an automatic vehicle location system, geo-spatial information system (GIS) and road weather information systems (RWIS). Each of these help the team determine anticipated roadway conditions, areas in need of snow and/or ice removal and current roadway temperatures.

Motorists are advised to proceed with caution. Additional information on the snow deployment plan may be found at

The Mayor and the District Snow Team remind commuters and residents to:

· Clear sidewalks.

· Help your elderly or disabled neighbors remove snow from steps and sidewalks.

· Clear catch basins and fire hydrants.

· Remember to keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles and please use caution when attempting to pass a snowplow. Give the drivers plenty of room to safely do their jobs.

· Clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle’s windows and lights – even the hood and roof – before driving.

· Please do not put snow in the street. Put all cleared snow, from parked cars and sidewalks in the “tree box,” front yard, or between the curb and sidewalk.

· Remember that driving on ice is significantly different than driving on snow.

· Use extreme caution and maintain safe speeds and distances from other vehicles.

· Remember even a 4-wheel drive SUV does not perform well in ice and additional safety measures should be followed.

· Be aware of road conditions, particularly black ice which can be deceptive in its appearance giving the driver a false sense of security on the road.

· Watch for slippery bridge decks, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition. Bridge decks will ice up sooner than the adjacent pavement.

10 Comment

  • And so the hysteria begins….please note that the snow emergency has begun and it’s not even snowing. While that’s fine to give folks a chance to clear their cars off the routes, it’s nothing but highway robbery that cabs can now start charging 25% more (and let’s be honest, you know they all will).

  • I just ran out to Frager’s to get wood and there were people getting 50 lb. bags of salt. Granted, that was the only size they had left, but still. It’s March – we might get 2 whole inches. Settle down.

  • Nothing, not even a major snowstorm, is slowing down drivers on the 16th Street Expressway.

  • Aargh, I’m so over wiinter, I’m not looking forward to the snow, cold temps and icy winds. It would be nice to have an early and prolonged spring for a change, instead of going from winter directly into summer. OK, rant over. 🙂

  • quick! snatch up all the toilet paper and milk!

  • Ha! Anon 8:38 hits it right on the nose. I’ve never quite understood DCers’ snow panic, nor their idea of emergency supplies. I’m looking forward to seeing the ridiculous ways people try to scrape the ice off their windshields tomorrow morning. Past winners: a pot of boiling water, and the pointy end of a screwdriver.

  • As I was reading this, I got a text from AlertDC. Snow emergency lifted. Boo. I was hoping for a real snow for once.

  • Capital Weather Gang is calling for up to THREE INCHES!


  • well they missed the timing on this completely b/c we got basically nothing in ledroit park all morning and it’s coming down like crazy now.

  • @Nita: I’ve used a high-heeled shoe before during a snowstorm in Boise once. Credit cards also work quite well.

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