There have been numerous accidents reported on local roads and highways, including several on the 1700 block of Lee Highway, near the intersection with N. Scott Street. Among those was a serious one-vehicle crash involving a minivan that ran off the road and into a wall along I-66.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 1:00 p.m. In an Arlington Alert, the county asked residents to drive carefully.
“The weather should turn to all rain after 10 AM,” the alert said. “Please drive with caution.”
Meanwhile, a water main break has shut down the eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike at S. Buchanan Street. Repairs are expected to “last into the afternoon.”
Photo courtesy @CAPT258
Forecasters say the precipitation will begin around 11:00 tonight, starting off as snow and sleet before transitioning to freezing rain overnight. The weather event is expected to end as plain rain around 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. Locally, snow and sleet accumulation could total up to an inch, with up to 1/10 inch of freezing rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Arlington County crews are preparing for the winter weather by pre-treating main roads with salt brine (see photo) to guard against icy conditions. Still, the county is asking residents to avoid unnecessary car trips during the storm.
“Team members and their equipment will be on standby overnight and will remain so until the weather event turns to full rain,” said Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads due to the potential for hazardous conditions.”
Photo courtesy Arlington DES
The already busy morning commute proved to be more hectic due to an accident that shut down part of N. Quincy Street. Two cars collided directly in front of the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
Police shut down Quincy Street from Washington Boulevard to Fairfax Drive while conducting their investigation. Although it’s currently unclear if icy roads contributed to the accident, a salt and sand truck was called to the scene due to police reports of ice.
Drivers are reminded to use extra caution because this week’s quick temperature drop has caused ice to form on certain streets that may not traditionally be known for icy conditions.
The website offers one-stop shopping for residents seeking more information on winter weather preparations, winter weather safety tips, road condition and snow plowing updates, and answers to snow removal ordinance questions. The site also links to the county’s snow issue reporting page.
One of the new features introduced with the new portal is a “snow phase system,” which will designate how far along the county is in its snow clearing efforts after a storm. The page will indicate whether the county is in Phase 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Phase 1 is the “Alert” phase, when snow crews are pre-treating roads and residents are being encouraged to park their cars off-street, if possible.
Phase 2 is the “Primary Routes” phase, when the storm is in progress or has just concluded. In this phase, county and VDOT crews are working to clear primary and secondary roads only. Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads and help clear sidewalks during this phase.
Phase 3 is the “Residential Streets” phase, when crews are working to make residential streets passable while widening the clear path on primary roads.
Phase 4, the “Clean Up” phase, is when crews will focus on removing ice and slush from roads while using the sun as a tool for melting leftover snow.
Arlington County said it’s ready to respond should winter weather strike.
“When forecasters predict winter weather — snow, ice or freezing rain — Arlington’s plows and salt trucks are prepped and ready to go,” the county said in a press release. “Residents, at any time, can check the storm’s progress, track the County’s efforts to clear streets of snow, and learn how to best prepare for the winter weather. The current phase will be posted on the County web site and social media channels.”
Right now it’s clear sailing in Arlington on I-395, I-66, Route 1, Route 50 and Columbia Pike. Traffic volume has remained light and no major problems are reported.
Many side streets are still covered in a thin frozen glaze, but are passable.
The storm, which left less than an inch of accumulation, prompted Arlington Public Schools to open on a two-hour delay. The county and federal governments are open with an option for unscheduled leave or telework.
Update at 12:05 p.m. — The county has informed us that the previous numbers we were given were wrong. The article now reflects the updated numbers.
Last week’s snow and ice storm has resulted in a total of 679 complaints to Arlington County through its new Report a Snow Issue form, according to the county’s Department of Environmental Services.
As of last night, here’s the breakdown of what citizens are reporting:
- 406 — This street has never been plowed or needs additional plowing
- 189 — Sidewalk concern
- 52 — Other
- 32 — This street is icy
By comparison, TBD reported that 30 complaints were submitted after 2-3 inches of snow fell on Dec. 16.
The county’s new snow removal ordinance says that snow and ice must be removed from public sidewalks 24 hours after precipitation stops falling. So far, however, no fines have been issued as a result of the ordinance.
“Our collective focus this year has been on education and compliance,” said Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy. “To date, there have not been any civil infractions issued according to Code Enforcement.”
Police are urgently calling in salt trucks to the Arlington Forest neighborhood, where a number of cars have been sliding down a steep hill on North Edison Street.
Cops are starting to block off access to the road in the area of Carlin Springs Road and North Emerson Street. They’re reporting on the radio that the street is coated with ice.
At least two cars are reported to have been involved in a collision, and at least one county vehicle is stuck at the bottom of the hill.
Update at 9:55 a.m. — Dangerous, icy conditions are also being reported in the area of South Hayes Street and Fort Scott Drive in Aurora Hills.
(Updated at 7:25 a.m.) The handful of Arlington public schools that were slated to be open today are operating on a two-hour delay due to icy road conditions. From APS:
Barcroft and Campbell Elementary schools, the Arlington Mill and Langston High School Continuation programs, and the Pools will open two hours late today. Students in all other APS schools and programs have No School today due to a scheduled Teacher Work Day. Teachers may report two hours late. Liberal leave is available for 12-month employees and for 10-month school office staff members. Essential employees should report on time.
There’s also a two-hour delay for federal employees.
ART bus service was operating on its inclement weather limited service plan earlier this morning, but has since switched back to normal service. Some delays are still expected.
Arlington County government offices are opening on time.
(Updated at 11:30 p.m.) Get ready for the dreaded wintry mix and a challenging morning commute.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, in effect from 10:00 tonight to 9:00 tomorrow morning. Forecasters are predicting that snow and sleet, beginning around dinner time, will switch over to freezing rain overnight, leaving roads slick and the ground covered with as much as an inch of wet snow.
Luckily, most Arlington Public School students already have the day off tomorrow. Tuesday is a designated teacher work day in every school except Barcroft Elementary, Campbell Elementary and the high school continuation programs at Arlington Mill and Langston. No word yet on whether classes will be canceled or delayed at Barcroft.
Arlington County’s Office of Emergency Management just issued the following alert:
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued from 10 PM Monday night until 9 AM Tuesday morning for a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Up to one inch snow accumulation expected before changing to freezing rain. Ice accumulations around one tenth of an inch are expected.
Temperatures have been hovering around freezing, raising the possibility that roads wet from yesterday’s rains could freeze. Last night VDOT began treating bridges, ramps and other freeze-prone stretches of road with salt, as a precaution.
So far, however, it would seem that ice is not a factor in the morning commute. No significant accidents have been reported as of 7:30 this morning and there are currently no major delays on local highways.
Workers broke a sweat yesterday while installing the Pentagon Row’s winter ice rink in 70+ degree weather.
The rink will open for the season at noon on Monday. See the skating schedule here.
Arlington’s snow removal crews are heading back into the neighborhoods to finish what they started (and what they did not start) on Monday. From the county’s web site:
Arlington’s snow crews worked overnight following yesterday’s blizzard conditions to clear primary and secondary roadways. Today, trucks are beginning to move into neighborhood streets. The snow operations team will work to prioritize streets that were not plowed or treated following the February 5th storm, but please note crews must pass through and clear some previously plowed streets in order to reach these unplowed streets.
The snow may have stopped falling, but road conditions are still icy and treacherous. We strongly urge drivers to stay off the roads today to ensure that plows and emergency vehicles can get through safely.