BREAKING NEWS — Bus Service Ending Early, Standstill on I-66, Widespread Power Outages

by ARLnow.com January 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm 2,238 37 Comments

Update at 10:00 p.m. — Traffic started moving again on I-66 for a few minutes, but is now back at a standstill.

Update at 10:00 p.m. — There are now more than 13,400 Dominion customers without power in Arlington.

Heavy, wet snow is continuing to fall in the area, knocking down trees and power lines and grinding traffic to a halt.

As a result of road conditions, Arlington Transit has announced that it will be discontinuing ART bus service at 9:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Metrobus service will end at 9:30 p.m.

Traffic on westbound I-66 has been at a standstill from Rosslyn to Spout Run for at least one three hours. Hundreds of motorists are stranded in the snow. Many have turned off their car to save gas.

More than 10,000 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington. On Twitter, residents of nearly every Arlington zip code have reported flickering lights.

Dozens of reports of downed trees and power lines are coming in. Many are reporting transformers and trees on fire. One tree in the area of Marymount University fell on a house, but no injuries were reported.

Arlington County reports that it has 45 plows out clearing roads. Crews will be working throughout the night, the county says.

  • BoredHouseWife

    One would think that with all that practice clearing roads that Arlington would get it correct when it snows for real.

    • The Noze Bros


    • Stanley

      66 is not Arlington’s jurisdiction. That’s VA VDOT. If your going to throw a stone, make sure you know which way to throw it.

    • Sunny617

      It’s called bad timing–it’s kinda hard to clear roads when traffic is at a standstill on them. Trust me, I was just there. It was hell. But no snow plow was going to make a difference at that point because they wouldn’t have gone anywhere. I did see plows on Eastbound 50 and in Rosslyn.

      • Steve

        Don’t forget the rain washing the pretreatment away.

  • G

    I had a nice run home today past all the stuck cars =). My fiancé on the other hand left the dupont area at 3:30 and didn’t get home here near shirlington until 7:30pm.

    • kc

      I lived in Anchorage AK for 9 years and commuted home by running. There were many a day it was faster to run than if I had driven.

      • G

        Nice! Yeah I find it’s faster than the bus around here.

  • J

    what is going on on george washington parkway headed towards dc?!?!??!? my boyfriend has not moved for FOUR HOURS NOW.

  • Aaron

    Yea, looking at traffic cameras is frankly great entertainment tonight. Cars on 66 have not moved at all, people are walking in Rosslyn tunnel. Other spin outs and stuck throughout the area. Good luck people.

    • kc

      Just got back from a walk up to Rosslyn and 50 west is backed up to the Meade St. bridge.

  • Aaron

    Def looks like lot of people will be sleeping on i-66 tonight

  • cindy

    Power outage in Maywood/Cherrydale around 8pm–saw and heard light explosions as I was walking my dog…typing this on my Droid by lamplight.

  • SD

    Power out, tree on neighbors house and cable lines in street here in bluemont.

  • Stanley

    Someone take a pot of coffee down to 66, and a stack of cheese sandwiches.

  • Worried

    Wow, this is awful. I have read that people are stranded on GW parkway too and running out of gas. Really frightening. It’s so cold out there.

  • Rick

    Just watched an art bus get stuck and unstuck at williamsburg and 35th in 22207. Limbs everywhere, wires everywhere. I can’t distinguish between lightning/thunder and transformers blowing but I still have unstable power

  • SnowDay

    My wife left Chevy Chase at 4:30 (awful timing, I know) and is still sitting on Canal, not quite yet onto Chain Bridge. I’m just hoping she can get home tonight. She has half a tank of gas, which would be enough to keep warm if she had to sleep in the car, but this is just awful in general. DC and Arlington have done an embarrassingly bad job today.

    Anyone know what the situation is on Glebe after Chain Bridge? Should I just start walking and go sleep in the car with her? Heh.

    • Rick

      If I were her I’d go down canal to georgetown than try and get up the hill on glebe, but hopefully shes got front or 4 wheel drive

      • Rick

        to clarify: take canal to key bridge to avoid the hill on glebe. hope she gets home safe

      • SnowDay

        She’s sitting on Chain Bridge right now, so too late for that – she said the traffic going the other way was also at a stand still, though. I’m hoping it opens up a little bit after the bridge. We live off of George Mason and there’s no traffic at all outside the house.

        Car has FWD, and Arlington has had all night to clear that hill. Hopefully its in decent shape.

        • SnowDay

          Update – she just got in. Total of 7.5 hours on the road. 7 of it on the DC side. Major thanks to the group of people helping cars up the hill on Glebe just after Chain Bridge. If any of those are you, thanks!

    • AllenB

      It’s not just DC and Arlington. The roads are awful all over. It came down too fast to keep up with and right at rush hour. There was no way to keep the roads clear.

  • Bender

    Bus service ending early.

    This from the same car-hating folks who are pushing everyone into public transportation.

  • Jake55


    This bus has been in the same position for over an hour (since I first saw it.) What’s going on 66? It seems to be clear past Ballston, so obviously something between Spout Run and Glebe Rd…

    • Rick

      the camera for [email protected] run is unavailable, maybe it fell onto the highway? pure speculation though

  • Bluemonter Too

    Any chance you can tell us where the house with the downed tree and power line is? Thx!

    • LVGuy


      • Rick


  • Jake55

    Well, if there is ever an emergency in DC we can see how the evacuation will pan out…. not well..

    • GeorgeOrwell

      if there is an emergency like this or like 9/11, just open the liquor cabinet.

  • SouthArlington

    I left DC at 3pm, my bus never came so I took orange line to Clarendon and got on 41 Art bus. By 7pm our bus had to abandon us on Colubmia Pike. There were literally dozens of cars facing the wrong direction and skidding all over around us. The intersections, especially Columbia Pike at George Mason and Columbia PIke at Columbus were a nightmare. The buses couldn’t make the hills up and down on Columbia Pike. If there is a real disaster here, we’re all screwed. I have still not seen a single plow.

    • Katie

      16Y? The first one showed up around 5 pm and refused to let us on. He had plenty of standing room. Sayonara, %$#. I know your supervisor.

      Everyone bailed at that point. Most had been standing there, freezing and wet, since 3:45 pm. I managed to find a ride, and we were on the road for another 4 and a half hours just to Columbia Pike.

  • Bluemonter Too

    I heard another transformer blow. I’m already without power…

  • Bender

    Why?? Why were we so foolish?? WHY???????????

    If only we had built the street-car sooner!

    • GeorgeOrwell

      LOL. so the cars could all get stuck on the slippery tracks. although the cow catcher on the streetcar could have helped clear the roadway

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