Traffic Slows to a Crawl as Snow Covers Roads

by ARLnow.com January 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm 3,088 40 Comments

Update at 7:25 p.m. — A downed tree has completely blocked westbound Lee Highway near HB Woodlawn. Separately, a tow truck is on the way to assist a stranded ambulance on Washington Boulevard near the Navy Annex.

Update at 7:00 p.m. — Downed power lines and falling tree limbs are being reported throughout the area. Dominion is reporting more than 1,200 customers without power in Arlington. Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson tells WUSA 9 that it may take more time than usual to restore power due to gridlock on local streets and highways.

Update at 6:10 p.m. — Traffic is at a dead stop on westbound I-66 from the District to Spout Run.

Update at 5:40 pm. — Stranded vehicles are being reported on Glebe Road near Chain Bridge and at Washington Boulevard and I-395.

Update at 5:30 p.m. — Treacherous conditions are reported on parts of Carlin Springs Road and Patrick Henry Drive. Via a traffic camera (above) we witnessed a car slide down Carlin Springs near Route 50 and nearly strike a pole. The car was eventually able to reverse and continue on its way.

Update at 5:15 p.m. — Westbound Washington Boulevard has been shut down at Sycamore Street.

Traffic throughout the county has slowed to a crawl as roads become increasingly snow-covered and as nightfall sets in.

Southbound I-395, westbound I-66, southbound Route 1, westbound Route 50, westbound Columbia Pike, Washington Boulevard and Glebe Road are jammed.

Numerous accidents have been reported throughout the county. Numerous hills have been reported to be impassable.

Police and firefighters report being delayed responding to calls due to heavy traffic.

Emergency responders have now been instructed to put chains on their tires to improve traction.

  • NorthArlingtonHE

    This car is never going to make it up N Glebe Rd after Chain Bridge.


  • NorthArlingtonHE
  • Bender

    **Numerous hills have been reported to be impassable**

    So, they thought that putting down some salt water LAST NIGHT was going to be sufficient the next day?

    Crews need to be out there scraping and salting constantly once it starts to fall. If these big hills are impassable now, there ain’t no way some big heavy salt truck is going to be able to get up it or down it.

  • JamesE

    Good thing I left work around 2

  • Susan

    Everyone should have been allowed to go home earlier than they did, BEFORE this ever started. Once it went from a watch to a warning, that should have been it, people in the county should have been sent home no later than 2:00, so they could beat the snow. As always though, in Arlington, as everywhere else I guess, it’s about the almighty dollar, NEVER the safety of employees.

    • Westover

      School kids got sent home before everyone else, they SHOULD be [b]the[/b] priority.

      The county has really fallen in their snow removal today. They did better with two feet last year!

      • Susan

        Of course, but it is the people in their cars, trying to get home, that are causing problems, and this could have been avoided, if people were allowed to get on the road and home before the mess turned to snow, it’s not as if it were a secret when the snow was going to start! It’s incredible about the road crews, I remember the day after Christmas, when it was supposed to snow, and hours before it was supposed to start, they had enough salt on the road, you needed a 4-wheel drive to get through it!

        • AllenB

          Do you think it’s possible that the plows are in the traffic along with everyone else? And maybe that since it’s coming down so heavy that it’s really impossible to keep things all that clear until it lets up? Jeez, apply just a tiny bit of thought before you speak.

          • The Noze Bros

            Compassion. Apply a bit of compassion to your fellow Arlingtonian.

          • AllenB

            Sorry, I lack compassion for people who just sit around and complain, especially when they are too lazy to do some checking to see what is really going on.

  • Arlwhenever

    Glebe Rd. is gridlocked north and south. We were able to navigate easily down from Lee Hwy down toward CPike using four-wheel drive on side streets known to have moderate hills.

    Saw many cars spinning wheels that couldn’t make it up a grade to or through intersections, other cars sliding through red lights. In other words, business as usual in a Washington DC Metro area snowstorm.

  • Scott,

    Quit staring at video cams and get out of the house.

    • jan

      stay in!

  • Skeptical

    Just shoveled my walk. If you’re home and you have anything to shovel, start now — this stuff weighs a ton, and I do physical work on a daily basis. Anyone who isn’t in shape better take it in small scoops.

  • 38B

    This storm was predicted well in advance, and the warnings of severe road conditions for the PM commute were very clear. I heard of too many employers who did not give employees ample time to commute home safely, including Arlington County. Shame on them.

    • Susan

      That’s what I said above, and I am an Arlington County employee, and have seen this over and over. It’s all about the almighty dollar, they don’t give a rat’s ass about people’s safety or well being!

      • AllenB

        You sound like such a valuable, productive county employee, Susan – the kind that probably stood around for 5 hours b*tching and complaining about not getting out of work early.

        • Susan

          No, I was one of the unfortunate ones stuck in it ass&*%^$

  • Thomas Carlyle

    Actually, “a storm” not “this storm” was predicted, and not “well in advance” either. Terrible work by NWS/LWX–this morning they issued a Winter Weather Advisory for DC, Arlingotn and close in suburbs– a mix of rain and snow with low accumulations. The Winter Storm Warning and Special Advisory about the rush-hour threat didn’t go up till right around noon. Should have been issued in time for the 11 o’clock news last night.

    • Rick

      Winter Storm Watch went up yesterday afternoon/evening

      • AllenB

        And it was downgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory this morning, before being upgraded again late morning to a Winter Storm Warning.

        • Rick

          Doesn’t change the fact there was due warning

          • AllenB

            And your point is what?

          • Rick

            that you pointing out upgrades and downgrades doesn’t change the fact the warning went out last night, on top of what 4/5/7/9/103.5 has been saying all week

          • AllenB

            Yes, a warning went out that some amount of snow was coming…. so? You still haven’t stated the “and”… what should have been done differently?

          • Rick

            “Thomas Carlyle:
            January 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm
            Actually, “a storm” not “this storm” was predicted, and not “well in advance” either. Terrible work by NWS/LWX–this morning they issued a Winter Weather Advisory for DC, Arlingotn and close in suburbs– a mix of rain and snow with low accumulations. The Winter Storm Warning and Special Advisory about the rush-hour threat didn’t go up till right around noon. Should have been issued in time for the 11 o’clock news last night.”

            Insert my point about warnings going up for the 11 pm news last night from NWS, and you getting technical about it. The word was out last night. You’re just nitpicking

          • AllenB

            Not technical or nitpicking. Big difference between a weather advisory and storm warning. You can look it up and then pull the stick out of your *ss.

          • Rick

            if anyone else is on allenb’s side here i’ll drop it, I just think the horse assery is running high in his neck of the woods

  • Rick

    All of you are grown ass men and women, if you think it’s gonna be a PITA to get home, leave early! I did. Wasn’t hard either. Some of you sit online all day and comment non-stop, you knew damn well it was going to snow.

  • Cpikestrand

    So, my 4 mile drive is stretching into it’s 3rd hour. Been in the same spot next to Air Force Memorial since 6:20. Do they say on the news if we should strand our cars?

    • AllenB

      Sorry man, they’re saying it’s gridlock everywhere, all over the region.

  • db

    Col Pike is an unplowed parking lot. Nightmare.

  • Erica

    Do you have anything on the back-up on GW Parkway?

    • I’ll try to get something. Where and in which direction?

  • MGW

    Just came in from shoveling the driveway. Snow’s wet and heavy. Quite a workout. Can hear tree limbs cracking everywhere. Still have power tho’, thank God.

  • BoredHouseWife

    I just don’t get it. This was expected. They released the kids at the appropriate time, so they knew that it was going to get bad. 200 year old oaks are losing their branches.

    • AllenB

      Are ya blaming the county for the branches to, Bored?

  • BoredHouseWife

    No need to be snippy Allen B, I did not know that they downgraded it to an advisory. That makes a world of difference.

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