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Arlington, VDOT Urge Snow Preparedness

Radar at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday of massive snow storm (via NWS)Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation are asking area residents to make preparations for the snowstorm expected to hit tonight.

The National Weather Service has placed Arlington under a Winter Storm Warning, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has declared a state of emergency and the latest weather models from the Capital Weather Gang predicts 5-10 inches of snow for the immediate D.C. region by the end of the day Thursday, with 4-8 inches falling by 7:00 a.m.

WMATA has already announced that late-night bus service — after 1:00 a.m. — tonight has been cancelled and MetroAccess service for the disabled has been suspended tomorrow.

The county’s transit agencies, ART and STAR, will “continue to provide normal scheduled services as conditions permit.” The agencies will update their websites and send out alerts if and when service needs to be reduced or suspended.

County and state crews are already pre-treating the roads as predictions come in for not only heavy snow, but sleet and freezing rain in the morning on Thursday.

“The County’s snow crews and Office of Emergency Management are gearing up, and residents and businesses should, too,” Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. “If you don’t have to drive during this storm, which is expected to be the most significant we’ve had this winter, please stay off the roads and let crews do their work. Check on neighbors who are housebound.”

Salt truck The county is asking residents to move their cars off the street where possible, or to “coordinate with your neighbors and/or civic association to move all cars to one side of the street,” since plows need 15 feet to plow a road. If there is a power outage or trees down, the county is asking residents to use their website to report weather-related issues.

VDOT says that by midnight, more than 4,000 trucks will be stationed in Northern Virginia, ready to plow state-maintained highways and streets, like I-66, I-395 and Route 50.

No closures have been announced yet for school or the government — county and federal — but residents should continue to check throughout the night once the snow begins to fall.

Arlington is also reminding residents of the county’s snow removal ordinance.

The County’s Snow Removal Ordinance requires all Arlington property owners to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within a designated time period. The ordinance also prohibits transferring or depositing snow and ice from private property onto public property. Individual homeowners who are physically incapable of complying with the Ordinance are exempt. Visit the County website for more information on the Snow Removal Ordinance. Remember to clear snow from cars and sidewalks into the adjacent yard, not the street.

Residents can use the “Report a Snow Issue” form 24 hours after snowfall has stopped to report snow removal issues or areas that need attention. County staffers monitor the requests, but are unable to respond to every message.

Update at 4:20 p.m. — Arlington County has announced all facilities and programs, including those in schools, will close tonight at 9:00 p.m. The status for school tomorrow remains undetermined.

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