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Arlington Area Braces for Possibly Historic Blizzard

by Buzz McClain January 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm 0

Winter storm Jonas hasn’t even made it to Arlington and panic has already set in. Store shelves are dwindling. Virginia is in a state of emergency. Metrotrail this afternoon announced it would suspend service across the entire system starting tomorrow night at 11 p.m. and remain closed all day Saturday and Sunday.

But all this panic is likely for good reason: More than 100 traffic accidents took place in the region during Wednesday’s pre-storm flurries (Arlington apologized for the road conditions). We shudder to think what’s going to happen should Jonas begin dropping the reported up-to-20-inches of flakes on us Friday afternoon.

Multiple county agencies have mobilized in an effort to keep things as civilized as possible. In Arlington, there are more than 100 county drivers working 12-hour shifts, driving 47 county trucks with another 30 or so on contract standing by.

The 9,000 tons of salt ready to be spread on roads is 1,000 tons more than last year, and there’s also 200 tons of sand at the ready. Still, most government agencies in the area are repeating the same message: Do not leave home.

We’ve put together a few resources you should know about how to cope with snow in Arlington.

  • Here’s the snow removal hotline: 703-228-6485. Or instead, use this form to report an issue. On the other hand, maybe they’re on the way; use the number to call for service updates.
  • Ever wonder why three days into a “weather event” your street hasn’t been plowed? You might not like the answer, but here it is.
  • So you got to the end of the street but slid sideways into a snow bank? And then when you came back the car was gone? Oh, no, you got towed. You’re going to want to call this number: 703-558-2222. Maybe you should have checked if Metro is running.
  • Did you lose your power too? Here’s where to report it with Dominion Virginia Power or to find out why it’s still out.
  • Here’s a list of closings and delays at county agencies. They can’t get to work either.
  • If you can get the door open and step outside, there are nine miles of trails the Parks & Rec gang are keeping plowed for your hiking pleasure. Snow shoes optional.
  • This winter the county is experimenting with plowing tracks into protected bicycle lanes. If you ride your bike in the snow, make sure you know what you are doing.
  • Remember, you need to shovel that snow in front of your house, no matter how deep it is. It’s the law.
  • In addition, Arlington Fire would like you to “adopt a hydrant”; so does your dog.
  • Out of bread, milk and toilet paper already? You should have prepared better by reading this first.
  • If you can get out of the house, head to one of three Arlington parks–Virginia Highlands, Mosaic Park and Bluemont Park–to watch front-end loaders pile snow into a massive snow melting machine. Beats watching another episode of “Sponge Bob.”
  • Here’s a bunch of important county emergency phone numbers in a single pdf.
  • And please, check on your elderly and handicapped neighbors. We’re all in this together.

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