County Prepares Ahead for Forecasted Snow Tonight, Saturday Morning

by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County and the wider D.C. region could receive its first dusting of snow this winter, as early as tonight.

The Capital Weather Gang reports that as Friday night wears on, the chances of light snow, or a mix of snow and rain, will increase. A mix of snow and rain is likely to fall during Saturday, with as much as an inch or two expected to accumulate depending on the severity of the storm.

County government has been planning all year for any winter weather, including budgeting $1.4 million for snow removal, stockpiling 9,200 tons of salt and spending 1,950 hours training snow crews. The team is made up of 92 drivers and 46 trucks.

Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services were out this morning with liquid de-icer to pre-treat some county streets.

Work on snow-affected roads is broken into four phases, per a county press release:

  • Phase 1: Snow crews pre-treat main roads before a storm.
  • Phase 2: During the storm, the priority is to keep main arteries passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation.
  • Phase 3: Plowing of residential streets and trails begins. It’s important to know that these streets may only be passable with one lane and you may not see bare pavement.
  • Phase 4: After the storm, cleanup operations begin, which includes treating ice on the roadways.

As well as more than 1,000 lane miles of county streets, crews will also clear nearly 350 bus stops and shelters, 35 miles of sidewalks and 21 pedestrian bridges or overpasses. Ten miles of trails and three miles of protected bike lanes also will be cleared.

And residents can play their part in helping make snow clearing as easy as possible:

  • Coordinate with neighbors to park cars on one side of the street, where feasible, or avoid on-street parking so snowplow operators can efficiently clear more of the streets
  • Don’t park “head in” on cul-de-sacs so plows have more room to maneuver
  • Clear your sidewalks and scoop snow towards your house, not the street, BUT
  • Wait for snow plows to come by before clearing snow from the front of driveways, to minimize the amount pushed back by plows
  • Stay home, telework or use mass transit to reduce the number of potentially stranded vehicles
  • Apply only the recommended amount of chemical de-icers on sidewalks to attain a safe and passable way
  • Stay connected through the Snow and Ice Central webpage and DES social media platforms for updates on snow phases, transportation, trash and other important notifications. Follow on Twitter @ArlingtonDES and on Facebook at Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation will also be pre-treating roads ahead of any snow. VDOT urged drivers to give their trucks room to work.


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