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DEVELOPING: Heavy snow making driving in Arlington very hazardous

(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) In the battle between the snow plows and the snow in Arlington, the snow is currently winning.

Heavy, accumulating snow covers roads around Arlington, outpacing the rate by which it can be cleared. Snow crews were reportedly unable to pretreat roads, due to the storm starting as rain.

The traffic map around Arlington is a sea of red, with numerous crashes, cars stalled out on hills and other drivers moving slowly even on main thoroughfares.

“Today’s snowfall is likely to be heaviest in late morning, with low visibility and rapid accumulation,” the county said in an Arlington Alert message just after 9 a.m. “Please stay home if you can and stay off the roads.”

Even Route 50, I-66 and I-395, a focus of VDOT plow crews, remain largely snow-covered with several reported crashes and slow traffic. Shortly after 10:15 a.m., Arlington County police were told by dispatchers to avoid I-395 entirely, due to “gridlock.”

Among the places where problems are being reported:

  • Police are blocking westbound Columbia Pike at N. George Mason Drive, prior to the hill
  • Westbound Route 50 is reportedly impassable at the hill past Courthouse and again at N. Park Drive, where cars are stuck “all over the road”
  • The steep hill on N. Courthouse Road itself is said to be “fubar”
  • “A bunch of cars sideways” on N. Glebe Road between Military Road and Chain Bridge, which is now closed. There’s also a report of a downed tree.
  • Cars having trouble getting up the hill on S. Glebe Road near Shirlington Road
  • Police have also been requested to Shirlington Road and Arlington Mill Drive in the Shirlington area. Shirlington Circle may be shut down, according to scanner traffic.
  • The intersection of N. Rhodes Street and 14th Street N. is reportedly “littered with cars” that have been abandoned by drivers who got stuck on the hill
  • S. Arlington Ridge Ridge Road is blocked between 23rd and 28th streets due to two large trees down across the roadway
  • Numerous issues have been reported along Langston Blvd (Route 29) including a stuck tractor trailer at N. Scott Street

The Arlington County Fire Department has declared a snow emergency, according to scanner traffic, affecting how it responds to calls.

Trash and recycling collection was “suspended due to deteriorating conditions” as of 7 a.m. ART service, meanwhile, was suspended just after 9 a.m. Metrobus service was temporarily suspended around 9:30 a.m.

A brief power outage was reported in at least one portion of the county. More outages are possible with heavy wet snow potentially toppling branches and trees.

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