(Updated at 10 a.m.) A frigid night is on tap and the refreezing of melting snow could make roads and sidewalks extra slippery.
The National Weather Service on Monday issued a Special Weather Statement about the ice concerns overnight:
…Icy Patches Likely Overnight Into Tuesday Morning… Falling temperatures and water from melted snow will result in patchy ice on area roads overnight into early Tuesday. This will be especially problematic on untreated roadways. Motorists should exercise extra caution overnight into early Tuesday, and assume that any surfaces which look wet or slushy may in fact be icy.
Adding to the driving danger in Arlington: many neighborhood roads have yet to be touched by a snow plow. As of Monday night, the county remained in “Phase 2” of its snow removal plan, during which crews focus on primary and secondary roads only.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that crews will “work throughout the night to clear roadways,” but the county said Monday night what some had suspected: that Covid has reduced snow plow staffing.
“The County’s snow removal is currently impacted by COVID-19 related staffing shortages,” the county said. “Roads are being cleared as quickly and safely as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Crews will work throughout the night to clear roadways but temperatures down to the teens won't help. Avoid travel well into the morning if possible. https://t.co/DuInmBchJW pic.twitter.com/KTJCVRSy7c
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) January 4, 2022
Monday’s winter storm was one for the record books.
The 6.9 inches of accumulation recorded at Reagan National Airport is a new official D.C. record for Jan. 3 and the first major snowfall event in about three years. In Arlington, storm spotters reported between 6.5 and 9.2 inches of snow, with higher amounts generally to the south.
The storm’s impact will be felt Tuesday and perhaps beyond.
As previously reported, Arlington Public Schools will be closed while trash collection has been cancelled for both Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, Arlington County government offices, recreation centers, vaccination clinics, and — as of Tuesday morning — Covid testing booths will be closed on Tuesday.
Due to Monday's snow, and in an abundance of caution for the safety of staff and clients, the COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Walter Reed and Arlington Mill Community Centers are CLOSED on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Those with appointments have been notified.
— Arlington County (@ArlingtonVA) January 4, 2022
⚠️ The County's @Curative COVID-19 testing kiosks will be closed today (Jan. 4) due to weather and COVID19-related staffing shortages. People with appointments will be notified. Find alternative testing sites: https://t.co/lfl14fLekJ
Thank you for your flexibility.
— Ready Arlington 😷 (@ReadyArlington) January 4, 2022
The federal government will be opening on a three hour delay on Tuesday, the Office of Personnel Management said tonight.
1/4: Federal agencies in the DC area will OPEN with a 3-hour delay and have the option of allowing unscheduled leave/telework. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hours later than they would be expected to arrive.
Visit the link: https://t.co/XNpFS40aXT
— U.S. Office of Personnel Management (@USOPM) January 4, 2022
While unnecessary travel is being discouraged, particularly overnight, limited bus service is now available.
It’s going to be a cold night, meanwhile, for more than a thousand households around Arlington.
As of 10:30 p.m., 1,240 homes and businesses were without power in Arlington, according to Dominion. It could be days before the outages, scattered across the county, are fully resolved.
“Please prepare for the possibility of being without power for multiple days,” power company spokeswoman Peggy Fox said tonight. “This is a multi-day restoration effort.”
Dominion reported more than 90,000 customers without power across Northern Virginia — and even more statewide — Monday night.
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