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NEW: As snow ends in Arlington, a big cleanup continues

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) The snowflakes are tapering off across Arlington, but police, firefighters and plow crews are still hard at work.

The heavy, wet snow has made vehicle travel treacherous and nearly impossible in certain hilly parts of the county. Even frequently-plowed highways and main routes like I-395, Route 50 and Columbia Pike were impassable at points during the storm.

Power outages have continued to increase, exceeding 4,500 in Arlington as of 2 p.m. amid numerous reports of falling trees and branches.

Transit issues extend beyond Arlington Transit and Metrobus service being suspended. Blue Line service as suspended between the Pentagon and Rosslyn shortly before 1 p.m. due to a fallen tree on the tracks.

As of 12:30 p.m., Reagan National Airport was under a ground stop, with arrivals and departures mostly paused and numerous flights cancelled.

In addition to schools and Arlington County government offices and facilities, many businesses around Arlington have closed for the day. Among the restaurants not serving tonight are Pupatella Pizza’s two Arlington locations.

The winter storm has exceeded accumulation predictions across the region and the state — and caused gridlock and dozens of crashes on the roads.

“Since 12:01 a.m. Monday (Jan. 3), Virginia State Police emergency communications centers across the state have fielded over 2,000 total calls for service,” VSP said this afternoon. “Of those 2,000 calls, 72 are ongoing traffic crashes and 69 disabled vehicles that VSP troopers are still on scene with or responding to as of 3:30 p.m.

VSP’s Fairfax Division, which serves the inner Northern Virginia suburbs, reported 143 disabled vehicles and 68 crashes as of 3:30 p.m.

https://twitter.com/JWPascale/status/1478063158736691203

“State police is still asking people to avoid driving, unless absolutely unnecessary,” the agency said. “The drive is not worth the risk of a crash, getting stuck, injury to your/passenger, or the cost of a repair.”

With the snow tapering off, reports suggest 6-9 inches of accumulation in parts of Arlington.

As of noon, Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says it is in “Phase 2” of its snow response, treating primary and secondary roads while neighborhood streets remain mostly snow-covered.

VDOT, meanwhile, says it is preparing for a possible refreeze overnight, which could lead to extremely hazardous driving conditions Tuesday morning.

“VDOT Northern Virginia crews will remain on duty this afternoon and overnight to push accumulation, as well as to treat roads overnight for the refreeze of any melted precipitation to the pavement,” the state transportation department said in a mid-afternoon update. “Overnight tonight and tomorrow morning, limit nonessential trips if possible, and remain keenly alert to icy spots if traveling.”

This afternoon, Arlington Public Schools joined Fairfax County and other major D.C. area school systems in announcing that there would be no school on Tuesday.

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