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Yorktown Residents Vexed By Water Constantly Flowing Onto Street, Making For An Icy Mess

Some Yorktown residents say their neighborhood has become an icy mess at times over the last few weeks — and they believe a newly installed speed bump is to blame.

County officials still aren’t sure of the exact problem on the road, but they aren’t willing to blame the speed bump quite yet. Regardless of the exact source of the issue, people living along 26th Street N. as it runs between N. George Mason Drive and N. Glebe Road, say they’re desperate for a solution.

“We have had to have the county send salt trucks twice since [last] Friday to specifically address the road downhill from the speed bump,” David Miller, who lives along the 4900 block of 26th Street N., told ARLnow via email. “We expect this will be worse as we have more days below 32 degrees. We have not seen any accidents yet as a result of the ice/water, but have had our own cars slide while coming out of our driveway, so we fully expect it is only a matter of time.”

Miller says the road first started getting soaked with water about six months ago, the day after the county removed a speed bump from the area. Accordingly, neighbors can’t help but draw a connection between the two events.

However, he says the issue wasn’t serious until about six weeks ago, when the county installed a new speed bump and temperatures started to dip, leading residents to inform county officials about the problem. Everyone living in the area is convinced this is due to a leak of some kind, Miller said, but the county hasn’t come to a definitive conclusion just yet.

Katie O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services, says workers are indeed “actively investigating” what’s going on in the neighborhood. She says county staff “have been unable to identify a leak” thus far, making it possible that there are other factors at play in the area.

“Due to the record amount of rain we have received this year, there are a number of locations throughout the county that are supersaturated and the standing ground water may give off the appearance of a water main leak,” O’Brien wrote in an email. “We are also monitoring these locations as a precaution.”

Miller does give the county credit for its responsiveness to the issue, but remains frustrated that the problem is still unsolved all these weeks later. With temperatures continuing to plummet, he fears what will happen if the county still can’t find a fix in the coming months.

“Everyone on the street is concerned for the danger that the ice is creating,” he said.

Photo courtesy of David Miller

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Icy Conditions Possible Saturday Morning

The National Weather Service is warning of the potential for icy roads Saturday morning.

Rain falling on sub-freezing pavement — the raindrops are expected to start falling around 8-9 a.m. — may turn to ice and make driving hazardous.

More from an NWS Special Weather Statement:

…POTENTIAL FOR PATCHY ICY CONDITIONS EARLY SATURDAY MORNING ALONG AND WEST OF INTERSTATE 95 IN THE BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREA AND NEAR INTERSTATE 95 AROUND WASHINGTON DC AND SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY IN VIRGINIA… RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO START AROUND DAYBREAK SATURDAY MORNING IN THE GREATER BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON VICINITY. THE RECENT COLD SNAP HAS CAUSED ELEVATED ROADWAYS, BRIDGES, AND OVERPASSES TO BE AT OR BELOW FREEZING FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. DESPITE FORECAST AIR TEMPERATURES BEING ABOVE FREEZING EARLY ON SATURDAY MORNING IN DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON, THERE MAY BE RESIDUAL AREAS AT GROUND LEVEL WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO BE BELOW FREEZING. THIS WILL CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR PATCHY AREAS OF ICE TO ACCUMULATE BETWEEN DAWN AND 10 AM ON SATURDAY MORNING. THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR THIS PATCHY ICE WILL BE IN THE NORTHWEST SUBURBS OF BALTIMORE, NEAR WASHINGTON DC AND SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY IN VIRGINIA. PLEASE CHECK BACK OVERNIGHT FOR UPDATED FORECASTS, INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL EXPANSION OF WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES FURTHER EAST INTO MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREAS.

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Morning Notes

APS on Two Hour Delay — Arlington Public Schools are opening today on a two hour delay. “The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled,” APS said. [Twitter]

Chain Bridge Closes Due to Ice — Chain Bridge was closed for much of the morning rush hour this morning due to icy conditions on the bridge. Multiple crashes were reported, though the bridge has since reopened. [Twitter, Twitter]

Amazon News Roundup — Per the Washington Business Journal: The neighborhoods around the Rosslyn area might have been rebranded as “Capital View” had it been chosen for Amazon’s HQ2. The retro Americana hotel in Crystal City is hoping to stay put and revamp a bit as Amazon moves in. The Crystal City BID is working to expand its boundaries and, if successful, may be renamed the National Landing BID. Finally, while Virginia is mostly welcoming Amazon with open arms, in the other half of the HQ2 equation, New York City, Amazon is facing protests and opposition from local lawmakers.

Amazonians May Invade Dating Scene — DCist asks: “Will Amazon Bring A Bunch Of Rude Workaholics To The D.C. Dating Scene?” [DCist]

Money Diary of a Local Parent — As part of a money diary feature, Slate asks: “How Much Does a Dad of Two Spend on His Kids During One Week in Arlington, Virginia?” [Slate]

E-CARE This Weekend — The Arlington Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE), “a biannual event at which residents can safely dispose of household hazardous materials (HHM), bikes, small metal items and other recyclable items,” is set to happen this weekend at 1425 N. Quincy Street. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17  from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Jenn Vogel

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Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Arlington

Arlington County will be under a Winter Weather Advisory Thursday as a mix of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain fall, causing a potentially slippery morning commute.

The National Weather Service says residents should “be very careful if you venture outside tomorrow.”

More from NWS:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SLEET AND SNOW ACCUMULATION OF UP TO ONE INCH, AND ICE GLAZE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO A TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 4 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD AND SIDEWALK CONDITIONS IN SOME AREAS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUTSIDE TOMORROW. WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS IN PARTICULAR AS YOUR STEP OR PATH MAY BE COATED WITH ICE. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

AAA Mid-Atlantic is also cautioning motorists to take it easy on local roads and consider delaying non-essential trips.

Brace yourselves. We are likely in for a slippery commute tomorrow morning. People in the Washington, D.C. metro area will be waking up to a wintry mix Thursday morning, the National Weather Service and area meteorologists are forecasting. The forecast calls for a mix of “sleet, snow, and rain, and freezing rain.” Motorists and commuters should be especially careful on their morning commute and throughout the day, AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging, as the precipitation is expected to continue, either changing to rain or snow in the region.

Winter doesn’t officially arrive until the “Winter Solstice,” which falls on Friday, December 21, 2018. Although the Washington metro averages a blizzard “once every four to six years,” the District has an annual snowfall average of 15.5 inches, and we had snow in the forecast on the first day of Spring this year. Yet when it comes to rainfall, the city experiences an average of 115 days per year with precipitation. A “wintry mix” of precipitation can cause a big mess and pose special problems for area commuters.

“Thursday morning’s predicted wintry mix of precipitation will make for slippery conditions on roadways in our region,” said John B. Townsend II, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Roads that are slick or ice-covered can create a worst-case scenario for commuters. The first rule of safe driving during wet weather is to slow down to improve tire traction. Plus, given the darker morning and evening commutes, be especially cautious and look out for pedestrians.”

Hazardous storms and inclement weather are a factor in more than half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Given the weather forecast, AAA Mid-Atlantic is encouraging drivers to be prepared and offers the below tips:

Avoid braking and turning at the same time. Brake first, then turn, then accelerate. Accelerate and decelerate more slowly than you would on dry roads.

  • Leave plenty of space between your car and the car ahead of you. Increase following distances to at least 6 seconds.
  • Drive with your low-beam headlights on, even during daylight.
  • Be predictable. Use turn signals, make sure lanes are clear before changing and leave plenty of time to stop.
  • Avoid using cruise control, which can reduce traction.
  • If you start to skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Avoid puddles when it’s safe to do so.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Stay alert and minimize distractions. Don’t text, talk on the phone or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • In snow and ice, try not to stop when heading up a steep hill. After you’ve stopped, applying extra gas to get started again may only spin your wheels. Get some momentum going on a flat road as you approach the hill to help you reach the top, then reduce your speed and drive down the hill slowly.
  • If your visibility is so limited you can’t see in front of you, carefully pull off to the side of the road and stop completely.

File photo

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Arlington Public Schools Opening Two Hours Late on Thursday

(Updated at 10 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools’ classes and offices will open two hours late tomorrow (March 22) as the county cleans up from the winter storm that left at least four inches of snow in the area today.

The delay comes after the Virginia Department of Transportation warned of overnight refreezing of melting water.

From APS spokesperson Darryl Johnson:

All APS schools and offices will open two hours late on Thursday, March 22. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Essential employees and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics.

Also Thursday, Metrobuses and Arlington Transit buses will start the morning with limited service. From WMATA:

Metrobus will begin Thursday, March 22, on a light snow plan with snow detours in effect on a route-by-route basis where hilly terrain or narrow streets may be problematic for buses.

MetroAccess paratransit service for riders with disabilities will be restored on Thursday. Customers may experience delays and service impacts due to road conditions.

Metrorail will open tomorrow at 5 a.m. with normal weekday service on all rail lines.

File photo

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VDOT: Beware of Refreeze Overnight

Meltwater from the wet spring snow that fell today may refreeze overnight, leading to treacherous conditions Thursday morning.

That’s the message from VDOT, which issued the following press release this evening.

As snow tapers off across northern Virginia and temperatures hover at or below freezing, the Virginia Department of Transportation asks drivers to be aware of potential icy conditions overnight and through tomorrow.

Crews will continue working overnight to clear roads, providing a passable path in neighborhoods as well as retreating all roads for refreeze. VDOT asks drivers to use extreme caution or delay overnight trips if possible, to ensure crews are able to work safely and efficiently.

Drivers are asked to continue to monitor weather and to use extreme caution if driving. Low temperatures over the next several days will mean potential for continued refreeze, slick spots and varying road conditions.

Drivers are reminded:

  • Stay tuned to weather conditions (see latest from National Weather Service).
  • If existing conditions refreeze and roads become icy, delay trips for safety, or allow plenty of extra time and reduce speeds significantly.
  • Assume any “wet” pavement could be slick. Even previously treated roads become slick quickly with low pavement and air temperatures.
  • Take it slow on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and other known trouble spots.
  • Ensure gas tanks and wiper fluid tanks are full and completely clean off vehicles before traveling.
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Icy Conditions Expected Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning’s commute may be icy inside and outside the Beltway, forecasters are warning.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect from 3-10 a.m., with sleet and freezing rain expected to fall in Arlington and much of the D.C. region.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 10 AM EST WEDNESDAY… * WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. A COATING OF SLEET WITH A FEW HUNDREDTHS TO UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH OF ICE IS EXPECTED. THE HIGHEST ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE NORTH AND WEST OF THE CITIES OF WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE AND NORTH AND WEST OF INTERSTATE 95. * WHERE…THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT. * WHEN…FROM 3 AM TO 10 AM EST WEDNESDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…LIGHT SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 2 AM AND 5 AM EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO RAIN BY 10 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING WITH TEMPERATURES RISING WELL ABOVE FREEZING. THE ICE MAY RESULT IN SLIPPERY CONDITIONS…ESPECIALLY ON ELEVATED SURFACES DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE WEDNESDAY. BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

Arlington and Virginia Dept. of Transportation crews have been preparing to treat roadways overnight. VDOT issued a press release urging drivers to delay trips in the event of slippery conditions and be extra careful if they must hit road early Wednesday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is treating roads in advance of a wintry mix forecasted to arrive during the early morning hours Wednesday. Drivers are asked to monitor the weather closely (see National Weather Service forecast), and adjust their trips as needed to avoid driving in icy conditions.

Overnight tonight, crews will load and stage trucks in northern Virginia, ready to treat roads with salt and sand through the the morning as needed.

Drivers are asked to:

  • Stay closely tuned to forecasts (see National Weather Service)
  • If conditions are icy, delay trips for safety.
  • Assume any “wet” pavement to be icy. Bridges, ramps, overpasses and lower-volume roads will freeze first, and even previously treated roads become slick quickly with low pavement temperatures.
  • Ensure gas and wiper fluid tanks are full, and have a good emergency kit:www.ready.gov/car.

Some updates via Twitter:

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School Delayed, Some Morning Events Cancelled Due to Slippery Conditions

Arlington Public Schools is opening on a two-hour delay due to icy conditions in many part of the county this morning.

Sleet and frozen rain caused few problems in Arlington during the day, but untreated sidewalks and other surfaces turned icy at night as the sun set and temperatures dropped to be below freezing.

APS made the decision to open on a two hour delay earlier this morning. From APS:

All APS schools and offices will open two hours late today. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Essential employees and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time.

A number of other Arlington County programs and events have been either delayed or canceled. Among them:

  • All congregate meal programs are cancelled.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-ops) will open on time.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips, nature center programs and sports league activities scheduled to start prior to 11:59 a.m. will be cancelled in all buildings.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips, nature center programs and sports league activities with scheduled start times of NOON or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All evening Enjoy Arlington classes, sports league activities and nature center programs will proceed as scheduled.
  • All standalone Community Centers including: Madison, Lee, Fairlington, Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center, Lubber Run, Walter Reed, and Arlington Mill will open for regularly scheduled operating hours.
  • Thomas Jefferson, Langston, and Carver Community Centers will open at 10 a.m. Drew, and Gunston will open for their normal operating hours.
  • APS Pools are on a two hour delayed opening.

Many roads and sidewalks around Arlington and the D.C. area remain slick as temperatures climb back above freezing. Authorities are urging those who do have to drive to be extra cautious, while those who can delay their trips should.

A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect for the region, as parts of the area are covered in a thick, frozen fog.

… DENSE FOG ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST THIS MORNING… * VISIBILITIES… ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES. * IMPACTS… GREATLY REDUCED VISIBILITIES MAKING TRAVEL DIFFICULT. TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING MAY CAUSE A GLAZE OF ICE ON ANY UNTREATED SURFACE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A DENSE FOG ADVISORY MEANS VISIBILITIES WILL FREQUENTLY BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE. IF DRIVING, SLOW DOWN, USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS, AND LEAVE PLENTY OF DISTANCE AHEAD OF YOU. &&

In a semi-weather-related closure, the main ramp to Reagan National Airport from the GW Parkway is currently closed due to a water main break. Officials say anyone driving to the airport should use the second ramp, about a half mile down the parkway, or the entrance from Route 1 in Crystal City.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Ice Training for ACFD Water Rescue Team — While you were enjoying your weekend, snug in your warm home amid 10 degree weather, the Arlington County Fire Department’s water rescue team was using a chainsaw to cut holes in the ice on the Potomac and then jumping in. [Washington Post]

Freezing Rain Still Expected Tonight — A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect tonight, as forecasters expect freezing rain to fall this afternoon and potentially make for a very messy evening commute. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

Civic Federation Seeking County Event Help — The Arlington County Civic Federation is asking county government to help make it more affordable for civic associations to hold events on county property. Currently, there are insurance requirements that eat into civic associations’ meager budgets. [InsideNova]

Metro Proposes Refunds for Delays — “Under the proposal, riders would receive an automatic credit on their SmarTrip card if their trip is delayed by 15 minutes or more. Staff will ask Metro’s board to approve the change this week… The refunds would only be given during the weekday rush period.” [NBC Washington]

Crystal City Startup Scores $3 Million — Stardog Union, a “Enterprise Knowledge Graph startup” based in Crystal City, has added $3 million to its Series A venture funding round. The funding will be used for “marketing, sales and speeding up product development.” [Technically DC]

Notable Local Runner Publishes Novel — “Arlington marathon champion Jay Jacob Wind has published his first novel, a techno-thriller entitled The Man Who Stole the Sun, available now on Amazon Kindle and hand-printed by mail-order. ‘It is the first marathon terror fiction novel, based on the Marine Corps Marathon though Washington, DC, since the very real Boston Marathon bombing nearly five years ago, in April, 2013,’ Wind said.” [PRNewswire]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Winter Weather Advisory Issued, Icy Commute Possible

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Monday evening.

Forecasters say a wintry mix may make for a slippery evening commute Monday.

More from NWS:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM TO 9 PM EST MONDAY… * WHAT… A WINTRY MIX EXPECTED, WITH EITHER FREEZING RAIN OR RAIN THAT WILL FREEZE ON CONTACT WITH VERY COLD GROUND SURFACES. THE ICE WILL RESULT IN VERY SLIPPERY CONDITIONS ON SIDEWALKS, ROADS AND BRIDGES, INCLUDING DURING THE EVENING COMMUTE ON MONDAY. TOTAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF A LIGHT GLAZE ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN… FROM 3 PM TO 9 PM EST MONDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… EVEN IF TEMPERATURES RISE ABOVE FREEZING, THE GROUND AND OTHER SURFACES ARE STILL EXTREMELY COLD DUE TO THE RECENT ARCTIC BLAST. THIS INCREASES THE LIKELIHOOD OF A GLAZE OF ICE ON SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.

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W&OD Trail to Be Pre-Treated if Snow or Ice in the Forecast

Crews will pre-treat the Washington & Old Dominion Trail for the first time this winter when accumulating snow or ice is in the weather forecast.

Officials behind the 45-mile paved trail between Shirlington and Purcellville announced the change in a series of tweets last week.

When snow or ice is in the forecast, crews will pre-treat the trail “in Arlington heading west.” The change comes after discussions with staff from Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, who have been pre-treating trails for at least the past few years.

The Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority, which is responsible for the trail, purchased a tanker trailer to do the pre-treating, which will likely involve putting salt down hours before snow or ice is due to hit. NOVA Parks will continue to use its snow blowers to clear the paths.

“The pre-treatment working in tandem with our snow blowers should help reduce trail down time so to speak with snow & ice on the trail,” the trail’s Twitter account tweeted.

The new regime may be needed later this week. The Capital Weather Gang reports that there will be a “decisive flip to cold,” which may bring snow flurries.

https://twitter.com/WODTrail/status/936634069739335681

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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This Is What Happens When Someone Doesn’t Clear Ice From Their Truck

Smashed windshield from ice (photo courtesy Meg Miller Rydzewski)

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The recent winter storm may be old news, but after several incidents in recent days drivers still need to be alert for chunks of ice flying off vehicles in front of them.

Arlington resident Meg Miller Rydzewski sent a photo of her husband’s car, which was struck by a chunk of ice that broke off a truck in front of him while driving northbound on I-95.

The ice hit the windshield and caused major damage, but Rydzewski said it could have been much worse.

“It’s estimated that if the force of impact had been 10 to 15 percent more, it would have gone through the windshield and might have killed him,” she wrote. “[It was] sudden and very scary.”

“He did get safely to the side of the highway but couldn’t see where he was going due to the shattered glass,” Rydzewski added. “Thankfully he was not hurt.”

AAA reported that flying ice caused injuries to three vehicle occupants along I-95 and the Beltway in Maryland on Wednesday. Maryland State Police said the victims “suffered eye injuries from spraying glass from windshields broken by ice from other vehicles.”

John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs, said drivers are responsible for clearing snow and ice from their cars before they leave home.

“Snow and ice flying off moving vehicles will cause other drivers to swerve to avoid it, and they can run off the road or swerve into another lane of traffic where other motorists are traveling, causing a deadly domino effect,” he said. “So before leaving your driveway or your curbside parking spot, and before you go, clear every inch of snow and ice accumulated on the exposed surfaces from your vehicle.”

There is no law in Virginia, Maryland or D.C. to punish motorists that do not remove snow from their vehicles before driving, according to AAA.

“A law is needed in Maryland, Virginia and the District to help protect drivers from sheets of snow and ice flying off from vehicles while they are driving down the road,” Townsend said. “After this epic snowstorm, it can be a matter of life or death if drivers fail to remove the snow and ice.”

AAA has a number of tips for people clearing snow from their cars. Drivers should never use hot water to melt ice on their cars, for instance; the organization recommends using de-icer spray for windows and mirrors in combination with a snow brush for the rest of the car. With the snow brush, drivers should work from the top of the vehicle on down, pulling snow towards you.

“It requires less effort and helps you avoid having to clear the same areas twice,” AAA says. “If the vehicle is an SUV or taller — grab a step stool to help access the roof.”

“Just as the removal of snow from sidewalks along your home and business is a responsibility of all citizens, removing snow and ice from vehicles should be the responsibility of every driver before it becomes dislodged while driving down the highways,” Townsend said. “It is the duty and debt we owe one another.”

Photo courtesy Meg Miller Rydzewski

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Three Hours Left to Shovel Your Sidewalk

Workers clear sidewalks during snowstorm in BallstonIf you have a house or business in Arlington and there’s a public sidewalk in front of it, you have fewer than three hours to clear it of snow and ice.

Arlington’s snow removal ordinance requires that sidewalks be shoveled within 24 hours of the end of a snow event with six inches or less of accumulation. As far as the county is concerned, Tuesday’s snowstorm ended at 2 p.m., and thus the sidewalk deadline today is 2 p.m.

If you’ve procrastinated, you might be in for a tough task. Temperatures in the low 20s means that uncleared snow and sleet has turned into a barely penetrable mat of ice.

Via Twitter:

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Wind Advisory Issued As Schools Open on Two Hour Delay

Frigid, icy conditions have prompted Arlington Public Schools to open on a two-hour delay today.

From APS:

All APS schools and offices will open two hours late today. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Essential employees and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

Arlington County government and the federal government, meanwhile, are opening on time. Metrorail and Metrobus, likewise, were operating on a normal weekday schedule as of 5 a.m. Certain Arlington County Parks and Rec programs, however, have been cancelled or delayed.

From the parks department:

  • All Congregate Meal Programs are cancelled for the day.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-op) are cancelled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington Classes, 55+ classes, Trips, Nature Center Programs and sports league activities with a scheduled start time prior to 11:59 a.m. today are cancelled in all APS and DPR buildings.
  • All Enjoy Arlington Classes, 55+ classes, Trips, Nature Center Programs and sports league activities with a scheduled start time of Noon or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All afternoon and evening Enjoy Arlington Classes, 55+ classes, Trips, Nature Center Programs and sports league activities will proceed as scheduled.
  • All community centers and senior centers locations will open on time as scheduled.

In addition to very cold temperatures, a Wind Advisory has been issued for Arlington and the D.C. region. Forecasters are warning of 45-50 mile per hour gusts which could blow down branches, trees and power lines.

From the National Weather Service:

… WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING. * TIMING… AFTER DAYBREAK THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON. HIGHEST GUSTS EXPECTED LATE THIS MORNING INTO THIS AFTERNOON. * WINDS… NORTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 45 TO 50 MPH. * IMPACTS… STRONG WINDS MAY BLOW DOWN LIMBS, TREES, AND POWER LINES. ICE AND SNOW COVERED LIMBS, TREES AND POWER LINES ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DAMAGE. SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES ARE EXPECTED. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. &&

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VDOT Warns of Black Ice Overnight

Arlington County snow plow in Fairlington 3/14/17

A refreeze overnight will turn what melted following this morning’s snow and sleet storm into a hazard on roads and sidewalks.

Despite efforts to plow and salt the streets, VDOT is warning that barely-visible black ice could cause accidents during the Wednesday morning commute.

Metro, meanwhile, says Metrobuses will start the day on a “moderate” snow service plan due to anticipated slippery conditions. Service will be upgraded “as conditions permit.”

More from VDOT:

Road conditions across northern Virginia are improving as Virginia Department of Transportation crews plowed and treated roads around the clock. This evening though, snow and slush that melted through the day will refreeze.

Overnight, crews will focus on retreating icy areas with salt and sand, clearing shoulders, ramps and drainage areas, and continue to make passes through neighborhood streets as needed.

Drivers should limit any unnecessary travel tonight to avoid black ice, and give crews room to make their rounds. Make plans now for a cautious Wednesday commute.

If you must drive this evening and tomorrow morning:

  • Stay focused and drive defensively.
  • Reduce speeds significantly. Give yourself more than enough time to get to where you’re going.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding and hydroplaning.
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