As temperatures near 90 degrees, winter feels awfully far off these days — but Arlington officials are taking new steps to keep county roads clear of snow and ice, all the same.
County leaders are preparing to build a temporary replacement for the salt storage tank serving the northern half of the county, located near the intersection of 25th Road N. and Old Dominion Drive.
They believe the current tank, which was built back in the 1930s, has deteriorated over the years and is no longer safe for workers to use. The County Board is now set to consider plans today (Tuesday) to construct a tank for interim use on the site, ensuring that the county has a working facility by the time the winter arrives.
“The loss of a north side operational facility would have an immediate and apparent effect upon response time for every storm and would put the county at significant risk of exhausting salt supplies during an event,” county staff wrote in a Board report. “An expedited process is necessary as ice storms, which rely exclusively on salt, pose the most significant risk and can occur as early as November.”
Workers use the existing storage tank to hold about 4,500 tons of road salt, with another 1,500 tons stored under a tarp on the property. The county is planning to replace that with a “canvass-skinned structure 120-feet long by 85-feet wide, with a height of 47 feet” on the property, according to the report.
The site is owned by the county, and officials are pursuing a few zoning changes for parcels surrounding the old salt storage tank to clear the way for the construction of its temporary replacement, reasoning that “there is insufficient time to deconstruct and reconstruct the temporary facility on the existing site and be ready to meet the upcoming winter needs.”
Staff envision the new tank staying in place for the next three or four years, as officials draw up plans for a permanent storage tank on the property. They’re aiming to begin construction on that project by “the fall of 2021 or 2022,” and will use $2.4 million in previously approved bond funding to afford the effort.
The Board will vote today whether to hold public hearings on the plan for a temporary facility. Should it approve them, those gatherings would be scheduled for sometime in September, and county staff would hold extensive conversations with the nearby civic associations on their plans.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A Winter Storm Warning is set to take effect overnight tonight, as a snowstorm bears down on the D.C. area.
Forecasters say 4-8 inches of heavy snow accumulation is likely for Arlington and the immediate metro area, though even snow is possible.
From the National Weather Service:
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 PM EDT WEDNESDAY… * WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 2 AM TO 8 PM EDT WEDNESDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS. BE PREPARED FOR SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS IN VISIBILITY AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) March 20, 2018
NEW/BREAKING: Washington’s biggest snowstorm of the winter likely Wednesday, starting before dawn, winter storm warning issued for entire region. Details: https://t.co/NJjdPJyEfZ
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) March 20, 2018
A wintry precipitation mix is expected to hit the region this evening (March 6) and continue into tomorrow morning, which Virginia Department of Transportation officials say could impact the morning commute.
Crews are treating the roads and are preparing for any necessary snow removal, though a tweet from the Capital Weather Gang notes that it is unlikely that much will stick. It’s more likely that there will be a buildup of slush.
VDOT has the following tips for the anticipated precipitation:
- Stay closely tuned to weather forecasts (see National Weather Service) overnight and through the day tomorrow.
- Consider teleworking or adjusting trips around the forecast. If roads are slick, delay trips for safety.
- Bridges, ramps, overpasses and lower-volume roads may become slick quickly with low pavement temperatures.
- Ensure gas and wiper fluid tanks are full, and have a good emergency kit. Here’s how: www.ready.gov/car.
- Be aware that low temperatures will mean continued potential for refreeze and slick road conditions.
Snow late tonight & Wed AM around DC likely to occur w/ temps above 32, so will be hard for a lot to stick. But if/when snow falls heavily, could cause slush to build-up. Wed AM commute could be affected w/ reduced visibility & some slick spots. More info: https://t.co/u55YqiQA8N pic.twitter.com/b9ftxEcLJM
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) March 6, 2018
Here is an update to our forecasted low-end snowfall amounts (left) and our forecasted high-end snowfall amounts (right) pic.twitter.com/l6rQsh3pP4
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) March 6, 2018
It’s that time again! ❄️ Be like our crews—plan now for winter weather to possibly affect your Wed AM commute. pic.twitter.com/nDwGGya38B
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 6, 2018
(Updated at 5:40 p.m.) A winter storm with mixed precipitation is turning out to be more snowy than expected inside the Beltway.
Arlington and the rest of metro D.C. has been added to a Winter Weather Advisory that had previously included points north and west of the city.
Around parts of Arlington and Alexandria surveyed by ARLnow.com, even treated roads and sidewalks were slushy as sleet and snow continued to fall in the early evening. A transition to rain is expected before the bulk of the precipitation moves out by midnight.
A number of crashes are being reported throughout the county, many attributed to slippery conditions. In Courthouse, police were considering closing 14th Street N. at N. Uhle Street due to cars “sliding down the hill.” On the northern end of Glebe Road, a crash was reported to be snarling traffic near Chain Bridge.
More from the National Weather Service:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT… * WHAT…WET SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO TWO INCHES ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE…METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON DC. * WHEN…UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR WET SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF WET SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED 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. &&
Winter Weather Advisory expanded across DC metro for 1-2" of snow. pic.twitter.com/muPzMQmALi
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) February 17, 2018
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) February 17, 2018
— Dennis Dimick (@ddimick) February 17, 2018
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Arlington and much of the rest of the D.C. area.
Forecasters say 1-2 inches of snow is possible overnight tonight, potentially making for a challenging morning commute.
More from the National Weather Service:
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been expanded to include the Baltimore-DC metro & central Virginia east of the Blue Ridge, 9pm today – 9am Wed. Advisories continue for the Highlands this PM, northeast MD 4pm-7am. The Wed AM commute likely will be affected, especially along I-95. pic.twitter.com/OfCabGRIJF
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 16, 2018
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM EST WEDNESDAY… * WHAT… SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE WEDNESDAY MORNING COMMUTE. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND AN INCH ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… PORTIONS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND, INCLUDING THE I-95 CORRIDOR AND BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON METRO AREAS. * WHEN… FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM EST WEDNESDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED 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.
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:
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 8, 2018
A Winter Weather Advisory (blue shading) has been issued for Monday afternoon & evening. Hazard: a glaze of ice from sleet & freezing rain which will cause slippery conditions for the Monday PM commute. A few inches of snow is expected in the mountains. #DCwx #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx pic.twitter.com/DJKuhGsxs2
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 7, 2018
… 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.
Much of the D.C. region is under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight as a coastal storm packing snow, icy cold temperatures and strong wind nears.
Arlington County crews have been mobilized and are treating roads in anticipation of an inch or so of snow tonight and tomorrow, potentially disrupting the morning commute.
As of 4 p.m., grocery store shelves in Clarendon still had plenty of milk and toilet paper, though the former was being frequently restocked by store employees. The scene, at least thus far, was nothing like that outside a D.C. Trader Joe’s store that was mobbed by customers last night.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the Washington and Baltimore metro areas and points to the east from late this evening through Thursday morning. Expected snow totals are higher the further east you go. pic.twitter.com/yVoDRlaLQY
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 3, 2018
More from the National Weather Service:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT… SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON THURSDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND ONE INCH ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN… FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… VERY COLD CONDITIONS MEAN THAT SNOW WILL QUICKLY STICK ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS… MAKING THE THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE DANGEROUS. PLAN AHEAD AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION IF TRAVELING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR THURSDAY. BITTERLY COLD CONDITIONS WILL FOLLOW FOR LATE THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND CAUSING SNOW TO REMAIN ON UNTREATED SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED 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.
More from VDOT:
Virginia Department of Transportation and contract crews will mobilize late Wednesday night to treat roads for snow forecasted to arrive before Thursday morning’s rush hour. A second week of frigid temperatures continues to turn falling precipitation into slick road conditions. Small amounts of snow falling on below-freezing roads can easily melt from the friction of vehicle tires and then quickly refreeze into a layer of ice.
Once fully mobilized, please watch for crews as they stage along roads ahead of time. Crews will treat roads with salt and sand as needed once snow begins to fall overnight Wednesday and will remain on duty until road conditions improve. Please give treatments trucks room to work, as they are very heavy and drive slowly.
Drivers are asked to:
- Stay tuned to weather (see National Weather Service forecast).
- If conditions are icy, avoid or delay trips for safety. Otherwise, allow plenty of extra time and reduce speeds significantly.
- Assume any pavement may be slick. Crews are unable to plow a light coating, and 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.
Arlington Adding Winter Shelter Beds — In response to the frigid temperatures, Arlington County says it is expanding the number of hypothermia slots at the Courthouse area winter shelter for singles operated by A-SPAN, “adding 10 more to the current 25.” [Twitter]
Bicycle Beltway Proposal — “A new bicycle beltway is set to be endorsed by the region’s Transportation Planning Board in January. The full Outer Loop would be 45 miles long. The beltway would also have additional connections in the middle, through the heart of downtown D.C. along the National Mall.” [WTOP]
Father of Rep. Don Beyer Dies — “Donald S. Beyer, Sr., the patriarch of the storied Beyer family dynasty in Falls Church, died last Saturday two weeks before his 94th birthday.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Local NYE Bar Options — Looking for a place to ring in the new year in Arlington? Last month we published a sponsored list of five options along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor that are still applicable. [ARLnow]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Arlington Man Killed in Md. Workplace Shooting — An Arlington man was among the three people killed in a workplace mass shooting near Baltimore on Wednesday. The family of the 53-year-old father of three says they forgive the accused shooter, who was later arrested in Delaware. [NBC Washington, WJLA, GoFundMe]
Marine Corps Marathon Preps Well Underway — This week workers have been setting up fencing, mile markers, signs, tents, TV camera towers, temporary no parking signs and making other preparations along the Marine Corps Marathon route in Arlington. [WJLA, Twitter]
Award for Arlington Animal Control Officer — Animal Welfare League of Arlington Chief of Animal Control Jennifer Toussaint has been named Virginia Animal Control Officer of the Year for “outstanding service in the field of animal care and control.” [Facebook]
Winter Outlook: Warmer for Arlington — The National Weather Service’s official U.S. Winter Outlook was released yesterday and predicts a warmer winter for Arlington and the D.C. area, with equal chances of more or less precipitation than usual. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory Sunday afternoon, warning of around one inch of snow.
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST MONDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST MONDAY. * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW. * ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO 1 INCH. LOCALIZED AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 66 IN VIRGINIA AND EAST OF INTERSTATE 95 IN MARYLAND. * TIMING… SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 7 AND 10 PM THIS EVENING. THE STEADIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED BETWEEN 11 PM AND 4 AM. SNOW WILL END BY 6 AM ACROSS MOST LOCATIONS. * IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE MAINLY WET THIS EVENING WITH TEMPERATURES ABOVE FREEZING. UNTREATED SURFACES WILL BECOME SLIPPERY AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH TEMPERATURES DROPPING TO NEAR OR SLIGHTLY BELOW FREEZING. * WINDS… NORTH TO NORTHWEST AROUND 5 MPH… BECOMING NORTHWEST AROUND 10 TO 15 MPH TOWARD MORNING. * TEMPERATURES… MID TO UPPER 30S THIS EVENING… FALLING INTO THE UPPER 20S AND LOWER 30S OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY MONDAY MORNING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. &&
All the salt spread on local roads and sidewalks for Thursday night’s snow non-event may come in handy after all.
The National Weather Service has included Arlington in a Winter Weather Advisory. Up to three inches of snow are expected to fall Saturday morning.
From the NWS:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST SATURDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 1 PM EST SATURDAY. * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW. * ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES. * TIMING… LATE TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY SATURDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS… SNOW ON ROADS WILL RESULT IN TRAVEL IMPACTS. * WINDS… NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID 20S. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. &&
Winter Weather Advisories for late tonight and Saturday expanded. Snow in the advisory approximately 1-3 inches, 3-6 inches in the warning. pic.twitter.com/irzUo7daBD
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 6, 2017
The event is taking place from 7-8 p.m. and will feature a fire and some wintery activities. Registration is required, according to an event listing.
“Celebrate the longest night of the year with candle making and s’mores!” says the listing. “Then we’ll take a night hike under the half moon.”
Hunt Loses Mansion Legal Battle — Rodney P. Hunt, once one of the D.C. area’s wealthiest businessmen, has lost a legal battle to keep his $24 million Chain Bridge Road mansion. Hunt, who represented himself in court, asserted that the entity that bought the mansion at a foreclosure auction this summer was not its real owner. While Hunt was living there, the 20,000 square foot property hosted large “#RHPMansion” parties, one of which led to a drive-by shooting in McLean. [Washington Post]
‘Loss of Historic Architecture’ — The historic George Washington Carver Cooperative Apartments in the Arlington View neighborhood were torn down in February. The apartments’ 70-year history as a centerpiece of the working-class African American community there was, however, preserved via oral histories and historic markets. The property is now the Carver Place townhomes, which start at $689,000. So far, 38 of 73 have sold. [Falls Church News-Press]
Road Closure in Lyon Park — Washington Gas pipeline work is prompting a road closure in Lyon Park today and tomorrow. Cyclists who use the Arlington Blvd trail may also be affected. [BikeArlington Forum]
First Day of Winter — Today is the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also known as the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight. [Capital Weather Gang]
Forecasters are warning of a messy mix of wintry precipitation Saturday morning.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect starting at midnight tonight.
From the National Weather Service:
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EST SATURDAY… * PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN. * ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A HALF-INCH… ALONG WITH AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH OF GLAZE ICE. * TIMING… PERIODS OF SNOW AND SLEET WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT… THEN CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN BEFORE DAWN SATURDAY MORNING. FREEZING RAIN WILL CHANGE TO RAIN AROUND MID-MORNING SATURDAY. * IMPACTS… HAZARDOUS TRAVEL IS EXPECTED DUE TO ICY ROADS AND WALKWAYS. * WINDS… SOUTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE UPPER 20S LATER TONIGHT… RISING INTO THE 30S ON SATURDAY MORNING. 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. &&
Arlington County, meanwhile, says crews will be pre-treating roads ahead of the storm.
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) December 15, 2016
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) December 16, 2016
It’s likely to be a colder-than-usual winter with slightly above average snowfall. That seems to be the general consensus of the D.C. area’s television meteorologists.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) November 11, 2016
Regardless of exactly how much snow and ice accumulates, Arlington County says it’s prepared for this year’s winter.
Arlington has made a number of changes in the wake of the blizzard, and this year has stockpiled stockpiled 9,200 tons of road salt.
From a county press release:
After last year’s record-breaking winter, Arlington County is ready to take on the upcoming winter season. Although we can’t predict the weather, our crews have been preparing all year to make sure we can quickly make our roads, sidewalks, bus stops and trails safe and passable after a winter event.
Before, during and after a storm
Once the forecast calls for winter weather — snow, ice or freezing rain — Arlington crews follow our snow removal process and phases. They pre-treat main roads before a storm. During the storm, our priority is to keep main arteries passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation. After the storm, cleanup operations begin, which includes treating ice on the roadways.
The County has budgeted $1.387 million for FY16-17 snow operations. Our team includes 92 drivers and 46 trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows. Additional contracting equipment is available depending upon the severity of the storm. We have stockpiled 9,200 tons of salt for roads.
What’s new this season?
- Piloting augmented deployment: For snow fall greater than 6-8 inches, we have contracted with more snow plow contractors to deploy plows into high risk residential areas even before primary and secondary roads are cleared.
- Refining our snow blower loaner program: We lend 25 snow blowers to civic associations and community groups. Based on feedback from residents, we have improved our snow blower loaner program by streamlining the application process, expanding outreach and extending training and support.
- Improving our snow issues form: We have updated the snow issues form to improve the user experience, better display messages and provide context to users if we are unable to address their report immediately.
- Expanding odd/even parking outreach: To help our snow plowing efforts, we will be encouraging residents to organize with their neighbors to park on one side of the road to allow snowplow operators to efficiently clear more of the street.
- Enhancing our snow training program: This year, we added training to make sure our crews are prepared. We also added specialized training which includes support functions for snow operations (e.g., chain shop, brine making, and snow-melter training).
Hitting the trails
The County will continue to clear trails and protected bicycle lanes this snow season as part of our commitment to supporting a transportation system with a range of options. The goal is to ensure accessibility and safety for all types of travel throughout a winter event. Updates will be posted through regular County snow communication channels, as well as on the BikeArlington Forum.
How you can help
Residents, too, play a role in dealing with the fallout of winter weather. The County’s Snow Removal Ordinance requires all Arlington property owners to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within a certain time frame. Here are some other ways residents can help with our snow removal efforts:
- 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 that 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 our Snow and Ice Central webpage and our DES social media platforms for updates on snow phases, transportation, trash and other important notifications. Follow us on Twitter @ArlingtonDES and on Facebook at Arlington County Environmental Services.
Residents should report snow-related problems through the “Report a Snow Issue” form found on the Snow and Ice Central webpage.
Flickr pool photo by John Williams