Arlington, VA

This morning, in western Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and thus prognosticated six more weeks of winter.

If you were to only count the couple of hours after the prediction in Arlington, the groundhog was spot on.

Arlington residents woke up to another snow globe scene outside of their windows, with flakes flying from a narrow band of snow that seemingly targeted the I-95 corridor.

As of 8:30 a.m., the National Weather Service reported that 2.4 inches of snow has accumulated in the county over the past 24 hours. NWS also extended the Winter Weather Advisory that covers Arlington through 1 p.m.

807 AM EST Tue Feb 2 2021

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Snow. Additional snow accumulations of up to two inches.

* WHERE… The District of Columbia, central, north central, northeast, northern and southern Maryland and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN… Until 1 PM EST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

Across Arlington, plow crews largely kept pace with the falling snow. Most local roads remain wet, with only patches of snow.

“Crews continue to treat roadways this morning with hundreds of tons of salt but the weather still does its thing,” Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services said this morning on social media. “Avoid travel if possible. If not, go extra slow.”

Arlington’s schools are closed today in favor of all virtual learning. ART buses are running on a limited schedule due to the weather. More snow is possible throughout the day.

Kids are not the only ones enjoying playing in the snow. This morning, School Board member Barbara Kanninen posted a video of a playful fox frolicking through the snow in north Arlington.

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(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) Freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation overnight has made for slippery conditions around Arlington Monday morning.

With many locals working from home already, traffic around Arlington is light. Thanks to the efforts of snow crews, main roads are mostly wet and side streets have been treated. Few crashes have been reported since sunrise, but that might also be attributable to people staying at home.

Still, caution is being urged.

“Overnight crews have been treating known slick areas but caution is advised for those who must drive this morning. Go slow,” wrote Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services this morning.

County crews are currently in Phase 4 of the snow removal effort, “following up on problem areas, schools and other county facilities.” Many sidewalks, including those maintained by the county, are icy and treacherous.

Both Arlington Transit and Metro buses are operating on modified schedules.

Due to the wintry conditions, residential trash and recycling collection has been cancelled today. Collection will resume tomorrow and take place a day after one’s normal waste collection day.

Another cancellation today: vaccine appointments. While the county worked throughout the weekend to reschedule the appointments of those formerly set to receive vaccines from Virginia Hospital Center, another round of cancellations is taking place today due to the weather.

“Due to the impending winter weather, the Arlington vaccine clinics scheduled for Monday, February 1 have been cancelled in the interest of client and staff safety,” says the county’s website. “ALL individuals who have scheduled times for Monday WILL be rescheduled as early as possible.”

That prompted the following Twitter exchange with County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti this morning.

Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, has been mostly operating remotely, but even virtual students are not attending classes today as a result of a pre-scheduled grade preparation day. APS buildings, nonetheless, are closed for sports and other activities due to the weather.

While the bulk of the precipitation fell on Sunday, Arlington may see a bit more later today. A Winter Weather Advisory has been extended until 9 a.m. Tuesday, with forecasters warning of continued slippery conditions outside.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION. ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO TWO INCHES AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.

* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…UNTIL 9 AM EST TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

Yesterday’s snowfall was Arlington’s biggest in two years, despite clocking in at a disappointing two inches of accumulation. It did, however, lead to plenty of outdoor fun for cooped-up kids, and some beautiful scenes across the county, like the one below.

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Arlington, D.C. and much of the region is now under a Winter Storm Warning.

The county is expected to receive 4-8 inches of snow accumulation from the incoming winter storm, likely the biggest in two years. The flakes are expected to start falling Sunday morning before the nor’easter finally pulls out Monday night, as it makes its way up the East Coast.

Arlington County and VDOT crews have been pre-treating roads and trails ahead of the winter weather, and snowplows will operate in shifts as the snow accumulates.

“Crews will finish pretreating roads in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties today, to help prevent ice and snow from bonding to the pavement at the onset of the storm,” VDOT said today. “More than 1,850 trucks will be staged by the onset of the storm ready to treat roads, and will begin to plow once two inches of snow have accumulated. Additional equipment and crews are ready as needed, including tree crews to handle downed branches from ice.”

“Monitor the forecast closely and prepare to stay off roads when the storm begins to allow crews room to work. Plan to avoid travel Sunday and into Monday,” the state transportation agency added. “Park in driveways or a single side of the street to allow a wider path for plows. If you must drive, ensure gas and wiper fluid tanks are full, be prepared with an emergency kit and be familiar with these winter driving tips.”

Metrobuses will operate under a “moderate snow plan” on Sunday. Metrorail will operate under a normal weekend schedule, though changes may be make if the snow accumulates more than 6 inches. Arlington Transit buses are also likely to operate under some form of limited service.

Nearby Falls Church is activating its snow emergency routes at 9 a.m. Sunday.

In parts of Arlington today, some grocery shelves were bare as shoppers stocked up before the multi-day storm. While the pandemic has nixed most local events, some that are still being held, including the Columbia Pike Farmers Market, have been cancelled.

The snow, meanwhile, isn’t the only weather threat to monitor. Gusty winds from Monday into Tuesday could, in combination with the wet snowfall, cause tree branches to fall, resulting in power outages.

More on the Winter Storm Warning, from the National Weather Service:

230 PM EST SAT JAN 30 2021

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM SUNDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST SUNDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT AROUND 3 TO 6 INCHES WITH ICE ACCUMULATIONS AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.

* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA.

* WHEN…FROM 1 AM SUNDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST SUNDAY NIGHT. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 3 AND 5 AM EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. THE STEADIEST SNOW WILL FALL THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON BEFORE  TAPERING OFF TO AN INTERMITTENT MIX OF LIGHT SNOW, SLEET, AND FREEZING RAIN. ADDITIONAL SNOW IS EXPECTED MONDAY THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT WITH ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS MOST LIKELY AROUND 1 TO 3 INCHES, BRINGING THE STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS AROUND 4 TO 8 INCHES.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING DUE TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF SNOW AND WINTRY PRECIPITATION WITH TEMPERATURES NEAR OR BELOW FREEZING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

Two snowfall maps, from NWS and the Capital Weather Gang, are below.

 

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Arlington is preparing for what could be the most snow the county and the region has seen in more than two years.

The region is likely to see at least 4-8 inches, with snow starting to fall Sunday morning, according to Capital Weather Gang. This afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for the region.

From NWS:

WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH LATE SUNDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE. POTENTIAL FOR 5 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW.

* WHERE… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND THE EASTERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH LATE SUNDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION.

State and county agencies have already started preparing the roads for the wintery weather.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tells ARLnow that they began pre-treating streets with brine — a salt and water mixture — yesterday.

That pre-treatment process is continuing today. Full deployment of the county’s snow plow teams will start early Sunday, a DES spokesperson says, with 92 drivers and 46 trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows.

There will be staggered shifts the operations center due to COVID-19 protocols.

DES is asking residents to re-familiarize themselves with snow removal processes, which includes plowing only after snow depth hits at least two inches. In addition, they are requesting residents who park on narrow roads to put vehicles elsewhere so that plows can make their way through.

In fact, they are making a competition out of it and are asking folks to post pictures of their creative parking skills.

 

A number of major Arlington roads are maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, including Lee Highway, Arlington Blvd, Glebe Road, and others.

VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis tells ARLnow that residents should be seeing brine tankers out right now. The current cold and clear conditions are perfect for spraying brine.

“The goal is for it to evaporate and leave the salt residue, those white brine lines,” she says. “Today is perfect to be doing it. People are going to be seeing them everywhere.”

She cautions that they often work in pairs, a tanker and a trailing vehicle, and move slowly. The crews make a lot of U-turns, she says, so drivers should avoid getting between them.

Kamilakis says that there are about 130 trucks deployed right now covering Arlington County and the interstates that cut through the county.

With the region having not seen snowfall like what is being predicted in a while, she says that residents may “not have their snow legs yet” and have forgotten what it’s like to drive in the snow.

Kamilakis cautions folks to monitor the forecast, drive carefully and slowly, and brake earlier. If VDOT puts out the call to stay off the roads, to do so.

“If we’re asking you to stay off the roads, it’s serious enough for us to ask that,” she said.

Another thing Arlington residents should take note of: the county’s snow removal ordinance, which requires that sidewalks be shoveled within 24 hours of the end of a snow event with six inches or less of accumulation, or 36 hours for storms that drop more than six inches.

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Arlington County is under a Winter Weather Advisory through 9 a.m. Tuesday.

A mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to fall tonight, with the precipitation likely to start around 6 p.m. Up to two inches of snow may accumulate, though if temperatures stay slightly warmer there may be little to no snow accumulation, forecasters say.

Both Arlington County and VDOT crews are pre-treating roads in advance of the winter weather.

“Crews are spot pre-treating areas in higher elevations today,” VDOT said. “About 400 trucks will be staging along roads this afternoon, ready to treat roads as precipitation begins. Tree crews will also be on alert in case of downed branches due to ice.”

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST TUESDAY…

WHAT… Mixed precipitation. Snow accumulations of 1 to 2 inches and ice accumulations around a trace.

WHERE… In Maryland, Prince Georges and Anne Arundel Counties. In District of Columbia… In Virginia, Fairfax County, and Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria.

WHEN… Until 9 AM EST Tuesday.

IMPACTS… Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening and morning commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

File photo

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(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) Arlington and much of the D.C. area will be under a Flash Flood Watch on Christmas Eve.

A strong storm is expected to sweep through the area tomorrow afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rain and gusty wind. There may also be a few snowflakes near the end, as temperatures plummet, but no accumulation is expected locally.

More on the flooding potential, from the National Weather Service, is below.

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…

* ONE AND HALF TO TWO AND HALF INCHES OF RAIN ARE EXPECTED THURSDAY  AFTERNOON AND THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS IS EXPECTED TO RESULT IN FLASH FLOODING OF SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS AND POSSIBLE RIVER FLOODING.

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A number of crashes have been reported around Arlington as snow and sleet cause slick conditions on local roads.

Arlington Transit has suspended at least one route, and reported major delays on others, due to the conditions. VDOT, meanwhile, is calling for people to avoid driving until conditions improve.

“VDOT asks that drivers continue to avoid nonessential travel in Northern Virginia during rush hour and overnight, as weather transitions between snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain,” the agency said around 1:30 p.m. “Crews will be working around the clock to plow snow, treat for icy conditions, remove downed trees and monitor for flooding.”

Arlington and VDOT crews are continuing to treat local roads, with county crews primarily using salt and VDOT using plows and salt. The county’s hills have proven particularly problematic, with at least one dangerous stretch — on Carlin Springs Road around Route 50 — partially closed by police, per scanner traffic.

Steady snow started the transition to sleet in Arlington around 1 p.m. The sleet is expected to become rain later today, before perhaps transitioning back to snow. Both a Winter Weather Advisory and a Flood Watch are in effect this evening, with 1-2 inches of rain expected to fall.

The National Weather Service is reporting snow accumulation of 0.5 to 1 inch in Arlington, as of 1:30 p.m., though it may be higher or lower in parts of the county.

More via social media:

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(Updated at 6:40 p.m.) Arlington will be under a Winter Weather Advisory on Wednesday as a storm system brings periods of rain, snow and possibly ice to the immediate D.C. area.

The advisory was Tuesday afternoon and includes Arlington, Alexandria and D.C., where 1-2 inches of snow is expected to fall amid the mix of precipitation.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 1 AM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES. A LIGHT GLAZE OF ICE IS ALSO POSSIBLE ON ELEVATED SURFACES.

* WHERE…IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA.

* WHEN…FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 1 AM EST THURSDAY. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA BETWEEN 9 AND 11 AM, AND CHANGE TO SLEET AND RAIN DURING THE EARLY AFTERNOON. SOME RAIN MAY FREEZE ON ELEVATED SURFACES.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS  CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE EVENING COMMUTE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

Arlington County and VDOT crews were applying brine to local roadways today, in anticipation of the winter weather. The county’s real-time snow plow map is expected to be turned on during the snowfall.

With a half-foot or more accumulation expected elsewhere in Northern Virginia, officials are encouraging local residents to stay off the roads if at all possible.

“Virginia State Police is encouraging Virginians to avoid travel if possible during the storm,” spokeswoman Corinne Geller said today.

VSP is “already preparing for the winter weather and will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists,” she said.

Arlington County noted in a press release yesterday that it recently upgraded its snow-clearing equipment.

“In addition to upgrading its entire brine pretreatment mixing, storage (replacement of four 5000-gallon tanks) and loading systems, the County has added two new V-plows and two new extendable plows for better maneuverability on narrow streets, cul-de-sacs and dead ends,” the county said, adding that “Arlington continues to partner with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the safest possible use of road salt while protecting the region’s watershed.”

In all the county has 46 trucks with plows and salt spreaders.

While the prospect of a snow day may be appealing, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Francisco Durán said today that students should not expect to get a day off.

“Distance Learning will continue for all students during inclement weather events providing there is no interruption in power or network connectivity,” Durán wrote in a message to families today. “In the event schools and facilities need to close due to an inclement weather event, Level 1 students attending school in-person would temporarily revert to Distance Learning. Distance Learning will follow the normal schedule during inclement weather.”

The school system announced Tuesday evening that buildings will indeed be closed for in-person learning on Wednesday.

More on the storm from the Capital Weather Gang:

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Update at 11:05 p.m. — A Flood Warning has now been issued for Arlington.

1057 PM EST WED NOV 11 2020

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING…

* UNTIL 500 AM EST THURSDAY.

* AT 1057 PM EST, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN. FLOODING IS ONGOING OR EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY IN THE WARNED AREA. UP TO AN OF RAIN HAS FALLEN THIS EVENING.

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WARNED AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING.

Earlier: Arlington, D.C. and other surrounding areas will be under a Flash Flood Watch tonight through Thursday morning.

Forecasters say heavy rain and even some thunderstorms are likely to roll through tonight, bringing the possibility of flash flooding. Some 2-4 inches of rain are expected.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM EST THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH…

* FROM 9 PM EST THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING

* SEVERAL ROUNDS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL, WITH A FEW EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE, ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. THE FIRST ROUND IS ONGOING, WITH A LULL EXPECTED LATER THIS AFTERNOON. THE SECOND ROUND COMES THIS EVENING THROUGH TONIGHT, WITH MORE MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL EXPECTED. STORM TOTAL RAINFALL OF 2-4 INCHES IS EXPECTED THROUGH THURSDAY. WHERE HEAVIER ELEMENTS PERSIST, WE COULD SEE LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. THIS COULD RESULT IN LOCALIZED INSTANCES OF FLASH FLOODING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

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(Updated at 8:15 a.m.) Arlington County and much of the region is under a Wind Advisory.

The advisory was in effect Sunday night, until midnight, and is now in effect Monday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph are expected, potentially resulting in downed trees, branches and power lines. Already, the National Weather Service is reporting trees down and other wind damage in Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Alexandria.

More from NWS:

616 AM EST MON NOV 2 2020

…WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

* WHERE…IN VIRGINIA, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE, AND HIGHLAND COUNTY. IN WEST VIRGINIA, GRANT AND PENDLETON COUNTIES.

* WHEN…UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS…GUSTY WINDS COULD BLOW AROUND UNSECURED OBJECTS. TREE LIMBS COULD BE BLOWN DOWN AND A FEW POWER OUTAGES MAY RESULT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN DRIVING, ESPECIALLY IF OPERATING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS.

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