Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, District Department of Columbia Director Gabe Klein, and Department of Public Works Director William O. Howland, Jr. advised that crews are headed into their next shift in an around-the-clock operation to clear snow accumulations off of city streets.
“We have officially broken the record for the most snow fall in the District,” said Mayor Fenty. “We have had 55” inches during this snow season with nearly 30 of those inches in the last two storms alone. Crews have been working non-stop since nearly a week ago and will continue to do so as we are dedicated to clearing city roadways and neighborhood streets.”
The District has 250-270 pieces of snow equipment for plowing and treating roadways which includes contract plows. In addition, DDOT employs tree removal staff and contractors that will be working to remove downed limbs, branches, and trees. DDOT and DPW have also supplemented their fleet with specialized equipment such as back hoes, front loaders, dump trucks, and dumpsters.
“This is no longer just a plow operation,” said DDOT Director Klein. “There is too much snow accumulation on some streets for the plows to adequately move the snow, the snow has to be physically removed and hauled away. This will add some time to our cleanup efforts but we have crews working around-the-clock to minimize how long and to assist us in being as efficient as possible.”
For storms of 18” or more, the District's timeliness standard for snow removal is to clear major corridors and roadways within 36 hours and get a pass on residential streets within 60 hours. Snow accumulations on some neighborhood streets are above 25 inches and crews will need to remove snow and haul it away before being able to get in and plow.
Residents are also required to clean sidewalks and are being asked to assist with the removal of snow around fire hydrants, catch basins, and drains around properties.
“DPW is working citywide plowing, salting and hauling snow. We also are emptying downtown street litter cans,” said DPW Director Howland. “We will announce our trash collection plan for Friday and next week later today."
Residents are being asked to wait until Friday morning at a minimum to report unplowed roadways. To report service requests, people can phone 311, go online to dc.gov or send Tweets to DDOT at http://www.twitter.com/DDOTDC.
The Snow Command Center is fully staffed and DDOT and DPW are compiling lists so they can be addressed as soon as the major roadways are clear.
DDOT and DPW remind people to please stay off the roadways so crews can have full access to city streets. In addition, temporary closures on bridges and highways are to be expected as hauling crews need full access in order to remove and haul away piled snow.