Crews are pre-treating major roadways, residents should also be prepared.
Media Contact: Mafara Hobson, (EOM), 202-727-2807; Karyn Le Blanc, (DDOT) 202-497-4572; Nancee Lyons, (DPW), 202-671-2637
(Washington, DC) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty along with District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein and Department of Public Works Director William O. Howland, Jr. provided updates and information for residents, visitors, and commuters today on the pending snow storm. The National Weather Forecast is predicting up to a possible 24 inches of snow this weekend and crews are pre-treating streets in anticipation of the first snow flake. The Mayor also declared a snow emergency will be in effect beginning at 9:30 am on Friday.
“The District is extremely proud of the men and women who have been working tirelessly throughout this unusual winter and they are ready to put it on the line again,” said Mayor Fenty. “We want to do all we can to clear city streets as soon as possible and as such are declaring a snow emergency for the city. This allows our crews to get curb-to-curb on the major corridors, which is paramount to ultimately getting the city back to regular business on Monday.”
District crews pre-treated the National Highway System, bridges, overpasses, hilly routes, and major routes with salt and brine. A full deployment will be in effect beginning at 8 am Friday so crews can put down a layer of salt before the snow begins to fall. Plows will go down as soon as snow accumulation begins.
The heavier snowfall is expected to occur between 5 pm Friday and end around 9am Saturday. All precipitation is anticipated to end by 6pm on Saturday evening.
The District will deploy approximately 270 pieces of equipment which includes nearly 60 contract plows brought in to assist with snow removal. Over 750 employees will work 12-hour shifts over the weekend. In addition, all five salt domes will be activated including locations at Potomac & R, SE; W Street, NE; Farragut, NE; Reno, NW & Georgetown, NW. Residents and motorists are advised to stay off roadways during the storm to allow crews access to streets.
“Snow accumulation for Friday rush is expected,” said DDOT Director Klein. “People should look to adjust their departure times, take transit instead of driving on Friday, and give themselves plenty of time to arrive home. No one should be in a rush.” Klein also addressed concerns with regard to heavy snow accumulations on tree branches and limbs. “Residents are reminded to call 311 to report downed limbs, branches, and trees. Please remember for most calls, our crews will not be able to get out until after the storm system has passed so please be patient.”
Residents are again reminded to clear sidewalks and walkways periodically throughout the storm. This will allow for faster clearing and accessibility to pedestrian areas as the system moves out.
“After the last big storm in December we saw a lot of people walking in the streets which is unsafe,” said DPW Director Howland. “This is dangerous for pedestrians and our crews who will be out in full force clearing streets. If the sidewalks are clear, people can stay on them.”
Important messages and safety tips are as follows:
In addition to travel and transportation updates, the Mayor advised citizens to be prepared for staying home and/or emergencies if there are utility disruptions during the storm. Media stations and emergency preparedness agencies are advising the following:
- Stay off the roads if possible during and immediately following the storm.
- Give the snow plows plenty of room to do their jobs.
- Have a designated driver. It’s Super Bowl weekend, so be safe.
- Keep a taxicab company’s number nearby, just in case.
- Make sure shovels and other snow removal equipment are in working order.
- Spread salt or non-clumping kitty litter before the snow begins. Shovel to keep walkways around your property clear of snow.
- Know your neighbors, especially those who may need your assistance or who can assist you during or after a snow emergency. Use the time before a snow storm to develop a volunteer list to assist neighbors who are unable to shovel.
- Stock up on batteries for flashlights, radios, battery-powered computer games, toys, lamps and lanterns and blankets.
- Compile a list of family members’ medications, as well as phone numbers for doctors, pharmacies and emergency rooms.
- Stay warm but stay safe. Have alternative heat sources and plenty of blankets on hand in case of a power outage, but be sure to monitor space heaters and keep them away from curtains, tots and pets. Cover the windows and spaces around the doors to keep drafts at a minimum.
Other Home Items
- Extra food. Consider some foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration.
- Bottled water.
- First-aid supplies.
- Backup heating supply, such as a generator, fireplace or space heater.
- Charge your cell phone.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and flashlights.
- Make sure your gas tank is full.
- Make sure the account information on file with your electric utility is correct. Have the number to your utility handy, should the power go out.
- Put a 10-pound bag of cat litter, ice scraper, shovel, and blanket, flash light and emergency supplies in the vehicle.
- Keep gas tanks at least half full.
- Buy new windshield wiper blades and winterize your car and tires.
- Keep mobile telephones fully charged. Invest in a car charger.
- Identify alternate parking space(s), either on or off-street, particularly if your street is a Snow Emergency Route.
- If you must be on the road, drive slowly!