The worst snowstorm to hit the Washington, DC area in 90 years is over, but the mess it left behind won't be gone for days -- or weeks.
The majority of main road are passable, but drivers without four-wheel drive are encouraged to stay off the roads. Side roads are expected to be impassable for several days. People should be content to spend the next couple of days at home.
Many school districts and local departments have already announced closings for Monday.
Metro opened at 7 a.m. Sunday with underground service only. Metrobus and MetroAccess remain out of service through today.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley asked Marylanders to stay off the state's roads, warning that they could be even worse today as freezing temperatures ice over roads. State Highway officials said one lane is open on all major arteries, but conditions make it easy to get stuck and block highways.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Virginia battled a historic winter storm, with snowfall approaching three feet in northern parts of the state. During a news briefing Saturday, McDonnell urged residents to keep off the roads and be mindful of their neighbors as snow
continued to pile up. He said 33 inches had fallen in Loudoun County and other locations were reporting two feet or more of snow.
Washington Reagan National Airport received 17.8 inches of snow, said NBC4 meteorologist Chuck Bell, making this #4 on the list of top 10 storms. The top three were in 1922, 1899 and 1979.
"[It's] certainly as much snow as many of have seen in our lifetime in one particular storm," D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said.
With more than 750 workers and more than 250 trucks, including lighter trucks for residential streets, plowing the streets of the city, Fenty said he has one goal: "To have the city ready and open for business Monday morning."
Weather observers at Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport reported 26.5 inches of snow -- which is just 0.3 inches shy of the 26.8-inch record from the February 2003 President's Day storm, according to the National Weather Service.
One bright spot: The sun is expected to come out Sunday, Ryan said.
North of a line between Annapolis, Md., to the District, to Petersburg, W.Va., 24 to 32 inches have fallen; south of that line to Charlottesville, Va., approximately 14 to 20 inches have fallen, according to the NWS.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s throughout the weekend and early next week.
The weight of the snow along with heavy winds caused power outages across the region. Although numbers are dropping, Pepco is still reporting more than 53,000 households without power as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Dominion Virginia has more than 29,000 without power. Power companies have crews working round the clock, but they won't know where to go unless you call.
Dominion Virginia Power customers should call 1-888-667-3000 to report an outage. Pepco customers should call 1-877-737-2662. BGE customers should call 1-800-685-0123 if they see any sparking lines or power outages.
Call 311 to report fallen trees in the District, and 911 or Pepco's emergency number at 1-877-737-2662 to report downed wires.
Flights remain grounded at Reagan National Airport until further notice; no flights are planned for today, and Metro is not running to the airport. Dulles International Airport and BWI Marshall Airport reports limited if any service today. Terminals remain open.Travelers are being advised to contact their airlines before heading to their local airport. Washington Flyer bus service between the West Falls Church Metro station and Dulles Airport is not running today. You can get more info on National and Dulles here.
The snow the area received should last quite a while, as the storm will be followed by the coldest air of the season. The cold wave could last for nearly a week following the storm, so the snow won't melt anytime soon. And there's a chance for even more on Tuesday.
Because of the severe winter weather, all D.C. government agencies remained closed today, but essential personnel still had to report.
Amtrak canceled multiple trains today, including more than 10 Northeast regional trains between D.C. and New York and Boston, as well as those going south to Richmond, Newport News and Lynchburg. Multiple Acela trains between D.C. and New York are also canceled. All auto trains between Lorton and Sanford, Fla., are cancelled. Check Amtrak's schedule for updates.
Alexandria's DASH bus service, DDOT's Circulator, Montgomery County's Ride On bus and the Fairfax Connector are not operating.
The District's snow emergency means residents must immediately relocate any vehicles parked on snow emergency routes. During a snow emergency, clearing and salting efforts focus first on major roads, commuter thoroughfares and designated snow emergency routes. What are the snow emergency routes, you ask? Here's the complete list.
What's the policy? If your vehicle is not moved off the snow emergency route, DPW will tow the vehicle to a pre-determined lot. DPW will no longer relocate the vehicle in the local neighborhood. The resident will incur a $250 fine for parking on a snow emergency route during a declared snow emergency, a $100 towing fee and a $25 impound fee (this fee will double after 48 hours and then increase by $25 every 24 hours thereafter).
So if you've left your car, truck or SUV on any of those emergency routes, move it out!
The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration warned drivers to avoid using I-95 between the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and the Capital Beltway (I-495). Abandoned or disabled vehicles are causing severe delays for crews trying to plow the road, as well as hampering emergency response time.
Motorists can check current weather, road conditions and traffic cameras in Virginia at www.511Virginia.org or by calling 511.
Local hospitals and medical facilities are seeking volunteers who have four-wheel drive vehicles to help transport doctors and nurses. These include:
- Holy Cross -- 301-754-7000
- Washington Hospital Center -- 202-877-7000
- Sibley Hospital- In Need -- 202-537-4475
- Shady Grove Adventist Hospital -- 240-826-6000
- Virginia Hospital Center -- 703-558-5000
The Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore said unsafe travel conditions because of the weekend's snowstorm can legitimately exempt Catholics from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. Officials encouraged Catholics to watch the Sunday TV Mass.
The most snow on record in Washington is 28" in January 1922. That storm was also known as the Knickerbocker Storm, after the snow caused the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre to collapse, killing 98 and injuring 133, reported Bell.
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