Residents Cope Without Power, Without Roads

Residents of the D.C. area who haven't seen a single flake cleared from their neighborhoods are grumbling about snow removal as another storm threatens to dump 10 to 20 inches more on the area beginning Tuesday.

When the bell for the next round does ring, snow removal equipment likely will be pulled from still-buried neighborhoods to once again try to keep main roads clear.

"It may be Thursday before they see a plow," said Montgomery County, Md., pavement manager Randy Paugh. "Hopefully we get those streets open, just a path, and get back to them by Thursday."

In Bethesda, Md., only about half of neighborhood streets had been plowed by Monday evening, News4's Chris Gordon reported. Montgomery County has about 800 pieces of equipment on the streets, but they are still trying to clear paths for emergency vehicles and tree cutters working with Pepco to resolve thousands of power outages.

"It's slow going," said Pepco spokesman Bob Dobkin. "It's very energy intensive and these guys have been working 16-hour shifts. We hope to have thousands more back today, but it looks like we're going in to tomorrow at least, and then we've got the threat of more snow."

Montgomery County consolidated overnight shelter operations at Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville. People planning to go to the shelter should bring all medications and personal supplies they need. Pets are not allowed except for registered service animals.

With another blast expected, D.C. officials are trying to find places to put the snow that's already piled up.

"We know that there still are at least blocks of neighborhoods where it is tough to pass," D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said Monday.

The city is piling up some of the snow at the old D.C. General Hospital to get it out of the way, News4's Tom Sherwood reported.

"I can tell you the biggest problem we have is when somebody parks halfway into a space and halfway out of a space," said D.C. Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein. "If you get two of those near each other, you can't get the plow down the street."

The Fairfax County, Va., residents who live on Wolf Trap Oaks Court a mile and a half from Tysons Corner haven't seen a plow yet, News4's Julie Carey reported. The phrases "cabin fever" and "stir crazy" come up with the trapped residents.

The Virginia Department of Transportation continues to advise motorists to stay off the road if possible. Those who must drive should do so with extreme cautions as melted snow will refreeze as black ice.

VDOT also asked residents to e-mail about places where cars can't pass, as the customer service line is getting an extremely high volume of calls. Feel free to include photos of the tough spots to travel through.

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