If Millions of People Aren't Enough …

Winter weather advisory issued

A minimal amount of snow causes enough havoc on the District's highways and mass transit system on a normal day.

But throw in hundreds of thousands of people converging on the area for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, and things could get more than just a bit messy.

Areas north of the District were seeing hazardous driving conditions Monday afternoon.  Westbound Interstate 70 at the Frederick/Washington County line was closed just before 2 p.m. due to a multi-vehicle crash that killed two and injured several and was expected to be closed for several hours. Traffic was being diverted to northbound MD 17 to westbound US 40. Traffic was backed up for approximately five or six miles.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory through 10 p.m. for areas north and west of the District.  The advisory for the District has been canceled.

The Washington region could see a dusting to 1 inch of snow area-wide starting at about noon Monday and lasting through 6:30 p.m. There could be a bit less to the north and a bit more to the south, meteorologist Tom Kierein said.

The District Department of Transportation said it's ready to battle the elements and has a plan to prep the roadways and bridges.

Crews were already out Monday morning spraying brine and salting streets.

Snow is expected to be light but will fall for most of the afternoon and evening; and with falling temperatures, slick roadways and icy conditions are possible.

The District recently added four snow melters to its fleet and will use them, if necessary, along the Inaugural Parade route to remove snow quicker and more efficiently than a regular plow or salt truck. The melters load the snow into a water filled melting tank, which is heated to create a warm water spray that promotes faster melting.

Snow is not expected for Inauguration Day. Kierein said it will be cloudy and cold a slight chance of flurries. Winds will be a bit breezy as well, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.

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