Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018

'It's worse than what was predicted': D.C. area hit with first snowfall of the season

A man clears his car on Thursday in Alexandria. (Matt McClain / The Washington Post) The morning of the season Thursday morning, a messy mix of light snow, sleet and freezing rain left some commuters and officials caught a bit off guard. Some school systems will be closed for the day. Barely a dusting of snow hit even the outer parts of the region in the early morning hours. But by 7 a.m., there were reports of heavier snowfall on untreated roadways and no signs of plows and trucks in areas west and north of the Beltway. In Maryland and the District, heavier snow and sleet hit about the same time and started to coat the streets. "It's worse than what was predicted," said Ellen Kamilakis, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.[[Winter storm updates: Snow and sleet change to rain later this morning

 Only minor traffic incidents were reported, according to the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC). By 8:30 a.m., it was there that the "usual congestion" was growing along the roadways and warned that conditions were deteriorating. It advised drivers to slow down and be careful in the slush. On Metro, some riders said sidewalks and platforms appeared untreated and shared images, making them potentially slick. The toll rate along Interstate 66, inside the Beltway, hit $ 44.75 around 8:30 a.m.
Ian Kessler-Gowell walks up a hill in the snow on Thursday in Alexandria. (Matt McClain / The Washington Post)

Vesna Kevork walks down 15th Street on her way to work in Washington. (Calla Kessler / The Washington Post) Thursday morning's commute different. "I'm in the driving seat, but when I saw snow," said Lisa Ellis, 49, of Upper Marlboro, as she walked along L Street NW to her job. LaRonda Ferguson, a federal worker, said she would have telecommuted Thursday from her home in Waldorf, Md., Rather than her usual ride on a Martz bus. But she had left her work at her downtown office so she had to come in. But much to her surprise, her hour-and-a-half-long commutes to the road. said of her commutes, "it was actually perfect. I was surprised. "I expected it to be worse but it really was not." She said she was more surprised that she was not delayed, as she watched kids stand up at the big snowflakes coming down. On the roads, officials at VDOT said crews were pre-treating some early streets, bridges and ramps with brine and had been on standby early Thursday morning to treat roads. It said some of the vehicles that use can not be used to reside, but the roads were treated. It's also possible that some of the brine pre-treatment, officials said. On Thursday morning, VDOT said its crews were working with 250 trucks on the roads. Crews had been working in Northern Virginia, including in Loudoun County, and since 4 in the eastern part of Fairfax County. Crews were ramping up around Prince William County. "We and the National Weather Service, I think, were not expecting it as heavy as it was," Kamilakis said. She said the agency was adjusting its plans and "at this point, we're increasing" crews. "We'll deal with whatever comes along," she said. In Maryland,
officials said they had more than 800 people, plus 1,400 pieces of equipment, treating roads. and in the District, the mayor had ordered crews to do a "partial deployment" starting at midnight Thursday with 123 plows. Transportation experts warned drivers and pedestrians to allow extra time and be prepared for slick spots on roadways and sidewalks. The wintry mix is ​​expected to change to midday or early afternoon, according to forecasters. The storm of ice and snow is hitting other parts of the northeast and is expected to have a heavy impact on the Shenandoah area of ​​Virginia. Already in Virginia, Kamilakis said plans were underway to get ready for a possible Thursday night with crews ready to work. .

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