(WASHINGTON, DC) – Tonight, at 11 pm the District Snow Team will go into a full deployment in light of a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet predicted to start after midnight. Precipitation is expected to continue through early Saturday night. Based on weather reports that call for light snow starting before 1 am that will switch to freezing rain after 4 am with ice accumulation of less than an inch, the District will deploy more than 200 plows. Below-freezing temperatures may cause slick road conditions for the early morning Saturday drive. The Snow Team will pretreat primary, secondary and residential routes tonight.
“With snow, freezing rain, and sleet predicted, I am encouraging residents to make sure they are prepared for winter weather,” said Mayor Bowser. “Streets and sidewalks are expected to get icy and we are urging people to stay inside as much as possible until conditions improve.”
To prepare for the overnight wintry mix, residents are encouraged to heed the following tips:
- Take Metro as an alternative to driving.
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary.
- If you must drive, drive cautiously and maintain safe speeds and distances from other vehicles.
- Keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles and use caution when attempting to pass a snowplow. Give the drivers plenty of room to safely do their jobs.
- Be aware of hazardous road conditions, particularly black ice which can be deceptive in appearance and give the driver a false sense of security on the road.
- Keep your gas tank full.
- Drive carefully on bridges, ramps and other elevated structures which can freeze before the roadway.
- Have an emergency “go-kit” in your car. Visit www.hsema.dc.gov to learn how to make your go-kit.
“The blast of cold air that began Thursday severely lowered pavement temperatures, which means we may get a trace to a half inch of freezing rain and sleet citywide,” said Department of Public Works Director Christopher J. Shorter. “When rain falls on frozen streets and sidewalks, it turns to ice, making travel dangerous to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The Snow Team can move snow. We encourage residents to take it slow – travel cautiously and watch for ‘black ice’- a thin, clear sheet of ice that looks like pavement.”
Seniors can be connected to needed services by calling the DC Office on Aging at (202) 724-5626. Residents can also help keep everyone safe by contacting the Shelter Hotline to report a person experiencing homelessness who may be impacted by extreme temperatures. Reach the hotline by emailing email@example.com or calling (202) 399-7093 or 311.
For information about preparing for winter weather, DC’s snow program, warming centers or seeing where District Snow Team plows are working during a winter storm, go to snow.dc.gov. During snow season, it is important to stay informed about weather conditions and how District services are affected.