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Winter is Here and Mayor Bowser’s Snow Team is Ready

Monday, January 4, 2016

(Washington, DC) Mayor Muriel Bowser today deployed snow trucks as a precautionary effort in advance of the forecasted snow flurries. The recent drop in temperatures and anticipated snow flurries this afternoon will provide a backdrop to test snow readiness and ensure District systems are prepared. At this time, no snow accumulation is expected.

Today’s deployment consists of 9 heavy (6-wheel dump trucks) plows positioned on major streets, I-295 and I-395 to observe and report hourly weather and road conditions to the Department of Public Works (DPW) and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) dispatch centers throughout the afternoon. The Snow Team does not anticipate snow accumulation today; however, this action ensures a presence in the event conditions change.

DPW Acting Director Christopher J. Shorter provided these tips for residents to be ready for winter weather. “This year, avoid the race to the hardware store for deicer and a shovel or the supermarket for bread and milk when snow is forecasted. Plan ahead. For your family, have on hand all prescription and other medications, bottled water and food that does not need to be cooked. For your home, keep flashlights, extra batteries, bottled water and a first-aid kit accessible. For your car, have kitty litter for traction as well as blankets, flares and a mobile charger.”

The DC Snow Team has been preparing since summer for the snow storm season. There are 14 new 6-wheel dump trucks to salt and plow major streets and six new Ford 550s to salt and plow smaller residential streets. Additionally, the salt domes are filled to capacity with 39,000 tons of salt.

Serve DC is doing its part for snow readiness by enlisting volunteers to shovel sidewalks for residents who have disabilities or are age 60 or older. Eligible residents may call 311 to sign up for this service. Shovels will be loaned to volunteers who don’t have one.

“Clearing your sidewalk of snow and ice is the right thing to do and the majority of property owners accept that responsibility,” said Director Christopher Shorter. “We urge residents to reach out to their neighbors to form shoveling teams and offer to clear the sidewalks for those who are unable.”

Property owners can make clearing their sidewalks easier by applying abrasives (deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter) before a storm starts. This is especially useful when ice is predicted.

DPW encourages everyone to pay attention to weather forecasts during the winter and prepare your family, home, and vehicle before snow begins to fall. Go to for preparation tips.