Tag Archives: ice

Snow Day

President Obama went on to comment that, “I’m saying when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things.”   Sound advice from a fellow midwestern transplant.

Please watch your step on the sidewalk tonight, as melting snow may refreeze overnight.

Snow Route

Photo by Jeanne Welsh

As a recent transplant from the Midwest, I’m used to worse road conditions than we’ve seen today; I’ve driven myself through inches of snow as it falls, melts, and refreezes.  So I was surprised when I learned after I moved here that “the whole city practically shuts down when it snows”.

Even spurious rumors are founded in some truth; I do remember newsmedia portraying DC as slowed to a halt in previous years snowfall.  And although I have yet to confirm what the roads are like for drivers, those of us who rely on public transportation appear to be mostly unaffected by the snowfall, save for a minute or two delays on some bus routes.

This may owe in fact to some of the preparations on the part of WMATA, which include:

  • 2,200 tons of bulk rock salt to treat Metro roadways
  • 18,000, 50-pound bags of de-icer
  • 71 tractors, 70 pick up trucks, 18 larger trucks, five dump trucks with plows, 96 snow brooms, and 122 snow blowers to remove snow

Not to mention the de-icing equipment employed by MetroRail, which appears to have no delays expected for the remainder of the evening rush hour.  And given that there appear to be no service alerts for metro riders, its fair to call today a success for WMATA.

As for getting to those Metro stops on foot, pedestrians are advised as always to watch your step.  Or at least have fun seeing your footprint in the snow on the sidewalk for once.