WEATHER

D.C. Snow Storm: D.C. area preps for snowfall

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With the storm expected to do more damage than a dusting, the D.C. metro area has to get ready one more time. Grocery stores were packed Tuesday with people shopping for much more than the usual milk and toilet paper.

The Loudoun County Home Depot is bracing for up to a foot of snow. Deidre Ellis is taking no chances and spent $800 on a snow blower Tuesday.

“We have a long driveway that is much too long to shovel and that’s how we dealt with snow before since we lived in a smaller home,” she says. “Now we have a large driveway so we need something a little beefier because it’s supposed to be a big storm.”

From batteries to Ice Melt to shoves, people were filling up their carts and getting ready. Lillian Lewis bought a shovel and was heading home to hunker down.

“We already got food and stuff in the house, batteries, and we have candles so we’re ready. We’re just waiting for the snow,” she says.

Supplies that have sat collecting dust for months are suddenly flying off the shelves.

"Oh my goodness, I walked in with a big smile on my face...," Costco customer Solange Vivens exclaimed. "I said 'Yes, I beat them, beat the crowd."

The Liberty Gas Station in Leesburg was busy mid-day.

“I’m topping off the tank so I can be able to drive around after the storm comes,” says Bill Aiton.

“Just noticed the car was a little low and I thought no sense taking a chance so I’ll fill up,” says Mike Goyne.

In Maryland, more than 2,400 trucks are ready to battle the approaching snow storm. They're armed with more than 360,000 tons of salt.

The District Snow Team (Department of Public Works and the District Department of Transportation) will deploy about 230 plows citywide starting Tuesday night at 11 pm. Forecasters predict rain Tuesday evening, followed by a rain/snow mix after 11 pm. Heavy, wet snow is expected to start falling in time for Wednesday's am rush hour.

"...we have enough salt. We'll never run out," said Jerry Brown with the D.C. Department of Public Works.

By 4 a.m. Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will deploy more than 4,000 salt trucks and plows throughout northern Virginia in preparation for up to a foot of wet, heavy snow. Emergency tree contractors are on standby as strong winds could bring down trees and power lines.

"We are urging commuters to stay off the road on Wednesday and let our crews clear the roads," said VDOT maintenance engineer Branco Vlacich. "Roads likely will be treacherous at times."

Meanwhile, other D.C. area agencies are also preparing for the storm. According to WMATA, MetroAccess service has been canceled for Wednesday.

Government employees are awaiting OPM's decision regarding the weather. For OPM updates, click here.

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