Virginia and Maryland prep for major re-freeze overnight
(WJLA) - Hitting the road in Woodbridge on Monday morning meant crossing paths with a parade of plows.
Plow driver Dale Shepard has gotten very good at his job this winter, but he’s now had enough.
"Ready for it to be over, yes," he says.
VDOT deployed 4,000 pieces of equipment across Northern Virginia to fight off this current storm, while smaller plows and bobcats did their part in parking lots and side streets. But that doesn’t mean that main roads, like I-66 and the beltway, were any cakewalk.
"I got lucky," said Centreville resident Vernon Davis. "I was behind a snowplow for a little while, so it cleared out the road in front of me."
The problem is a nasty winter combo: first freezing rain, then sleet, then snow – all layered on top of one another.
"Four-wheel drive doesn't make you stop any quicker," observed Fairfax resident Chris Vienna.
Extra heavy vehicles, like this tractor-trailer along Route 50 in Maryland near the beltway, weren’t immune from the slippery conditions.
'When these temperatures are that cold, the ice is very difficult to melt until we get some traffic and some sunlight," explained VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer McCord.
The big concern now is a major re-freeze overnight. Road crews in Maryland and Virginia are using liquid magnesium, a super deicer with a -26 degree freezing to point to keep ice from reforming.
"We're going to keep crews out even after we're done plowing, and keep treating roads while we worry about that ice," said McCord.
Maryland deployed 2,600 plow trucks to lay down salt and sand, but still some residential streets like this one in Rockville remain untouched.
Meanwhile, drivers did their own kind of snow removal.
"You can see the ice on here -- I've had to slap it," said Mike Sumner, whose wiper blades were frozen with snowflakes thanks to the deep freeze.
Paul O’Neal had to stop and clear the ice on his way from Quantico to Annapolis:
"At some point you're looking through a little peep hole because it all freezes up…it's hazardous, very hazardous."
With freeways caked in snow and ice, Virginia State Police troopers were on the move all day – responding to hundreds of crashes across the Commonwealth.
By now, winter fatigue has set in across the region, but the show must go on. Just ask postal service letter carrier, Chun Lin:
"That's my job. No matter sun, snow, rain. I do my job."