From the ABC 7 Weather team

D.C. snow 2011: The day after

January 27, 2011 - 07:15 AM
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Thundersnow--the day after
Dig out! (Photo: Samuel Corum)

4:11 The curtain starts to drop for D.C. but the lights do not come back on. Not for everyone. About 150,000 residents are awaiting not just power but for the simple word of when they might have power. Pepco's multistate crew of technicians says most folks can hope for 11 p.m. Friday. Dominion Power, which is kind of having an all-around bad week, estimates that most of its customers will also have power tomorrow night, although it could take days for some households to spark up. Dominion will have ETAs for individual customers by tomorrow morning.

At least driving back home to a darkened house won't be as painful as last evening's Hell Commute, if anything could be as painful as 10 hours alone in a stranded car. (Perhaps if there was a cranky baby in there, too?) The roads will ice up overnight, so be careful driving in the morning and be sure to check for the latest closings and delays.

3:42 Spotsylvania County Public Schools will be delayed two hours tomorrow.

3:30 PEPCO update: "most people should have power by 11 p.m., Friday." About 150,000 are still afflicted. The utility says it could have been a lot worse if it hadn't murdered all those innocent trees.

3:22 This video of a transformer exploding last night outside a University of Maryland frat house plays out just about how you would expect. Warning: cool video, but strong language.

3:12 Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake all but says people were stupid for driving in a "full-on snow event."

2:50 Fairfax County Schools are closed tomorrow. The administrative offices will be open. This nugget of news from Doug Hill and Bob Ryan's ongoing live chat. There's still time to throw in your questions.

2:45 The snow melting today will create the chance for slicks of ice on the roads in the morning, says ABC7 meteorologist Alex Liggitt in his latest forecast. Up to an inch of snow is possible tomorrow in the Shenandoah Valley, flurries could fall over the weekend, and then that will be it for this year. (OK, one of those was wishful thinking.)

410-222-8610.

2:33 A stunning reversal (and correction) to the update below. Dominion Power tweets that customers will have power restoration times by tomorrow morning. We' re just going to say, if you don't have power tomorrow call 1-866-DOM-HELP.

2:18 A happy addendum to the last update. Dominion Power says most people in Northern Virginia will have their electricity functioning by tomorrow morning. A spokeswoman from Virginia's emergency-management agency says the "several days" wording was just a worst-case scenario.

2:10 Northern Virginia residents won't be so lucky. People should be prepared to go without electricity “for several days,” according to the state's emergency-management department. About 91,000 people in NoVa had zilch power at noon.

2:02 TBD's Elahe Izadi shakes the Pepco spokesperson until an actual ETA for power restoration falls out! Uhm, it's 11 p.m. Friday. "We’ve got about 1,000 people that are working on the system, and that includes 500 external people from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the Carolinas," he says. If your electricity isn't on by Friday night, call Pepco. Might want to head to the Wheaton Mall beforehand to recharge your phone.

1:52 Want to know today's hot product at the Wheaton Mall? Power outlets. There's a bunch of people hanging out the mall, drinking coffee and recharging their mobile devices. This even despite a report that half the power in the mall is out. The partial blackout has also (brace yourself) shut down the IHOP in Wheaton, which some people are quite angry about. Understandable if all your really wanted this morning was some crepes and lingonberry butter.

1:42 Virginia transportation authorities are reporting that emergency crews and power companies are still working to restore power and get the roads clear for driving. Temperatures look like they'll drop below freezing tonight. Can we all just agree to take a three-day weekend?

Emergency responders & power companies working 2 restore traffic & repair power lines. Temps remain low & inhibit snowmelt.

1:23 More Montgomery County mayhem: Its government HQ is powerless. So are parts of its jail. Some stretches of the county could be without electricity until Sunday. Now 163,668 Pepco customers have no power, 113,775 of them in Montgomery County, reports ABC7’s Stephen Tschida.

1:09: Montgomery County's police department towed hundreds of cars since last night. Where might yours be? Here's how to find out. For vehicles towed from Interstates 270, 370, 495, or adjacent ramps, call Maryland State Police: 301-424-2101. For vehicles towed from county roads, call these Montgomery County Police District numbers depending on where you left your car:

1D serving the greater Rockville communities: 240-773-6070
2D serving the greater Bethesda communities: 301-652-9200
3D serving the greater Silver Spring communities: 301-565-7740
4D serving the greater Wheaton communities: 240-773-5500
5D serving the greater Germantown communities: 240-773-6200
6D serving the greater Gaithersburg communities: 240-773-5700

12:57: Some folks are having fun messing around with the photo on the front page of the Post today. It's attracted a lot of attention because, seriously, who goes out in the middle of a thundersleet storm for a nice cold ice cream? Unless it's really good ice cream, of course.

ice-cream

12:17: The Prince William police department is not using regular cop cars today. Instead, cops are cruising the streets in 4-wheel drive vehicles, some of which are unmarked. No details on what these cars look like, but here's a guess.

11:50: For all you folks without electricity (more than 200,000 at last count), here's one more thing to worry about. If your appliances are in the "on" position when the power finally returns, they could start fires.

11:30: George Washington Parkway is now open going north, sort of. Here's hoping the folks who were stuck in their cars for 14 hours had a good playlist available on their iPods.

11:38: We've updated the snowfall totals map with some new data. Looks like we got more than previously thought (13.4 inches in Baltimore County). 

11:31: HEARTBREAK ALERT: The Redbox kiosk on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is broken, reports spouse of TBD staffer who trudged up there with kids in the snow, hoping to return unbelievably awful kids' movie rented to pass the time yesterday when school got out early. Time to acquaint yourself with Netflix streaming, residents of Del Ray. Or you can drive to Harris Teeter on Route 1, which also has a Redbox kiosk. The roads are pretty good.

10:46: Mayor Vincent Gray among the 422,000 people without electricity. So is ABC7's Bob Ryan, but that doesn't mean he'll be missing our online weather chat at 2 p.m. The focus will be on whether meteorologists could have better communicated this storm's potential. Get your questions ready.

10:39: Didn't get enough snow yesterday? Have a look at tomorrow's forecast. This time around it should be quite light.

10:22: WTOP's indefatigable Neil Augenstein reports that the left lane of the GW Parkway north of Spout Run is about to be reopened.

10:19: Will Maryland strike it rich on the financial markets? We may never know, folks, because Invest Maryland Day has been canceled.

10:08: WTOP's indefatigable Adam Tuss reports that abandoned cars are sitting on I-66 and on Route 123 at Tyson's Corner, where a helpful soul has placed an orange barrel in front of them. However, D.C.'s major roads are looking clear.

10:00: Live in Alexandria and wondering when you might see the snow plow (and just pray it's not a death plow)? The city has a neat-o interactive map for that. You can look, but that's all: "At this time you may not use this form to report that the location you selected need to be plowed," the webpage sternly notes.

9:50: Holy crap: a possible death plow. Anne Arundel County police are seeking information about a Red Ford F350 pickup truck with an attached snow plow that may have killed a pedestrian at 2:36 a.m. The accident happened at Mountain Road east of Edwin Raynor Boulevard, in front of Brumwell’s Flea Market. The victim of the hit-and-run was 77-year-old Richard Francis Oles of Pasadena, Md. If you have info, call 410-222-8573 (x77) or Police Communications at

1:09: Montgomery County's police department towed hundreds of cars since last night. Where might yours be? Here's how to find out. For vehicles towed from Interstates 270, 370, 495, or adjacent ramps, call Maryland State Police: 301-424-2101. For vehicles towed from county roads, call these Montgomery County Police District numbers depending on where you left your car:

1D serving the greater Rockville communities: 240-773-6070
2D serving the greater Bethesda communities: 301-652-9200
3D serving the greater Silver Spring communities: 301-565-7740
4D serving the greater Wheaton communities: 240-773-5500
5D serving the greater Germantown communities: 240-773-6200
6D serving the greater Gaithersburg communities: 240-773-5700

12:57: Some folks are having fun messing around with the photo on the front page of the Post today. It's attracted a lot of attention because, seriously, who goes out in the middle of a thundersleet storm for a nice cold ice cream? Unless it's really good ice cream, of course.

ice-cream

12:17: The Prince William police department is not using regular cop cars today. Instead, cops are cruising the streets in 4-wheel drive vehicles, some of which are unmarked. No details on what these cars look like, but here's a guess.

11:50: For all you folks without electricity (more than 200,000 at last count), here's one more thing to worry about. If your appliances are in the "on" position when the power finally returns, they could start fires.

11:30: George Washington Parkway is now open going north, sort of. Here's hoping the folks who were stuck in their cars for 14 hours had a good playlist available on their iPods.

11:38: We've updated the snowfall totals map with some new data. Looks like we got more than previously thought (13.4 inches in Baltimore County). 

11:31: HEARTBREAK ALERT: The Redbox kiosk on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray is broken, reports spouse of TBD staffer who trudged up there with kids in the snow, hoping to return unbelievably awful kids' movie rented to pass the time yesterday when school got out early. Time to acquaint yourself with Netflix streaming, residents of Del Ray. Or you can drive to Harris Teeter on Route 1, which also has a Redbox kiosk. The roads are pretty good.

10:46: Mayor Vincent Gray among the 422,000 people without electricity. So is ABC7's Bob Ryan, but that doesn't mean he'll be missing our online weather chat at 2 p.m. The focus will be on whether meteorologists could have better communicated this storm's potential. Get your questions ready.

10:39: Didn't get enough snow yesterday? Have a look at tomorrow's forecast. This time around it should be quite light.

10:22: WTOP's indefatigable Neil Augenstein reports that the left lane of the GW Parkway north of Spout Run is about to be reopened.

10:19: Will Maryland strike it rich on the financial markets? We may never know, folks, because Invest Maryland Day has been canceled.

10:08: WTOP's indefatigable Adam Tuss reports that abandoned cars are sitting on I-66 and on Route 123 at Tyson's Corner, where a helpful soul has placed an orange barrel in front of them. However, D.C.'s major roads are looking clear.

10:00: Live in Alexandria and wondering when you might see the snow plow (and just pray it's not a death plow)? The city has a neat-o interactive map for that. You can look, but that's all: "At this time you may not use this form to report that the location you selected need to be plowed," the webpage sternly notes.

9:50: Holy crap: a possible death plow. Anne Arundel County police are seeking information about a Red Ford F350 pickup truck with an attached snow plow that may have killed a pedestrian at 2:36 a.m. The accident happened at Mountain Road east of Edwin Raynor Boulevard, in front of Brumwell’s Flea Market. The victim of the hit-and-run was 77-year-old Richard Francis Oles of Pasadena, Md. If you have info, call 410-222-8573 (x77) or Police Communications at 410-222-8610.

9:45: Why are so many Pepco customers without power? “As of right now, the biggest reason is there are a lot of tree limbs on power lines. I’ve been getting a lot of reports of that,” says spokesman André Francis. No ETA on power normality yet. Read more here.

9:41: Power outages update:

Grand Total = 304,493

PEPCO
District of Columbia 21956
Montgomery 122424
Prince George's 38710

BGE
Montgomery 1,380
Prince George's 8,180

Dominion
Northern Virginia 111,843

ITEM: Joshua Bell's concert last night at Strathmore was canceled because the venue lost power; the famous violinist played for fans anyway.

9:21: There's a report of low/no water pressure in the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington. Not for me!

9:02: Stuck at home with the kids? Here are some tips from an Alexandria mother who is excellent at finding ways to make the day pass:

Baking. You get a "good hour or so" outta this. She recommends banana bread.

Going outside to play. Snow angels. Snowmen (it's wet snow! Perfect! Here's a gallery of British snowmen, many of whom appear to be drinking, to inspire you). Snowballs. Get them to help shovel. It distracts them and tires them out; they may nap.

Drop all restrictions on TV and videogames. Maybe this is poor parenting advice, but it will help.

Art projects. You have all day to fill. Break out the paints.

Make a fort. Fling blankets over things. Do whatever it takes.

8:52: Amtrak is running between D.C. and New York, but there's no service between New York and Boston. If for some reason you thought you might take a train to Boston today you're out of luck. This video of the Dismemberment Plan performing "The Ice of Boston" at the Black Cat will have to do for now.

8:42:  A person has died after a tree fell on a pickup truck in Northwest D.C. last night, the Associated Press is reporting. The accident happened around 7 p.m. on Military Road and injured four others in the car.

8:38: About 318,850 people are still without power. The breakdown:

PEPCO: District of Columbia 21,686 / Montgomery 128,479 / Prince George's 41,923
DOMINION: Northern Virginia 117,083
BGE: Montgomery 1,375 / Prince George's 8,303

8:30: I-70 westbound at Braddock mountain only has one lane open due to "problems with snow removal and vehicles becoming disabled," reports the Frederick News Post.

8:24: Via @timclarkejr: Colesville/29 southbound: near Lockwood: 2 lanes, wet; before Beltway, narrows FAST; inside Beltway: HORRIBLE.

Here's an interesting bit of opinion from Greater Greater Washington on how the area's east-west divide affects traffic.

8:19: Check out this cool shot of the storm from space, on its way to setting snowfall records at BWI Airport (7.8 inches) and in New York City and Philadelphia. NYC now has its snowiest January ever.

8:05: Via @drgridlock, this depressing news:

An accident has shut down westbound I-70 at Jefferson Pike/MD 180 in Fredrick. Traffic has ground to a halt. #disastercommute #gridlocktipless than a minute ago via web

If you're stuck in this, read Steve Buttry's story about his nine-hour commute from D.C. to Reston last night.

8: Arlington County notified residents earlier this morning that a suspected power outage at a pumping station was causing low to no water pressure from Lee Highway at Military Road to Washington Boulevard. But you already knew that if you're at work right now with a head full of half washed-off conditioner. The pressure seems fine right now on 18th Road near Quincy Street.

7:55: Via @DougHillABC7, a map of snowfall accumulations.

7:52: Did you abandon your car on a major D.C. artery last night? Better get out to it; you may have a $100 fine waiting for you.

 

7:45: Last night was alive with the sound of boughs cracking and falling under the weight of the wet snow. Apparently some power lines fell too, because as of 6:35 a.m. a whole lot of people were in the dark. The stats:

Pepco: 122,162 without power in Montgomery County; 40,364 in Price George's; 23,497 in D.C.

Dominion: 114,740 in Northern Virginia

BGE: 8,569 in Prince George's; 2,113 in Montgomery

7:32: Major school systems closed this morning. D.C. public schools. IN MARYLAND: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles County, Frederick County, Garrett County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, St. Mary's County, Washington County. IN VIRGINIA: Alexandria (city of), Arlington, Clarke County, Culpeper County, Fairfax County, Falls Church (city of), Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Madison, Manassas (city of), Manassas Park, etc. etc. basically they're all closed but check our schools closing page if you're unsure.

7:31: D.C. Superior Court is closed today. Also, adults conducted a snowball fight last night.

7:23: Between 5 and 12 inches of snow fell last night, which is great to know, but if you need to get to work, or maybe clean your sidewalks, or figure out what to do with the kids, keep it right here: We'll update all day.

IMPORTANT GW PARKWAY NOTE: It is not open northbound past Spout Run, despite previous reports from us. Repeat: Parkway is not open northbound past Spout Run.

 5:35: Ride On Bus Service in Montgomery County will resume at 10 a.m. Thursday. Buses will operate on a Saturday schedule.

5:32: George Washington Parkway has been reopened between the Memorial Bridge and the Beltway, ABC7's Lisa Baden reports. Crews are still treating the roadway.

5:28: Prince George's County Government will open on time Thursday with liberal leave for employees. The Prince George's County Circuit and District Courts are closed.

4:55: Federal agencies in the D.C. area are open Thursday with a two-hour delay. Workers may also take unscheduled leave or telework from home.  

4: George Washington Parkway remains closed Thursday morning between Spout Run and Route 123. The roadway is littered with abandoned cars after the big snowstorm brought traffic to a standstill.

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