Checking on the major routes
As the sun rose over the Washington area on Thursday morning, the light peeking through the clouds made fully visible for the first time the snow that blanketed the region the night before. Hundreds of thousands were left without power, while countless others spent up to 13 hours sitting in standstill traffic on Wednesday evening.
There were reports of icy and blocked roads this morning from across the region. As the hours wore on disabled vehicles were reported on roads including the Outer Loop, I-270 and Colesville Road; streets like Connecticut Avenue and Branch Avenue still had closures due to the snow; and snow and ice were reported on roads throughout the area.
The major roadways did appear to have been cleared up, with a residual slickness evident on the asphalt and piles of snow bookending the road. Major arteries did appear to be useful, and judging by traffic cameras they were offering travelers save haven: On I-395 North and I-95 North in Virginia; on Connecticut Avenue and Georgia Avenue in Northwest Washington; on Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast Washington; on East Capitol Street and on Rhode Island and New York avenues in Northeast Washington; on I-270 South and the Rockville Pike in Maryland.
Things weren't fully cleared up, of course. If the main roads were still slick, the side roads awaiting help were likely covered in ice and slush. Though the Beltway looked clear in many spots, there was heavy traffic around Arlington Boulevard. And approaching 7:30 a.m., with federal workers heading to the office two hours late and on unscheduled leave, the roads were far emptier than they normally would be at this time.