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Snow crews out, but you shouldn't be

Airports | Amtrak | Buses | Capital Weather Gang | D.C. snow emergency | Plowing plans | Rails | Snow removal | Live traffic

While road and transit crews are straining to keep up with snow that will continue to fall until Saturday evening, officials urge D.C. area residents to stay put.

Transit officials are making no predictions about when above-ground rail service will resume.

Several hundred Metro employees and contractors armed with shovels, Bobcats and heavy plows labored to clear away piles of snow from station entrances and above-ground tracks on Saturday. Workers also descended upon rail yards to begin excavating buried cars, as only some could be stored in tunnels.

But with the blizzard recovering tracks almost as fast as they could be cleared it was a Sisyphean effort.

"It is doubtful there will be any aboveground service tomorrow," said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. "We won't know until late tonight." Metrobus and MetroAccess service will remain suspended all day Saturday, he said.
-- Ann Scott Tyson

Stay off them. Road crews are still battling to get control of the main routes. Don't expect to see plows in the neighborhoods and on side streets till snow eases and the main roads are passable.

The trucks can't haul away the snow. So residents across the region will have to deal with big mounds of snow pushed up against parked cars and driveway entrances. Don't shovel it back out into the road. The highway crews are going to win that fight. They've got bigger shovels.

Karyn LeBlanc, District Department of Transportation:
"We are not in the residential streets now because we have to keep the major roads open. Once the snow stops, our main priority is to get back into the residential streets."

She said the focus now is on plowing. "We've stopped salting and treating."

"It's been coming so heavy that by the time you get down the [plow] route you have to return and do it over again."

"It's lightened up a bit right now but it's going to come down really heavy until 10 o'clock tonight. We expect another 10 inches."

"We're asking people, don't go out. Play in your yard if you have to get out of the house."

Right now, she said, the plows are just pushing the snow to the side of the roads. Downtown, there will be big mounds of snow at the intersections when this is over. "It will interfere with [driver's] sight lines and people will get impatient."

"Our big message is, when you dig out, please don't put it back in the streets. Put it in your yard or put in in the tree boxes."
-- Ashley Halsey III

By Robert Thomson  |  February 6, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm, tips for travelers  
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