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DDOT and DPW Gear Up for Upcoming Winter Storm

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

(Washington, DC) The National Weather Service has issued a snow advisory for the District of Columbia in the early hours of Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening. Crews from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Department of Public Works (DPW) began pre-treating roadways with brine (a salt and water mixture) yesterday in anticipation of falling precipitation on Wednesday.

Crews will operate tomorrow in a full deployment mode. Crews will initially focus on treating major roadways, bridges and overpasses then move to secondary roads and residential streets. Full deployment includes approximately 150 trucks and 450 total personnel working on storm operations.

DDOT Director Emeka Moneme reminded drivers to take their time tomorrow. “Motorists should use extreme caution when driving tomorrow,” said Moneme. “We will do our part in treating roadways—and motorists need to do their part in driving carefully or taking public transportation instead of driving.”

District residents and businesses are urged to clear their sidewalks to prevent injury to pedestrians and clear nearby catch basin openings to prevent flooding basements and other low-lying areas once the snow melts.

 “We all want to be good neighbors and make it possible for adults and children to walk along our sidewalks without fear of slipping,” said DPW Director William O. Howland Jr. “In particular, I ask our businesses to make sure the handicap ramps located at intersections are clear of snow and ice.” 

Howland also asked residents to be aware that tomorrow’s below and near freezing temperatures may cause snow to turn to ice, making it very difficult to clear from sidewalks. 

“Applying abrasives, such as salt or non-clumping kitty litter before precipitation begins can help with removing the snow or ice after the storm ends,” said Howland.

DDOT and DPW remind commuters and residents to:

  • Use Metro when possible;
  • Telecommute on Wednesday if possible;
  • Drivers should use extreme caution and maintain safe speeds and distances from other vehicles;
  • Remember even a 4-wheel drive SUV does not perform well in ice and additional safety measures should be followed;
  • Be aware of road conditions, particularly black ice, which can be deceptive in its appearance giving the driver a false sense of security on the road; and
  • Remember to keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles during any major winter weather event.