(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a snow emergency to go into effect at midnight on Thursday, February 18, as the District prepares for significant snowfall. The Mayor will deploy the District Snow Team at midnight, February 18.
Mayor Bowser also announced that on Thursday, February 18, DC Public Schools (DCPS) will be all virtual. All students will learn virtually and should plan to log online per their normal class schedule.
The Mayor has announced that District Government will operate in a telework posture for non-essential/non-emergency employees. Essential employees will report for duty as previously scheduled, unless otherwise directed.
Public COVID-19 testing sites will be closed. Public COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open, including those at Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) sites.
Meal distribution sites at DCPS and DPR facilities will be closed.
While the snow emergency is in effect, motorists may not park on snow emergency routes and vehicles parked on these routes may towed. Find a map and list of the snow emergency routes at snow.dc.gov. To learn where a vehicle has been towed, call the Towed Vehicle Locator office at (202) 541-6083, or go to dpw.dc.gov/service/locate-towed-vehicle.
The deployment consists of 143 heavy plows (six- and 10-wheel dump trucks) to treat highways, streets, bridges, ramps, and other elevated structures and 81 light plows (pickup trucks) to treat smaller streets.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) leads the District Snow Team with support from the Department of Transportation (DDOT), Department of General Services (DGS), Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Serve DC, and several other agencies.
Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important weather alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov. View Neighbor-2-Neighbor videos, at snow.dc.gov/page/neighbor-2-neighbor-snow-prep-tips, for residents’ snow prep tips.
The District Snow Team also encourages residents and commercial property owners to apply abrasives such as rock salt, deicer, or non-clumping kitty litter to the sidewalks around their properties prior to snowfall to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls. The Snow Team uses pet friendly deicer on District pedestrian bridges.
Residential and commercial property owners are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of the storm. Through the Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption Program, qualified residents will be exempt from this requirement if they own and live in their own homes (single-family or apartment building with no more than three units) and are 65 years old or older and/or living with a disability. Just call 311 to apply by February 28, 2021, the deadline for this year.
ServeDC urges residents to volunteer to clear their elderly and disabled neighbors’ sidewalks. Visit snowteam.dc.gov for the DC Volunteer Snow Team registration link.
Buildings and COVID-19 Sites
The Snow Team is pre-treating and will remove snow at municipal buildings, first responder locations, hypothermia centers, homeless shelters, COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, and DC Public Schools.
Hypothermia Alert and Shelters
If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, during freezing temperatures, call the Shelter Hotline at 202-399-7093, or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Streateries and parklets are not to be used during a Snow Emergency.
Winter Weather Tips
- Find your snow shovel and make sure it is adequate for another snow season.
- Check your supply of abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter – and get more if necessary. The District has used pet-friendly deicer on its pedestrian bridges for several years and found it to melt ice effectively and be easy on pets’ paws.
- Have enough over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pet(s).
- Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves. You don’t want leaves to block the flow of rainwater that may freeze.
- Turn off all outdoor water faucets.
- Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.
- Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.
- If you have to drive, make sure you remove all snow and ice from your windows, windshields, roof and trunk before driving. You improve your visibility and protect others from flying snow and ice.
The District Snow Team will continue to monitor the weather forecast and adjust its response as necessary. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, visit snow.dc.gov.