(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser will deploy the District Snow Team at midnight tonight in advance of possible freezing rain predicted to begin at 4 am Saturday, February 13, when the pavement temperature will be below freezing. A larger system of freezing rain is predicted for Monday, February 15 into Tuesday, February 16.
Freezing rain spreads across all surfaces, creating icy conditions for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists. Residential and commercial property owners should spread abrasives, e.g., salt, pet-friendly deicer or non-clumping kitty litter on their sidewalks before precipitation begins to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls.
The District Snow Team deployment consists of 132 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 Snow Team uses pet friendly deicer on Distr ict pedestrian bridges.
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.
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 municipal buildings, first responder locations, hypothermia centers, homeless shelters, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites.
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.
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.
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.