(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she will deploy the District Snow Team this evening ahead of the season’s first potential snow storm.
Starting this evening, December 15, at 7 pm, tanker trucks will begin pre-treating the National Highway System with a brine/beet juice mixture, which reduces the ability of ice to bond to the pavement. These roadways include I-295, I-395 and major streets such as Georgia Avenue, NW; Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and NW; South Dakota Avenue, NE; Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Alabama Avenue, SE; and M Street, SW.
This evening, December 15, at 10 pm, the Snow Team will deploy 138 heavy plows (6- and 10-wheel dump trucks) and 81 light plows (F-550 pickup trucks) to apply salt to highways, streets, bridges, ramps, and other elevated structures before snow begins falling Wednesday morning.
Based on the National Weather Service forecast, the District is expected to be on the rain/snow line, and precipitation could alternate between rain and snow, with a possible accumulation of 1-3 inches of snow.
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), 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. 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 to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls. The Snow Team uses pet friendly deicer on District pedestrian bridges.
Buildings and COVID-19 Testing Sites
Pre-treatment and snow removal will begin tonight at municipal buildings, first responder locations, hypothermia centers, homeless shelters, COVID-19 testing sites, and DC Public Schools.
Streateries and parklets are not to be used during inclement weather and/or when the outdoor temperature reaches 32-degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Streatery owners must clear snow/ice from the sidewalks and outdoor dining spaces within 8 daylight hours after the end of a storm.
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.