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Crews couldn't pretreat roads because of rain, scramble to clear Monday snow in DC

The roads were not treated overnight because of rain in the region.

WASHINGTON — Drivers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia should be prepared for dangerous conditions on the roads during Monday's snow storm. The first significant snow storm in three years moved in during the early morning hours Monday and picked up significantly around 7 a.m.

Road crews across the region were faced with a challenge because of how the storm developed. Because the storm started with rain, it kept crews from pre-treating the roads ahead of the snowflakes.

Chris Geldart, D.C. Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, said crews began their shift around midnight. Geldart said the ongoing COVID-19 surge was impacting plow drivers as well.

"At the beginning of our shift we were down 40 drivers for our plows," Geldart said. They were able to have a full deployment of plow drivers thanks to contracting companies working with the city. In total, in D.C., 224 pieces of equipment are working to keep roads clear.

The snow is expected to taper off around noon, but Geldart said are planning to remain busy.

"We have a couple of more days of this to go, as you know it's going to snow today and then refreeze tonight," Geldart said. "The pandemic is what it is, luckily we have some resources we can pull on. I think we'll be just fine."

In northern Virginia, 2,700 trucks were ready to clear roads. The plan of attack in Virginia was to clear the snow as it comes down. Plows were seen on the roads by 7:30 a.m.

In Maryland, transportation crews are taking a similar approach to clearing roads. Sherry Christian, with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration said crews will clear snow as it accumulates.

"Because this storm started out as wet, we did not pre-treat with that brine, because it would have all just been washed away before it had a chance to do any good," Christian said. Christian said crews began applying rock salt as snow began falling.

Christian said staff has not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several schools across the region have closed due to the weather, which authorities say is helping them clear roads quickly.

They say if you don't have to go out, stay home.

Stay with WUSA9 for the latest updates and road conditions as the storm develops. 

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