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Heavy winds, sleet and freezing rain made for sloppy roads Monday, following a snowfall Sunday evening, where flakes fell fast and heavy for a few hours, before transitioning quickly to a wintry mix.
While school districts were already closed Monday for MLK Day, the DMV saw the closure of many state-run COVID testing sites Sunday and Monday due to ongoing severe weather.
After the first major storm of the year brought days-long power outages affecting thousands, Pepco and Dominion Energy deployed crews early, and outage numbers were much lower Sunday into Monday, as a result.
A Wind Advisory remains in effect across the region Monday until 8 p.m. with gusts upwards of 55 mph and a few snow showers possible.
Drivers could see some slick spots on the roads Monday evening, as temperatures drop down into the 20s, possibly re-freezing the slop remaining on the roads -- drive with caution.
Most areas ended up with the amount of snow forecasted, but a lot of it was quickly compressed by rain and sleet or washed away altogether.
The District recorded about 2.5-inches on the ground Sunday, before the weather transitioned into rain and sleet, just before 6 p.m.
The highest snow totals seen in Virginia came from Hayfield, where 6 inches was reported. A viewer in LaVale, Maryland also said they saw about 6 inches. However, regions closer to D.C. saw between 2 and 3 inches.
Another potent cold front heads to the DMV Wednesday, with a few rain and snow showers possible Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. Behind that front, highs will only be in the 30s through the weekend.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, according to Dominion Energy's power outage map, fewer than 5,000 customers are without power. Pepco's outage map is showing just 26 outages impacting about 550 customers in D.C. and Maryland.
There is no word at this time on when current outages may be restored.
A power outage can be caused by a myriad of things but it is important to be as prepared as you possibly can, especially during severe weather. Extended power outages can impact everyone from a home to an entire community. It can cause issues with communication, prevent the use of medical devices, impact access to water and cause food to spoil while grocery stores may be closed.
Dominion Energy says residents should not connect any portable generators to a home's electrical system. Under no circumstances should you ever bring a generator into your home in order to create heat. Odorless and colorless carbon monoxide gas from gas-fueled heaters and generators can build-up, resulting in injuries or even death.
Winds brought down a large tree in Montgomery County just after midnight. Pete Piringer, Public Information Officer for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, said it happened in the 14000 block of Arctic Avenue near Vista Drive in Rockville, Maryland. There were no injuries.
Residents in an apartment complex in Alexandria, Virginia were rushed out of their homes into the cold temps around 1:30 a.m. Monday after a burst pipe caused water to rush through the homes. Crews said the broken pipe was caused by weather conditions. The pipe is being repaired and folks were able to return inside their apartments, but fire alarms remained on until 3 a.m.
The apartment complex is still repairing damage from a fire in early December, and residents noted it was the second time in a little more than a month that they had been evacuated in the middle of the night due to fire alarms.
It's always important to stay prepared and safe during severe weather. There are several ways you can make sure you are ready.
- High winds regularly down trees and heavy branches in the DMV region, so avoid standing or walking under tree canopies.
- Be supplied: Have medical equipment, medical supplies or any critical medications on hand and enough for 5-7 days.
- Figure out how and where everyone will meet up with each other if you get separated.
- Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.
- Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could cause damage.
According to Flight Aware, as of 6 a.m. Monday, just over 100 flights were canceled at Reagan National Airport and nearly 100 flights at Dulles and Baltimore/Washington International Airport were impacted.
Departures to Ronald Reagan Washington National were briefly grounded Sunday around 5 p.m. due to snow and ice. A short time later, the grounding was lifted.
At 8 p.m. Sunday, Virginia State Police troopers said that they had responded to nearly 500 traffic crashes and 486 disabled vehicles throughout the day
The Maryland Transportation Authority also issued a plea to drivers.
"Remember that bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads will freeze first. Do not underestimate the dangers that light snow accumulation can create on cold roadways," the department tweeted.
If you cannot stay home, AAA suggests drivers always check weather conditions before heading out. Drivers should always travel with a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone and wear a seatbelt.
If traffic signals are not working because of a power outage, you must stop at the intersection and then proceed when you know other turning and approaching cars, bikes or pedestrians have stopped. Treat a blacked-out traffic signal as a four-way stop intersection.
While driving on black ice, people should proceed slowly and smoothly. AAA says to avoid any sudden acceleration, braking and steering. If you have antilock brakes, use steady pressure --- don't pump.
If you get stuck in snow or ice, AAA suggests straightening the wheel and accelerating slowly. Try adding sand, traction mats or cat litter under the drive wheels to avoid spinning tires.
AAA recommends that all drivers make sure they have an emergency kit ready for any winter weather. Items to have in your car include:
- Snow shovel
- Scraper or de-icer
- Extra blankets
- Warm clothing
- Extra medications.
And: Always travel with a full tank of gas.
Around 1 p.m. Sunday, Maryland and D.C.'s Departments of Health made the decision to close facilities offering COVID-19 tests.
All state-run COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in Maryland closed Sunday at 1 p.m. in advance of the storm. Regency Stadium, Hopkins Bayview, and State Center are also staying closed Monday, and some other testing sites had already planned to close for the MLK Day holiday.
The Virginia Department of Health closed all community testing centers Sunday.
The community vaccination centers in Fairfax, Fredericksburg and Prince William will open at noon on Monday and close at the usual time; testing centers in Fairfax and Prince William are on the same schedule.
All VDH-run vaccination and testing centers are expected to be open on Tuesday.
Fairfax County Schools have also canceled all Sunday activities after 1 p.m. and all Monday activities. Foxcroft School also plans to stay close Monday.
Loudoun County Public Schools and Administrative Offices will also be closed, Jan. 17. All activities on school campuses are canceled, however, the school system shared that some scheduled activities may be allowed after 4 p.m. That information will be shared on their website by noon Monday.
Peggy Fox with Dominion Energy gives tips for how to stay safe.