WASHINGTON - The latest on the blizzard of 2016 and its impact on the Washington, D.C. region. (Photos: Blizzard of 2016 #TheWinterAwakens)
Monday, January 25
Metro will restore aboveground service to Reagan National Airport between Largo Town Center and Huntington on the Blue Line and between Mt. Vernon Square and Huntington on the Yellow Line beginning at 3:00 p.m. today. Customers should be advised that Braddock Road Station is closed.
Washington's Metro is resuming limited rail and bus service, and the rides are free for the day.
Rail service re-opened at 7 a.m. Monday with limited underground service on the red, orange and green lines. Metro said that as of 11 a.m. it intended to restore some above ground service on segments of the red, orange and green lines. That was to include all but one station in the District of Columbia.
Metro says trains are running every 20 to 25 minutes and that may be upgraded as conditions allow. Trains will run until midnight.
Bus service was scheduled to start at noon and run until 5 p.m. Monday on some two dozen routes.
Both rail and bus service did not operate Saturday
Gov. Terry McAuliffe toured northern Virginia to size up the impact of the snowstorm that pounded the state over the weekend.
McAuliffe organized a Sunday afternoon stop in the Fairfax suburbs of Washington D.C., where he arranged meetings with emergency response officials. Local public safety officials also joined join McAuliffe, a day after he took a spin on a snowplow Saturday in Richmond.
Around the region, plows and road crews worked to clear major routes and roads. And power companies across the Mid-Atlantic region said they were busy restoring electricity to some outlying areas of Virginia after thousands were left without power at the height of the storm.
Sunday, January 24
Amtrak service operate on a modified schedule between Boston and D.C. on Monday. Service between Washington and points in Virginia will also be reduced due to local conditions. Passengers who have reservations on affected services are being contacted and accommodated on other trains with similar departure times or being offered alternate travel dates.
The opening of the Washington Auto Show will be delayed until Tuesday, Jan. 26. The event that is scheduled to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.was supposed to begin last Friday.
All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will remain closed on Monday.
The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles will be closed on Monday due to the inclement weather.
Greater Washington Area national parks will remain closed on Monday while snow removal continues.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport are expected to be open and operate with limited flight operations.
Md. Gov. Larry Hogan has announced all state government offices will be closed on Monday. Emergency essential personnel should report as scheduled.
The Office of Personnel Management says all federal offices in the D.C. area will be closed on Monday after a blizzard brought 2 to 3 feet of snow to the region.
The District of Columbia government will be closed on Monday.
The National Park Service says it is closing northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from Spout Run to Interstate 495 until noon Monday. If federal offices reopen Monday, the closure will lift at 4 a.m.
Metro will be back up running Monday morning with limited underground service on the Red, Orange and Green lines. MORE: www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/82007958-story
Loudoun County Public Schools have announced they will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
More school closings have been announced for Monday. Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, Culpeper County Public Schools and Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia are closed for Monday.
Full list of school closings: fox5dc.com/closings
U.S. Capitol Police say one of their officers died on Saturday suffering a heart attack while shoveling snow at his home. Officer Vernon Alston Jr., 44, worked with the U.S. Capitol Police since 1996 and worked with the House Division.
“The death of Officer Alston is truly a tragic loss for the Alston family and the United States Capitol Police, which in fact is one in the same,” said Chief of Police Kim Dine. “Officer Alston was someone who loved his job, and his loss leaves a huge void in the hearts of all of the men and women at the USCP.”
Two airports in the Washington region will likely remain closed through Sunday, but Baltimore's airport is expecting limited evening flights.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport spokesman Jonathan Dean said Sunday that there are no aircraft on the ground at the airport but a limited flight schedule of primarily arrivals is expected late in the day. Dean says the airport's snow removal team has been working since Friday afternoon and is continuing to work to clear the airport's two major runways and the airfield.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, said Saturday evening in a statement that it is unlikely that normal flight operations would resume Sunday.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser says city officials' goal for Sunday is to make major roads passable and do as much as they can on secondary roads.
Bowser spoke Sunday at a press conference. Bowser called Sunday "Day 1" of the dig out effort. Bowser and other officials asked people not to drive or walk in the streets.
"The longer you stay home the quicker we get this done," police chief Cathy Lanier said.
Christopher Geldart, the Director of the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, called removing the snow a "major operation."
"Two feet of snow is a lot to move," Geldart said.
But Bowser also sounded a hopeful tone: "It's Sunday and the sun is out in Washington, DC, and we're very happy to report that."
Gov. Terry McAuliffe is heading to northern Virginia to size up the impact of the fearsome snowstorm that pounded the state.
McAuliffe is scheduled to stop by Fairfax on Sunday afternoon with a contingent of emergency response officials. Scheduled to attend are his transportation secretary, Aubrey Layne, and public safety and homeland security chief Brian Moran.
Local public safety officials are also scheduled to join McAuliffe, who took a spin on a snowplow Saturday in Richmond.
Baltimore officials have lifted an emergency travel ban for the snow-smothered city, but some restrictions remain in place.
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation said in a news release that the so-called Phase III ban was lifted at 6 a.m. Sunday. The ban had prohibited all travel in the city except for emergency vehicles. Officials urged residents who didn't need to go out to still stay off the roads.
The Phase II plan remains in effect, meaning all vehicles venturing out on city roads must have all-weather tires. In addition, officials said parking will still be restricted along snow emergency routes."
The city is continuing to offer free parking for residents in city garages on a first-come, first-served basis.
The National Weather Service said on its Weather Prediction Center website early Sunday that more than a foot of snow had fallen in Baltimore -- 16 inches to be exact.
Despite the break in the weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation is echoing the advice of Gov. Terry McAuliffe: stay off the roads.
VDOT has 9,500 state and contract workers and 13,000 pieces of snow-fighting equipment on highways and primary roads. The department is encouraging residents to avoid travel if they can, so roads can be cleared Sunday.
McAuliffe stressed that message during a briefing Saturday. He said residents should resist the urge to travel despite an expected return of the sun.
VDOT said road conditions on most interstates and primary routes are minor to moderate. Conditions are "severe" in parts of the northern Virginia, Fredericksburg and Culpeper.
Interstate 270, as well as Interstate 70 from Interstate 81 in Washington County to the Beltway in Baltimore, reopened Sunday morning after a brief delay.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the closures following snow related traffic incidents involving several tractor trailers and other vehicles on both interstates.
The highways remained closed until about 7:20 a.m.
After cancelling nearly 7,000 weekend flights, airlines have started to cut Monday service as the ripple effects of driving snow and ice that brought many East Coast airports to a standstill drifted into the next work week.
Flight cancelations for Monday for all airlines stood at 615 as of early Sunday morning, but FlightAware said that is sure to rise.
Virginia State Police say the number of storm-related deaths in the state has risen to three.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the Office of the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed that two deaths are the result of hypothermia. Those deaths occurred in Hampton and Wise County, in southwest Virginia.
State police did not release the names of the hypothermia victims or the time or circumstances of their deaths.
The fatal car crash occurred Friday in the city of Chesapeake when a car went off a snowy highway, killing the driver.
Saturday, January 23
There is already a local school district closing for Monday due to the storm. Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland will be closed for students.
Amtrak will continue to operate with a modified schedule in the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday. There will be no train service between D.C. and locations in Virginia and the Southeast.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has closed Interstate 70 from I-695 to I-81 and Interstate 270 from I-495 to I-70 until 7 a.m. Sunday, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
From midnight Friday through 6 p.m. Saturday, Virginia State Police have:
- Fielded 5,673 calls for service
- 1,324 of the calls were for traffic crashes
- 1,683 calls were for disabled vehicles
Power outages in the area as of 7:30 p.m.
- Pepco: 423 customers
- Dominion Virginia Power: 1,128
- Baltimore Gas and Electric: 941
- SMECO: 20
Firefighters in Prince George's County are battling a fire at a carpet store in Suitland, Md. The heavy winds have been fanning the fire to adjacent structures, but the bulk of the fire has been put out.
The Blizzard of 2016 is causing some major damage on the Eastern Shore. The Ocean City fishing pier was damaged on Saturday and Mayor Richard Meehan said, "The ocean is pretty angry out there, I can tell you."
Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport say their runways will remain closed through Sunday and normal flight operations will be unlikely on Sunday due to the significant snowfall and high winds brought by the blizzard impacting the D.C. region.
Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel said Metro will make a decision by Sunday afternoon on whether the transit agency will resume service.
In a news conference updating the city's status, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says they are receiving reports that weather conditions are picking up with possible white out conditions. She continues to ask residents to stay inside so snow removal crews to do their work.
The D.C. National Guard has activated 128 members and are using 24 Humvees and heavy-duty four-wheel drive trucks to provide assistance to agencies across the District of Columbia.
Montgomery County fire officials say 12 horses were rescued and a total of 35 were displaced after partial barn collapse on Sugarland Road in Poolesville, Md. A couple of the horses did need medical attention.
D.C. Fire and EMS reports they have responded to nearly 200 calls from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
A baby in Virginia just couldn't wait. In the midst of the blizzard, a father in Stafford County had to step up to the plate to help his wife deliver a baby boy after their midwife couldn't reach their home because of the storm.
Firefighters in Montgomery County are responding to a report of a barn collapse in the 15000 block of Sugarland Road in Poolesville, FOX 5 Paul Wagner reports.
Takoma Park officials say a fallen tree on Poplar Avenue has taken down power lines in the area. About 1,200 households have suffered power outages, including the Victory Tower apartments, which houses many seniors. Traffic signals at Maple Avenue and Philadelphia Avenue as well as New Hampshire Avenue and Sligo Creek Parkway.
According to FOX 5's Paul Wagner, residents of Potomac Oaks condos in Gaithersburg have been told they will not have heat or power for days.
Residents of Potomac Oaks condos in Gaithersburg are told they will not have heat or power for days. pic.twitter.com/dAkADPC1VK— Paul Wagner (@Fox5Wagner) January 23, 2016
As of 3 p.m., Pepco is reporting around 600 power outages in the D.C. area, with the majority coming in Takoma Park.
Longtime Virginia plow driver Robin Coleman said the current blizzard ranks in the top three storms he's seen in nearly 40 years.
Coleman was working a 12-hour shift Saturday as Virginia Department of Transportation crews and contractors worked across the state to plow the state's roads.
Coleman said a storm in the 80s and one in 1996 probably were worse. He's worked at VDOT for 38 years.
Asked what his pet peeves were as a plow driver, Coleman said it was people unnecessarily leaving their cars parked in the street and reckless drivers in vehicles ill-equipped for snow storms.
Seven locations near Washington have unofficially passed the 30 inches of snow mark, as of 1 p.m. Saturday.
That's according to the National Weather Service's running totals. And 36 places recorded at least two feet of snow.
A trained weather spotter reported 33 inches in Berkeley County, West Virginia. A National Weather Service employee in Frederick, Maryland, and trained spotters in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Jefferson County, West Virginia, all recorded 31 inches of snow.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe took a break from storm briefings and conference calls to give a pep talk to snowplow drivers and take a plow out for a quick spin.
The governor drove a state plow truck Saturday at a Virginia Department of Transportation operation center in suburban Richmond.
While doing a quick loop in the truck while a VDOT employee coached him how to drive the large truck, other plow drivers watched and quietly critiqued the governor's plowing style.
After driving the truck, McAuliffe joked that he had found his next job.
The ebullient governor often hops behind the wheel of whatever vehicle happens to be around. In a recent trade mission to Cuba, McAuliffe drove a 1956 Chevy Bel Air through the streets of Havana.
A storm dumping snow on the mid-Atlantic is causing flooding and power outages on its coast.
Emergency management officials say there are no reports of injuries or major problems, but firefighters evacuated about a dozen people Saturday from Oak Orchard, a low-lying community in southern Delaware that routinely floods during storms. Officials said more evacuations are possible, and that a shelter would open at Sussex Central High School.
High tide at Lewes, Delaware, was measured at 9.2 feet, just below the record. But it didn't result in major flooding, which is typically caused by a combination of tide, rain and wind conditions.
Route 1, a coastal artery, was closed between Dewey Beach, Delaware, and Bethany Beach, Delaware, because of sand and water.
Emergency services officials in Ocean City, Maryland, say winds have done minor property damage and caused power outages. They expect moderate flooding.
Flight tracking service FlightAware says more than 5,500 flights to, from or within the U.S. have been canceled this weekend due to the blizzard hitting the East Coast.
The bulk of Saturday's nearly 4,300 cancelations are at airports in the New York City and Washington areas. Another 1,200 flights were canceled for Sunday. Those cancelations center on Philadelphia, Washington and New York City. Airlines have essentially shut down all flights into those cities.
The airlines hope to be back to a full schedule by Sunday afternoon to handle the typical influx of business travelers heading out to start the work week.
Washington's monuments, normally busy with tourists, are largely deserted Saturday as the major snowstorm hitting much of the U.S. continued.
The steps of the Lincoln Memorial had not been cleared off and looked almost like a ski slope. At the Korean War Veterans Memorial, statues of soldiers were coated with snow. And at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, snow had settled on a statue of King, covering one of his shoulders and the top of his folded arms. A dusting of snow was on his forehead and nose.
Visibility was reduced. On an average day, visitors can see from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument and the Capitol. But on Saturday, the Washington Monument was not even visible from the memorial to the 16th president.
Snow accumulations have passed a foot in much of the East Coast as of Saturday morning.
Another 18 hours of snow, some of it intense, is still forecast. Snow had been falling since Friday.
Washington's Reagan National Airport had 14 inches, Washington's Dulles International Airport had 15.2 inches, Baltimore Washington International Airport had 12.4 inches and Philadelphia had 13 inches as of 7 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
New York's airports were only in the 7-inch range, but forecasters said an intense band of heavy snow falling at two inches per hour was just hitting the city.
Some areas in the Washington metro area woke up to nearly two feet of snow Saturday morning as a menacing winter storm bore down on the region and barreled east.
In Silver Spring, Maryland, about 20 inches of snow was measured outside by daybreak. Lightning flashed and thundersnow rumbled after 6 a.m. Thick snow continued to fall steadily in light wind.
Plows cleared the snow from a heavily traveled road. Ambulances and trucks were able to get through, but few other vehicles were moving. A couple intrepid people walked along the cleared portion of the road, ducking into the deeper snow when vehicles approached.
Virginia's largest power company is reporting more than 8,000 outages from the winter storm.
Most of those power failures are in the southeastern part of the state, according to Dominion Virginia Power's website.
Customers numbering in the hundreds are without power in the greater Richmond area and the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula area.
Appalachian Power Co. reports no major outages its Virginia service area.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking motorists to stay off the roads to make room for plows and sanders.
VDOT said Saturday the massive East Coast storm has already blanketed some parts of the state with 18 inches of snow. Up to 3 feet could pile up before the storm leaves the state.
Crews say intense wind gusts have complicated the cleanup, with snow being blown back over just-plowed road surfaces.
VDOT rates the conditions of most roads from moderate to severe.
VDOT has approximately 2,500 workers and more than 13,000 pieces of equipment in the statewide snow-removal battle.
Virginia State Police say they responded to nearly 1,000 traffic crashes as a fearsome storm blanketed the state with snow.
From midnight through 10 p.m. Friday, troopers responded to 989 crashes and 793 disabled vehicles. All told, state police dispatch centers fielded 3,471 calls during that period.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the majority of the crashes involve damage to vehicles. Virginia recorded one storm-related death Friday in Chesapeake.
A trooper was injured Friday night while assisting a disabled vehicle on Interstate 64 in New Kent County. Geller said Trooper M.D. Jester is being treated for minor injuries in a Richmond hospital.
State police are advising motorists to stay off the roads with more winter weather on the way.
For the passengers on a cruise ship heading back to snowy Baltimore from the Bahamas, one more day at sea doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
The Maryland Department of Transportation said Friday that the blizzard slamming the Eastern U.S. means the port won't be ready for the Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas until Monday.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the ship was to return Sunday from an eight-day trip to the Bahamas. The plans changed after forecasts of more than 2 feet of snow for the Baltimore area.
Amtrak will continue to operate on a modified schedule in the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend due to the winter storm. But there will be no train service south of Washington D.C. to locations in Virginia and the Southeast this weekend.
A High Wind Warning has been issued for Calvert County and the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay through 12 p.m. Saturday. Wind gusts between 55 and 65 miles per hour will be persistent in that area.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Tamara Rollison tells FOX 5's Tisha Lewis that factoring in "manpower, equipment and materials," $1 million an hour is being spent on snow removal in northern Virginia at the peak of the storm.
Metrorail service is officially suspended. Metro will be closed for the entire weekend as the blizzard continues to impact our region.
As of 8 p.m., DC's Department of Public Works says 313 cars have been towed, and 2,790 more ticketed.
FOX 5's Matt Ackland says the mayor's office has told him there is a street light down in the area of Interstate 295. City officials say there are no power outages for residents in the area, as first thought
CLICK HERE for important numbers and websites to report a power outage or downed wires in your area.
The FOX 5 Weather Team says the snow and winds are starting to pick up and blizzard conditions are beginning to show in the D.C. region. Some areas could receive 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour during the heaviest of the snowfall.
D.C. officials say if you see homeless person or anyone in need of shelter to call 1-800-535-7252 or 311..
Around 7,600 U.S. flights have been canceled for Friday and Saturday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.
A National Park Service spokesperson says Clara Barton Parkway from Glen Echo to the D.C. line has been closed after some cars have gone off the road or have spun out.
To help those during the storm, Cox Communications said anyone in the northern Virginia area will be able to access their WiFi hotspots through Friday, Jan. 29 regardless of what carrier they have.
Virginia State Police said troopers have responded to 841 vehicle crashes and 607 disabled vehicles across the state by 6 p.m. Friday. They have fielded a total of 2,850 calls on Friday.
The DC Taxicab Commission is extending Snow Emergency Fare until Monday due to the weather conditions. This will require taxi drivers to add a flat fee of $15 to the metered charge for rides.
Comcast is providing access to its XFINITY WiFi hotspots in the DC area during the storm this weekend for customers and non-customers.
Even with a blizzard pounding the D.C. area, The Old Guard is continuing to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
United Airlines has announced they have suspended operations at all D.C. area airports. They plan to resume with very limited flights on Sunday night.
Metro bus service will be suspended starting at 5 p.m. Friday and will continue through the weekend. MetroAccess service will stop running at 6 p.m. Friday. Rail service will be suspended at 11 p.m. Friday and all stations will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
The Maryland National Guard has activated 500 members to respond to winter storm emergencies across the state. The Guard are standing by to help stranded motorists and local law enforcement and firefighters with transportation, evacuations, supply distribution and search-and-rescue operations.
Virginia State Police say they have received 1,135 calls for service so far on Friday -- 380 of those calls involved traffic crashes and 340 calls for disabled vehicles.
More than 6,000 flights in the U.S. for Friday and Saturday have been canceled as the blizzard begins to impact the eastern part of the country.
A firefighter was injured while battling a fire at a single-family home in the 12210 block of Turley Drive in North Potomac, Maryland. Officials say the fire originated in the basement of the house. Residents in the home were evacuated and have been displaced.
Downtown Baltimore was abuzz with activity mid-day Friday, as workers and residents raced to get home before the first flakes of what promises to be a bruising snowstorm begin to fall.
Antonia Fasanelli, executive director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project, said she closed the office early and sent her staff home, but that doesn't mean she won't be working through the weekend.
Fasanelli says she's ready with water, candles and several days of work.
Sean Augustus, a counselor at the Recovery Network, said his office also closed early Friday. But as devastating as the snowfall could be, Augustus said Baltimore residents come together amid disasters.
Augustus says this is when a different side of the city, of Baltimore people rarely see, becomes evident.
U.S. Naval Academy students are volunteering to shovel snow as Maryland braces for a major snowstorm.
The academy said Friday more than 350 midshipmen have signed up for snow removal duty in downtown Annapolis this weekend.
They will be shoveling out public access areas like sidewalks in the community around the school.
Jenny Erickson, a spokeswoman for the academy, says they'll be working in shifts on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday's game between Wizards and Jazz postponed by NBA due to weather.
The annual March for Life is going on in Washington despite the weather forecast.
The event is held on Jan. 22 every year, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which established the constitutional right to an abortion. During the rally being held before the march, participants cheered when a speaker mentioned the "major storm barreling down" on the region.
The Maryland Transit Administration and the District of Columbia's transportation department say they're suspending virtually all mass transit services this weekend due to an approaching winter storm.
The agencies say many services will run on reduced schedules or close early Friday. Virtually no buses, subways, light rail systems, streetcars or paratransit systems will operate Saturday and Sunday.
The shutdown also includes the District's Capital Bikeshare program.
Airlines are canceling 2,800 flights Friday to, from or within the U.S., as a blizzard swings up the East Coast, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.
The bulk of Friday's cancelations are in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Another 3,200 flights were canceled for Saturday. Those cancelations center around Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and -- to a lesser extent -- New York.
By Sunday afternoon, however, the airlines hope to be back to a full schedule .
Many people in the Washington region are staying home from work ahead of the approaching snow storm.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says that as of 9 a.m. Friday, ridership on the region's rail lines was down 50 percent. He says riders had taken 37,000 trips this Friday morning compared with 74,000 last Friday.
Metro has said it will end rail service at 11 p.m. Friday. The system will remain closed Saturday and Sunday.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking residents to "hunker down" and "shelter in place."
The mayor said at a Friday morning press conference that snow is expected to start arriving between 1 and 3 p.m., a little earlier than reported Thursday. She says the city expects 2 to 2.5 feet of wet, heavy snow. She says residents can expect downed trees and power lines.
Bowser calls the blizzard a "major storm" with "life and death implications," and says the forecast shows no signs of lightening up.
Christopher Geldart, director of the District of Columbia's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, asked residents to be where they plan to be for the storm by 3 p.m. Friday.
He says that even when the snow stops, it will affect the region for some time.
Officials say Washington taxicabs will charge an additional $15 during the snow storm.
istrict of Columbia Taxicab Commission spokesman Neville Waters says the "snow emergency fare" will go into effect at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Waters says the $15 will be in addition to the regular metered charge. The taxi commission says the fee was added to encourage some taxis to remain in service during the storm.
The fare period will remain in effect for 12 hours unless it is extended.
According to Washington municipal regulations, a snow emergency fare period can be put into place when there are hazardous driving conditions, such as significant accumulation of snow on the streets.
Waters says possible fare extensions will be reviewed Friday and determined by weather conditions.