Important Blizzard Information
Updated January 21, 2016; 11:20 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the Alexandria area for Friday afternoon, January 22, at 3 p.m., through Sunday, January 24, at 6 a.m. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Alexandria are under states of emergency. The forecast calls for potentially life-threatening conditions, including heavy wind and approximately 24 inches of snow.
Emergency Preparation is Key
Travel is expected to be severely limited – if not impossible – at times, which may result in a Level 3 storm. This means that some residential roads may not be clear until after the weekend. This type of precipitation often results in power outages. The City urges all residents and businesses to be prepared on an ongoing basis for the possibility that it may not be safe to travel for three or more days, and that power may be out during this period. Take time check on neighbors and friends who may need assistance. Homes and businesses should be equipped with battery-operated lighting and smoke detectors; do not use candles or fuel-powered heaters indoors.
“The best thing you can do to protect your family or your business against any type of unforeseen emergency year-round is to have three days of food, water, and medicine available and to have a plan for what to do if you can’t travel safely,” said Corey Smedley, Deputy Fire Chief for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security. “In this case, the emergency is not unforeseen. Even if we don’t get all the weather the forecast says is possible for a given storm, it’s always smart to be prepared.”
City Government Operating Status
- For Friday, January 22, all City government facilities will open at their normally scheduled times, and will close at noon. Non-essential employees will be dismissed at noon, while essential employees must remain on duty. With supervisor approval, non-essential employees may take unscheduled leave in lieu of reporting to work on Friday.
- DASH Bus and King Street Trolley Operating Status
- WMATA (Metrobus and Metrorail) Operating Status
- VRE Operating Status
- Amtrak Operating Status
- A $5 taxi surcharge will be in effect beginning on Friday, January 22, at 3 p.m. The purpose of the surcharge is to encourage taxi operators to provide essential service during difficult conditions. However, travel is expected to be extremely dangerous, and only essential travel should be attempted.
Recreation & Farmers’ Market
- All recreation programs and activities are cancelled for Thursday, January 21, through Sunday, January 24.
- The Old Town Farmers’ Market will not be held on Saturday, January 23. Click here for links to other local farmers’ markets.
Alexandria City Council Public Hearing
- Pursuant to state law, the Alexandria City Council will hold an electronic meeting on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 9:30 a.m., for the purpose of adopting a resolution on the City’s declaration of local emergency and for the purpose of continuing the January 23 public hearing docket items to Saturday, January 30, 2016, at 9:30 a.m., at City Hall. Members of the public may listen to the electronic meeting by calling 888-950-6752 and entering passcode 8617909.
- If your power goes out, report it to Dominion Virginia Power at 866.DOM.HELP (866.366.4357) or www.dom.com.
- To report a water main break or for questions about water service, contact Virginia American Water at 800.452.6863.
Snow Emergency Routes
Snow emergency route parking restrictions will be enforced beginning Friday, January 22, at noon. Any vehicle parked on a snow route after that time will be towed at the owner’s expense. Snow emergency routes are marked with red and white signs at least every other block, and are as follows: Braddock Road; Eisenhower Avenue; King Street; Route 1; Washington Street; Duke Street west of Washington; Jordan Street from Duke to Howard; and Howard Street from Braddock to Jordan.
Sidewalks, driveways, and entrances are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, or community association. Snow and ice must be cleared from all paved sidewalks abutting adjacent property within 24 to 72 hours of the end of the snowfall, depending on the storm response level as indicated at alexandriava.gov. Failure to clear sidewalks may result in the City having the work done and charging the cost to the property owner, or fining the property owner $50.
- Crews will attempt to collect refuse, recycling, yard waste, and Christmas trees on schedule for Friday, January 22. (Note that the normal Thursday collection will take place on Friday due to the Monday holiday). Crews may discontinue collection if safety requires.
Snow Plowing Priorities
The City clears snow from more than 560 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots or City-owned squares. Roads are plowed by priority, with primary and snow emergency routes cleared first, followed by secondary routes and then residential streets. During a major storm, it may only be possible to plow roads so that they are passable for emergency vehicles, rather than down to the pavement across all travel lanes. Use the City’s SnowReport tracking system to check on plowing priorities, the status of your street, or to submit a concern. Residents and businesses can help by staying off the roads during and after snowfall, not parking on posted snow emergency routes, promptly clearing sidewalks and entrances, not shoveling snow into the street, and clearing snow from around fire hydrants and storm drains.
For Help & More Information
- For questions or concerns about storm response, call 703.746.HELP or use Call.Click.Connect. Please call 911 only if you need immediate police, fire, or emergency medical assistance.
- For details, including storm level definitions and preparedness information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Snow, sign up for the City’s Alexandria eNews service, or connect online at www.alexandriava.gov/SocialMedia.