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DC Snow Team to Treat Roads Ahead of Wednesday Morning Commute, Will Activate Cold Emergency Plan

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Residents and Commuters Should Allow More Travel Time for Morning Commute

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The National Weather Service is forecasting up to two inches of snow beginning around 1 am on Wednesday, January 17. To prepare, the DC Snow Team will deploy more than 200 trucks at 7 pm this evening to treat all National Highway System, primary, secondary and residential routes within the District ahead of the morning commute. The DC Snow Team will also have trucks on standby throughout Wednesday morning to monitor and treat roads as necessary. In preparation for this evening’s anticipated precipitation, major roads in the District were pretreated with liquid brine over the holiday weekend. Residents and motorists can register to receive important weather alerts from the District on their devices by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov.

To prepare for the snow, residents are encouraged to heed the following tips:

  • Take Metro as an alternative to driving.
  • If driving, do so cautiously and maintain safe speeds and distances from other vehicles.
  • Keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles and use caution when attempting to pass a snowplow. Give the drivers plenty of room to safely do their jobs.
  • Be aware of hazardous road conditions, particularly black ice which can be deceptive in appearance and give drivers a false sense of security on the road.
  • Keep your gas tank full.
  • Drive carefully on bridges, ramps, and other elevated structures which can freeze before the roadway.

The DC Snow Team encourages residents and commercial property owners to apply abrasives such as rock salt, de-icer, or non-clumping kitty litter to the sidewalks around their properties to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls.

Cold Emergency Plan

The DC Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will activate the city’s Cold Emergency Plan at 7 pm this evening. Under a Cold Emergency Alert, additional services and supports are provided to protect residents from life-threatening illness and injury associated with severe cold weather. To request transportation to shelter for persons in DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the toll-free Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or by calling 311.

Cold Emergency Alerts occur when weather forecasts present a danger to residents, especially those who are outdoors and experiencing homelessness. Alerts are triggered by temperature and wind chill below 15° F or temperature and wind chill below 20° F with an accompanying weather event such as snow.

Key services provided during Cold Emergency Alerts include:

Access to Emergency Shelter — Low-barrier shelters are open and will accept all individuals needing a safe place to go, along with designated cold emergency alert shelters. Families seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night. Families may also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Monday - Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Access to Overnight Warming Sites — Designated public buildings may open during the day or overnight. Individuals can access these sites on their own or by contacting the Shelter Hotline for transportation. Overnight Warming Sites are in operation from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Some sites may open later than 7:00 p.m. based on regularly scheduled business operations.

Transportation to Warmth and Safety — Free transportation to an emergency shelter or warming site is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in the District during a Cold Emergency Alert. To request transportation to shelter for persons in DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the toll free Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or by calling 311. When calling the hotline, please include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

The following shelter locations are open:

Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Women

  • New Covenant Baptist Church: 1301 W Street, SE
  • Community of Christ Church: 3526 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
  • Sherwood Recreation Center: 640 10th Street, NE
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center: 201 N Street, SW
  • Harriet Tubman Shelter: DC General Building 9, 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE
  • Nativity Shelter: 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • Patricia Handy Place for Women: 810 5 Street, NW

Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Men

  • Banneker Recreation Center: 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • Kennedy Recreation Center: 1401 7th Street, NW
  • Sacred Heart Church: 16th Street and Park Road, NW
  • Salvation Army: 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW
  • Community for Creative Non-Violence: 425 2nd Street, NW
  • Raymond Recreation Center: 3725 10th Street, NW
  • 801 East Shelter: 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
  • Adams Place Shelter: 2210 Adams Place, NE
  • New York Avenue Shelter: 1355-57 New York Avenue, NE

Co-Ed Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters

  • Emery Recreation Center: 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW

Additional Service Changes

Residents should expect delays with their holiday tree collections, as collection crews also work as part of the DC Snow Team.

Snow Removal

Property owners – residential and commercial – are reminded that they are required to remove snow from their sidewalks within the first eight hours of daylight after a snow event ends. Residents who are homeowners and live in their own homes and are age 65 or older and/or living with a disability may be eligible for an exemption from this requirement. For further information about the exemption process and to receive an application or for information about other services, residents can call 311.

Throughout the year, Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, has compiled a list of senior citizens and residents with access and functional needs who will need assistance with snow removal after a snow event. Residents interested in assisting with snow removal can join the DC Resident Snow Team at snowteam.dc.gov or by calling (202) 727-7925.

The District’s Snow Team is committed to a quick completion of plowing and salting along major roads and residential streets, which in turn means a more faster return to normal traffic flow and earlier resumption of trash collection and other city services. Residents concerned about the treatment or plowing of specific roads should call the Citywide Call Center by dialing 311. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, or to see where District Snow Team plows are working, go to snow.dc.gov. To stay informed about weather conditions and how District services are affected, follow the accounts listed below on social media.