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DPW was ready to fight the first major snow event of 2014

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District of Columbia snow plows were on the job as the first major snowstorm of 2014 hit the city. The commute on route 50 was dangerous as drivers, many unfamiliar with driving on snow, slowed to dangerous speeds as the vehicles approached the D.C. city limits on South Dakota Avenue from Maryland.

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The sight of the big city issued snow plow on 3rd and Emerson was a refreshing sight to see as families built snowmen in their front yard. The test of any city is how well it functions in an emergency. The streets in Petworth were being cleared as the heavy snow covered vehicles parked throughout the area.

Photographs of the snow covered trees and hedges were taken in many areas as Christmas lights still flashed from the December 25th, celebration. Although the snow came seven days later it still was beautiful. The Department of Public Works and the Department of Transportation deployed more than 200 snow plows on Thursday January 2, 2014, at 5 p.m. The DC Snow Team applied salt to major roadways and residential streets simultaneously.

DPW Director William O. Howland monitored the weather reports and hoped that the accumulation forecasts were correct. “Fortunately, this is a fast-moving system that won’t produce a heavy accumulation. The extremely low temperatures and high winds are our primary challenges to clearing snow from the streets keeping them clear of blowing snow,” Howland said.

DPW said that forecasters predicted 1-2 inches of snow through 4 a.m. today. Temperatures will remain below freezing today. DPW reminded District of Columbia residents that there will be a schedule delay in the pickup of holiday tree and greenery collections that began on December 30, 2013, because DPW collection crews are the backbone of the Snow Team.

“The collection schedule has been disrupted in November and December by multiple deployments to fight snow and ice storms,” DPW said. The collections of holiday trees and greenery will be suspended until roadways have been cleared of snow and are passable.

District of Columbia residents are also asked to clear all snow from their vehicles before driving on the streets. Snow blowing from moving vehicles will cause accidents. WTOP provided updates on the storm as usual and kept motorist abreast of accidents on the roadway.

Residents are encouraged to go to snow.dc.gov for updates.

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