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The DC Snow Team is asking all property owners to shovel their sidewalks today

The District of Columbia government will be closed on Thursday, February 13, 2014, due to inclement weather in the Washington metropolitan area. D.C. Public Schools will also be closed. A snow emergency remains in effect. The DC Snow Team is ready to fight snow and ice by spreading salt and deicer or by plowing when more than 2” of snow have accumulated on the streets. Property owners are being asked to shovel sidewalks.

The recent snow events in DC required massive manpower to clear city streets. Property owners are asked to clear sidewalks and walkways.
Photos by Professor Metze
Shoveling snow is a requirement for property owners in DC
Photo by Professor Metze

By declaring a snow emergency, the District Snow Team (Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation) will be able to clear snow emergency routes curb to curb. To learn where a vehicle has been towed, call the Towed Vehicle Locator office at 202.541.6083 or go to

The snow emergency will remain in effect until an announcement is made that it has been lifted. Motorists are asked to tune into television and radio broadcast stations or go to for a notice that the snow emergency has been lifted. Mayor Vincent Gray declared a Snow Emergency, which went into effect before the first flakes of snow fell. The Snow Team went into full-deployment mode, with more than 200 plows set to treat the city’s streets.

With sub-freezing temperatures the snow will stick to streets and sidewalks; icy surfaces will be very slippery. Shoveling snow from walkways and sidewalks can prevent very expensive slips and falls on the concrete. Property owners are responsible for clearing the sidewalk around their property. Shoveling snow will make the sidewalks clear so DCPS children can walk to school and adults can reach public transportation safely.

With up to 12 inches of snow predicted, the District Snow Team went into full deployment yesterday, putting 287 plows on District commercial and residential streets by 9 pm. The forecast called for a 100% chance for snow sometime after 7 p.m. Wednesday and snow will continue falling through Thursday evening. The heaviest snowfall is expected after midnight Thursday and could mix with sleet to reduce accumulation. The high temperature today is 26F.

“If the forecast holds, this will be our first chance this season to tackle a heavy snowfall. We are ready, our equipment is ready and we have plenty of salt. Of course, if enough snow accumulates, we will plow the streets,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. “

Howland said this will be a heavy snow, which could lead to power outages from downed wires. Should power outages occur, Pepco strongly urges the public to call 1-877-Pepco-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report power outages and downed wires (stay away from downed wires and report them immediately).

Residential and commercial property owners are asked to apply an abrasive such as non-clumping kitty litter, rock salt or deicer before the storm begins. They also should be aware that sidewalks must be cleared of snow within 24 hours of the end of the storm.

“While our deployment is based on a forecast 24 hours before the storm is to begin, we know that conditions can change. Given the amount of snow forecasted, the District may implement a snow emergency/no parking plan Wednesday evening. That’s why we ask everyone to tune into television or radio news broadcasts for the latest information about conditions,” Howland said.

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