Snow Removal in Washington DC

What You Need to Know About Snow Emergencies in Washington DC

© Miller Taylor

Washington DC’s Snow and Ice Removal Plan gives clearing residential streets the same priority as removing snow from the city’s major corridors. As of 2009, during any snow storm, all streets will be treated simultaneously. Washington DC has approximately 400 pieces of equipment and 750 personnel available to help out during any given storm.
Questions about DC Snow Removal? – Dial 311

Snow Emergency Routes in Washington DC

Snow Emergency Routes are marked with red and white signs in Washington DC. When a snow emergency is declared all vehicles must be moved immediately from Snow Emergency Routes. Parking is banned on these routes to allow thorough salting and plowing. In DC, illegally parked vehicles are subject to a $250 fine plus additional fees for towing and storage at an impoundment lot. To find out if there is a snow emergency in effect, you may call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center (311). To locate vehicles towed during a Snow Emergency, call (202) 727-5000.

Clearing Snow From the Sidewalks in Washington DC

DC law requires property owners to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, handicap ramps and steps on their property within the first eight daylight hours after the snow, sleet or ice stops falling.

Power Outages in the DC Area

If you lose power during a snow storm, the power companies want you to call them so they can locate the areas that need restoration. Read more about power outages around the region

Public Utility Emergency Phone Numbers:

WASA (Water and Sewer Authority Hotline ) (202) 612-3400
PEPCO (Potomac Electric and Power Company) (877) PEPCO-62
Verizon (Telephone Company) (800) 275-2355
WMATA (Washington Metro Area Transit Authority) (202) 962-1212
Washington Gas (Gas Company) (800) 752-7520

Tips for Coping with Snow in Washington DC

  • Stay off the roads if possible during and immediately following a snow storm. If you must be on the road, drive slowly!
  • Keep an ice scraper, shovel, and blanket, flash light and emergency supplies in your vehicle. Keep your cell phone fully charged.
  • Have a designated driver or call a taxi if you are not comfortable driving in the snow. Spread salt on your driveway before the snow begins. Shovel to keep walkways around your property clear of snow.
  • Help your neighbors, especially those who may need assistance during or after a snow emergency.
  • Be prepared and stock up on batteries for flashlights, radios, and battery-powered games.
  • Stay warm and be sure to monitor space heaters, keeping them away from curtains, tots and pets.

The Impact to Metrorail During a Significant Snow Storm

Washington's Metrorail has several hundred personnel to aid in support of the snow removal effort. For the most part, Metro operates very close to a normal schedule in snows of up to six inches. Customers are likely to experience increased crowds on snowy days. On occasion, Metro may use snow and ice clearing equipment between regularly scheduled passenger trains. This may cause longer waits between trains to allow time for the snow to be cleared.
If a snowstorm of eight or more inches hits the region, Metro will focus on preserving its rail car fleet, and may suspend above ground rail service and serve underground stations only.

This allows Metro to spare more rail cars from weather-related breakdowns, focus snow clearing operations on above-ground tracks and store a limited number of trains underground.
For updates on Metro service due to winter weather conditions, call (202) 637-7000 or subscribe to e-Alerts and receive up-to-date service disruption information.

Snow Removal Information for the Washington DC Suburbs

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