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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 02/05/2010

Fenty: Stay off the city streets tonight

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) is urging motorists and pedestrians to stay off city streets tonight because snowfall rates could exceed 3 inches an hour.

At an 11 a.m. storm briefing in Logan Circle, Fenty noted the city could approach its all-time record snowfall of 28 inches, recorded in 1922.

"We are going to be right up against the most snow this city has ever seen," said Fenty, citing forecasts of 16 to 24 inches.

Gabe Klein, the director of the Department of Transportation, said there could be near whiteout conditions overnight.

"We really need people to stay off the roads," Klein said. "It's not safe for anyone to be out on the roads or sidewalks at that point."

But Fenty and Klein said they are optimistic city road crews will be able to keep up with the storm, noting most major routes were passable within a few hours after the Dec. 19 snowfall.

"One of the things we are really working hard on is keeping the national highway system open," Klein said.

Fenty said the city has called up a "full deployment plus" of 750 public and contract snow-removal workers. On Monday, the Department of Public Works will suspend bulk trash collection so city crews can focus on removing the snow. But Fenty said he is hopeful that the major arteries will be clear by the Monday morning rush.

"The hope is we will be able to use the same resources [as December] to get the snow out of the way before rush hour," Fenty said.

-- Tim Craig

By Anne Bartlett  |  12:23 PM ET, 02/05/2010

Categories:  Tim Craig

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