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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 01/20/2012

Ice, snow and sleet could cause dangerous travel conditions

A storm is coming, which means one thing for Washington commuters: It could be very dangerous on the roads and sidewalks over the first half of the weekend.
A coming storm will make travel difficult for Washington commuters (The Washington Post)

The Capital Weather Gang predicts that the inclement weather, arriving Friday evening and lasting through Saturday afternoon, “will have the most widespread impacts of any winter weather event this season.” The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the entire region from Friday at 11 p.m. through Saturday at 1 p.m.

The icy mix of weather begins with snow and sleet on Friday evening, transitioning overnight into sleet and freezing rain, according to the aforementioned Capital Weather Gang. This will be followed by more sleet and freezing rain through Saturday morning, with precipitation expected to taper off Saturday afternoon. (It could also wind up being mostly sleet and freezing rain, rather than much snow.)

This means that it could be very dangerous for travelers on Friday evening through Saturday morning. Expect slippery, icy and unsafe conditions, making it difficult to walk on outdoor Metro staircases, ride a bicycle or drive anywhere. Use caution and don’t travel if you can help it.

While this isn’t expected to be an ice storm that will cause major power outages and downed tree branches, there is always the potential for such things to occur.

And if you have a flight scheduled for this window, you should check with your airline to see if there are any delays.

Here are some resources for reporting power outages, downed trees and debris in roadways.

Utilities
— BGE outages: 877-778-2222; downed wires: 800-685-0123; outage map
— Dominion outages and downed wires: 866-366-4357; outage map 
— Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative outages and downed wires: 703-335-0500; outage reports
— Pepco outages: 877-737-2662; downed wires: 202-872-343; outage map
— Washington Gas: 800-752-7520

Downed trees and debris in roads

Anne Arundel County: After hours, 410-222-6120; northern district, 410-222-6120; central district, 410-222-7940; southern district; 410-222-7940; Annapolis; 410-263-7870.

Arlington County:703-228-6527; after hours, 703-558-2222.

Calvert County: 410-535-1600.

Charles County: 301-932-3450 or 301-870-2778.

The District: 311; clogged storm drains, 202-612-3400.

Fairfax County703-324-5033 (Public Works); 571-350-1000 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Howard County: 410-313-3440.

Loudoun County:703-777-0333 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Maryland state: 800-543-2515.

Montgomery County: 240-777-6000.

National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/state/dc/

Prince George's County: 301-499-8520; after hours, 301-499-8600.

Prince William County: 703-792-7070 or 703-383-VDOT.

Virginia State703-383-VDOT.

* * *

And if you were scheduled to fly on Friday and Saturday, check with your airline to see if your travel plans may be affected.

Here are some resources to use:

Airlines serving BWI
Airlines serving Dulles
Airlines serving Reagan National
The FAA's Flight Delay map

Airline weather information

AirTran Airways
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
JetBlue
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways
Virgin America

By  |  03:52 PM ET, 01/20/2012

 
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