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Mr. Fenty has acknowledged that the cleanup is a tough task and has said the city has “blown through” its $6.2 million snow-removal budget.

His office did not respond to a request to talk to the mayor.

Even Mr. Barry has asked Mr. Fenty to seek federal assistance.

“I am strongly urging you to contact President Barack Obama and ask him to declare a state of emergency for Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Barry wrote in a letter to the mayor. “The challenges that you are facing due to insufficient resources and equipment, as well as employee fatigue, are very similar to those I faced as mayor during the blizzard of 1996 and the snowstorm on 1987.”

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Democrat, has asked President Obama to declare a federal emergency.