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“I think any excuse to close down school for a snow day is a good excuse,” said 30-year-old Noel Cotten-Rowland. “Trying to get around in this city which is not designed for snow … it’s not safe traveling around. We’re not prepared for this kind of thing.”

Antoine Wade of Cheverly said Wednesday morning that he was surprised that the storm had forced so many government and school closures. While federal workers and school children enjoyed the day off, , a Maryland town just over the Northeast D.C. line.

“It’s not that bad,” he said as he picked up groceries at a supermarket in Colmar Manor. “I kind of think that, like typical Washington, they overdid it.”

• Joshua Eferighe, David Hill and Sidney Van-Wyk contributed to this report