- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 7, 2003

The second hit of the metropolitan area’s first blast of winter this season ended yesterday afternoon after a storm dropped more than an inch of snow in the District and a foot or more in areas in Maryland and Virginia.

Crews worked throughout the day to clear streets and were on standby last night as the winter weather system moved into the Northeast.

“Everything is fine. We’ve cleared all major arteries [in the District] and crews are starting to clear residential streets,” said Karyn Good, spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT).

The snowfall prompted every local school jurisdiction, except the District’s, to postpone SAT testing yesterday, and many colleges and universities delayed or canceled classes and activities.

Forecasters had predicted up to 6 inches of snow accumulation between Friday night and yesterday. But the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., reported 2 to 4 inches in the area by the time the storm had passed.

The storm dropped about 15 inches of snow in Damascus in Montgomery County and 10 to 12 inches in western and northern sections of Virginia, including Grayson, Wythe and Augusta counties.

Luis Rosa, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said the forecast calls for chilly and sunny weather today through Tuesday, but rain is expected Wednesday.

As the storm moved up the East Coast, parts of Pennsylvania received as much as 10 inches of snow. Boston and parts of New England were expected to be hit hardest, with up to 20 inches of accumulation.

Ms. Good said 135 trucks with salt and de-icer cleared D.C. streets. “I’ve been driving around, and the streets appear to be clear. … In general, we did well with the storm — we didn’t get it as badly as other states.”

The District, which allocates about $3.2 million annually for snow removal, went $500,000 over its budget in fiscal 2003. This year, the snow removal budget is $5.2 million, said DDOT spokesman Bill Rice.

In Virginia, about 1,200 Department of Transportation (VDOT) salt trucks and plows treated the roads in Northern Virginia.

“We had crews out all night … and they treated the main roads throughout the night,” said VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris. “The main roads should be in very good shape. And, at the same time, we’re working in subdivisions that got more than 2 inches of snow.”

Maryland officials urged motorists to drive slowly yesterday. State Highway Administration spokesman Chuck Gischlar said roads in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties were in good shape, but bridges, ramps and overpasses remained slick.

Mr. Gischlar said 1,500 pieces of equipment were used to salt, sand and plow roads.

Local airports experienced scattered flight delays and cancellations — mostly flights heading to Boston, New York and the Philadelphia area. Additional delays and cancellations were expected at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport as the storm moved north, said Tom Sullivan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

About one-third of flights out of Dulles were delayed Friday because of snow at the airport and wintry weather elsewhere in the East, Mr. Sullivan said.

Cheryl Stewart, a spokeswoman for Baltimore-Washington International Airport, said flights were running as scheduled and no significant delays had been reported. Crews, she said, were treating the runways to prevent freezing.

Airport officials advise travelers to call their airlines before leaving home.

Snow began to fall in western Virginia Thursday morning. Authorities reported nearly 100 accidents, mostly minor, in the Salem area — 16 of them along a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 81. A Virginia man was killed in one crash after losing control of his vehicle on I-81 in Rockingham County, said state police Sgt. Gary Settle of the Culpeper area.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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