- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2003

More snow is expected to fall across the region today and tomorrow.
Up to 3 inches is expected today in some areas before tapering off sometime tonight, according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service.
Another storm that will form off the coast of North Carolina could bring a lot more tomorrow.
Snow is expected to begin falling late this morning, meteorologist David Manning of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said. He said it was too early to predict if snow, which paralyzed the region over the Presidents Day weekend when up to 2 feet fell, would arrive tomorrow.
If it is snow, it could be a little or a lot, but "not as much as last week," meteorologist Jim DeCarufel of the Weather Service said. A little could fall tomorrow morning with more arriving in the afternoon, he said last night.
Temperatures will remain in the low 30s on both days.
Northern Maryland will get less than 1 inch of snow today, while about 1 inch is expected to fall in the Baltimore-Washington area and Northern Virginia. The most accumulation will be in St. Mary's and Calvert counties in Maryland, and Stafford and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia, with 3 inches.
After grueling weeklong cleanup efforts by snow crews across the region, Virginia Department of Transportation workers were out yesterday filling potholes and repairing roads damaged by weekend flooding, VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris said.
"This blizzard was our eighth storm, then we had flooding over the weekend, then high winds. Now, we have potholes everywhere. Our crews have had the month of [misery] now we have to get ready for another storm," Ms. Morris said.
This morning, VDOT will decide whether to mobilize all 1,500 pieces of equipment, including salt trucks and plows. VDOT has 17 tons of salt on hand to handle another storm, she said. It's the lowest amount of salt the department has had this year, but experts are confident they've got enough to handle the job.
Ms. Morris stressed that VDOT sends 40 percent of its equipment to subdivisions a procedure in use since the Blizzard of 1996, she said.
In the District, crews continue to haul snow away from the downtown business corridors, respond to complaints about snow removal along one-way, one-block streets and fill potholes throughout the city, said Mary Myers, spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Public Works.
"We have our first conference call with the National Weather Service at 8 a.m. Then, we will put our deployment plan into place," she said.
Ms. Myers said crews will be deployed with variables in mind.
"If there's 1 inch [of snow today] and 1 inch tonight and 1 inch on Thursday, we'll have a salting operation. We don't plow under 2 inches. It's easier to salt. It's hard to get the plow down without damaging the streets even with a rubber blade," Ms. Myers said.
"It takes a lot of strain off of the snow operations and takes fewer resources to salt. We only need one truck to salt a route we need three trucks to plow. So, in the early part of the storm we will conserve our resources and bring more to bear as the snowfall increases," she said.
Along with removing snow from the downtown area and problem areas of the city, crews are moving other debris.
"The emphasis right now is collecting residential trash and emptying pedestrian litter cans around the city," she said.
Kellie Boulware, spokeswoman for the Maryland Highway Administration said its crews also have focused on repairing potholes since Monday. They have received a lot of calls asking for road repairs.
"We've been doing quick patches [on the roads], and we're trying to get as many repaired before the snow. We can't do the permanent repairs until it's warmer," Ms. Boulware said.
Like VDOT, Ms. Boulware said Maryland State Highway Administration crews will be on standby with 350 pieces of equipment, and ready to treat roads and plow should there be substantial accumulations. She said contract crews also will be alerted if substantial snow accumulation needs to be hauled away.
Ms. Boulware said over the weekend there were a few lane closures in Montgomery County and Hartford County due to standing water. A roof collapsed at a Toys R Us store in Lanham in the largest incident resulting from rainfall Saturday and snow from the Presidents Day storm.


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