- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Regional transportation agencies yesterday were preparing for continued freezing weather and an overnight storm that was expected to drop 1 to 2 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service issued a snow advisory for 7 p.m. yesterday to 7 a.m. today. The high temperature for today is expected to be about 32 degrees, not enough to get above the freezing mark.

Transportation officials said they were prepared for snow, which was forecast to begin falling in the region about 10 p.m.

“We have a sense that the folks will get to work reasonably well,” said Emeka Moneme, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation.

The department’s 150 trucks were assigned to “strategic locations” near main roads.

Crews in Northern Virginia began loading trucks with salt and sand about 7 p.m. and expected to begin treating roads by midnight, officials said.

“We’re watching the weather,” said Ryan Hall, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. “We can have 600 trucks tonight on the road.”

Montgomery County police said freezing temperatures and wind chills were to blame for the death of an 81-year-old woman who disappeared from her Silver Spring home Monday evening.

The body of Anna Mae Anderson, who suffered from dementia, was found yesterday morning in the woods behind the house on Symphony Woods Drive that she shared with her brother.

“She was not wearing a coat,” said police spokesman Lt. Eric Burnett.

Washington Gas officials said equipment failures left 600 homes in Potomac without heat yesterday afternoon. The homes, located along River Road between Swains Lock Road to the north and Bradley Boulevard to the south, could be without heat for at least a day, officials said.

Montgomery County spokeswoman Donna Bigler said a shelter for displaced residents was set up at the Potomac Community Center, at 11315 Falls Road.

The District’s Department of Health and Department of Mental Health planned to add three vehicles to the fleet of six that transport homeless people to shelters. Officials said they had prepared 1,761 beds for men, 407 beds for women and 266 beds for families.

“We’re trying to prevent deaths by hypothermia,” said Debra Daniels, spokeswoman for the Department of Health.

Miss Daniels urged anyone who encounters a homeless person in need of shelter to call 800/535-7252.

“We are having freezing temperatures. The need is clear. We are going to continue this program over the next 10 days,” she said.

Potomac Elementary in Potomac and H.D. Woodson High School in the District were among a few area schools closed yesterday with heat-related problems.

Montgomery County officials said firefighting efforts were hampered by quick freezing of water and water lines.

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