- The Washington Times - Friday, February 12, 2010

Washington-area residents returned to work Friday, as federal agencies reopened amid mostly clear streets but limited transit service.

The federal government, which employs about 230,000 workers in the region, opened two hours late. D.C. public schools are closed for a teacher-planning day. Most suburban public school systems remain closed because of the snow, but some private schools and colleges are holding classes.

The region’s Metrorail system is running with limited service, and more than 600 buses are on the streets, according the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Subway cars were packed for the morning commute as some employees returned to work for the first time since last Friday.

The weekend storm, then a second one Tuesday night and Wednesday dropped roughly 3 feet of snow on the region.

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A Maryland State Police helicopter was damaged Thursday night while preparing to depart from a Prince George’s County hospital after completing a medevac mission. The incident occurred at about 11 p.m., and nobody was injured.

Authorities say the tail of the craft hit a snow bank when the pilot tried to depart from a helipad at the Prince George’s Hospital Center in Landover, Md. The helicopter was not airborne at the time, they also said.

The D.C. National Guard said Friday guardsmen completed more than 500 missions during the record-breaking snowfall, including taking to work police, firemen, paramedics, doctors and nurses .

“The missions have been nonstop,” said Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard.

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