- The Washington Times - Monday, February 8, 2016

Road crews in the D.C. area deployed as early as Sunday in advance of a weather system expected to drop up to a few inches of snow through Tuesday night, only a few weeks after an inch of snow left commuters sitting in traffic for hours.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory saying the District could get 1 to 3 inches of snow and suburbs to the northwest could see as much as six inches.

In New England, a wind-driven winter storm brought blizzard conditions to Cape Cod and threatened to drop more than a foot of snow on southeastern Massachusetts on Monday. Motorists were warned to be vigilant after a charter bus heading to a casino skidded off a Connecticut highway, injuring at least 30 people.

In New Hampshire, the storm could last into early Tuesday, when the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary is held. Police in Hampstead on Monday turned away people from a full coffee shop where Republican candidate Chris Christie was making a campaign stop.

Meanwhile in the District, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday ordered the full deployment of the D.C. Snow Team, which includes the Department of Public Works and the Department of Transportation, according to DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant.

It only took one inch of snow on the evening of Jan. 20 to bring traffic around the District to a standstill due to a lack of preparation by city crews. Some reported sitting in traffic for up to six hours during that evening commute.

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This time, D.C.’s snow crews got out ahead of the weather. By Monday, Ms. Bowser had deployed 200 plows.

In Maryland, the State Highway Administration sent out crews Monday to pretreat interstate highways and some primary roads.

SHA’s Emergency Operations Center will remain active throughout the storm to manage operations and said drivers should stay off the roads tonight to make way for plows and salt trucks.

“The message to drivers — avoid a nightmare commute and stay off the roads to give crews space to work,” the SHA said in a statement Monday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation started treating interstates and major roads in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties early Monday, according to VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer McCord.

By Monday evening, about 1,450 trucks pre-deployed along main roads and neighborhood streets. They will remain on duty to plow and treat roads through Tuesday.

Schools in the District as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland as of Monday evening had not issued a notice for schools to be closed or to start late.

In the District, the mayor makes the call on school closings and a decision is typically made by 5 a.m. the morning of the delay or closure.

Throughout New England on Monday, driving on treacherous roads caused accidents across the region. In Connecticut, a bus carrying about 70 passengers from New York City to the Mohegan Sun casino crashed on a snowy Interstate 95 and fell on its side in Madison. At least 30 people were injured, and the northbound side of Interstate 95 there shut down.

Some areas of the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard had about 9 inches of snow Monday evening. The National Weather Service said the islands appeared to have met the conditions for a blizzard.

Boston could see 6 to 10 inches, and areas south of Boston were getting moderate coastal flooding.

In Rhode Island, crowds of mourners lined the streets amid bitter temperatures and falling snow to bid farewell to former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, whose casket was carried by horse-drawn carriage from City Hall to the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

Other parts of the Northeast, including Northern New England and the New York City area, were expected to get much less snow. New York City, Philadelphia and northern New Jersey could get 2 to 3 inches from Monday into Tuesday night, the weather service said.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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