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  • Writer's pictureTiffani Johnson

Mayor Bowser to Deploy District Snow Team Ahead of Friday Evening Snow

Roadway Pretreatment Begins Thursday Evening at 7:00 p.m. on All Snow Emergency Routes 


(WASHINGTON, DC) – In anticipation of snow predicted to begin Friday evening, Mayor Muriel Bowser will deploy the District Snow Team at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16. Pre-treatment brine operations will begin this evening, on Thursday, February 15, at 7:00 p.m. on all snow emergency routes, including the National Highway System.   The National Weather Service is forecasting that snow will begin late Friday evening and continue into mid-Saturday morning with an accumulation of about two inches. Friday temperatures are expected to be in the mid to upper 40s and drop to the mid 30s Friday night. Due to the warmer pavement temperatures, pavement accumulation is expected to be less than one inch, creating slushy conditions for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists. Residential and commercial property owners should spread abrasives (e.g., salt, pet-friendly deicer, or non-clumping kitty litter) on their sidewalks before precipitation begins to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls.  


The District Snow Team deployment will consist of 147 heavy plows (six- and 10-wheel dump trucks) to treat highways, streets, bridges, ramps, and other elevated structures and 87 light plows (pickup trucks) to treat smaller streets. Bike lanes across the District are serviced by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). DDOT’s bike-lane clean up team clears the protected bike lanes after the District Snow Team clears general motor vehicle travel lanes citywide. Protected bike lanes are usually cleared six to 24 hours after motor vehicle travel lanes.          The Department of Public Works leads the District Snow Team with support from DDOT, Department of General Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Serve DC, and several other agencies.    Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important weather alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alert.dc.gov. For preparedness tips and additional details on the District’s snow response, visit the Snow Season FAQ Guide.

Hypothermia Alert and Shelters  Call 311 or the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to request accessible shelter transport for individuals experiencing homelessness, who may have disabilities, other access and/or functional needs, and are outside. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If there is an immediate risk to safety, dial 911. 


For all animal emergencies, including pets left outdoors in extreme weather, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) 723-5730.


Winter Weather Safety and Preparedness Tips  


  • Apply abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping cat litter – to your sidewalks and walkways.

  • Avoid driving during the worst part of the storm. If possible, only travel during daylight hours, don’t travel alone, and stay on main roads instead of taking shortcuts.

  • Have enough over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pets.

  • Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.

  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.

  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and/or replace the batteries in existing devices.

  • Avoid frozen pipes by allowing a small trickle of water to run through the pipes.


Residential Snow Clearing Residential property owners who are not enrolled in the Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption Program are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks also within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event.  

ServeDC urges residents to volunteer to clear sidewalks for senior residents and those with access and functional needs through the DC Volunteer Snow Team. Residents can register for the DC Volunteer Snow Team HERE.


Businesses and Streateries  Commercial property owners are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks, parklets, and streateries within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of a snow event. Business owner/permit holders are responsible for clearing out all snow within the outdoor dining area and ensuring sidewalks are accessible. The District Snow Team recommends that restaurant owners along the treated routes bring in all furniture and other elements within the outdoor dining areas, except for the barriers. Failure to do so may result in damage to the furniture or other streatery materials.

The District Snow Team will continue to monitor the weather forecast and adjust its response as necessary. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, visit snow.dc.gov.

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