A combination of cold, wind and many snow-covered roads meant conditions were slick to start Friday, says WTOP Traffic's Jack Taylor.
Road conditions have improved since the morning hours, when many roads were still snow-packed or slush covered. Interstates have had a chance to dry out and the bright sun is helping to melt away any remaining snow elsewhere.
And crews will continue to plow and treat roads ahead of tonight's bitter cold temperature, which could turn any wet, slushy roads to ice.
Snow walloped the area Thursday, with nearly a half foot in the inner suburbs and more than a foot in parts of Maryland. The snowfall eclipsed records at Dulles and Reagan National.
High pressure is moving in through the afternoon and the bright sun will melt some of the snow, but temperatures won't rise above the freezing mark, says Storm Watch 7 Meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts.
Virtually all schools in the D.C. area have closed and many businesses in the region are following suit, allowing employees to telework. The federal government opened two hours late, which contributed to a late delay.
Those who ventured out encountered major delays along some of the interstates because of morning crashes, which occurred due to icy conditions.
Ice-covered roads were reported in Arlington, which effectively ran out of salt.
Drivers should also clear all of the snow off their cars before getting on the road, including the roof, hood and trunk areas before leaving the driveway or garage.
Montgomery County’s Ride
On bus will operate under a normal schedule Friday.
Fairfax Connector is running regular weekday service Friday with some exceptions:
In Alexandria, DASH buses and the King Street Trolley will not run until 8 a.m. Friday. They say a decision will be made on the schedule soon.
Annapolis Transit suspended all service at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. No word yet on Friday's schedule.
Amtrak will run on a modified service in the Northeast Corridor Friday.
VRE service Operating "S" Schedule for Friday.
MARC-Penn Line S schedule on Friday, No Camden or Brunswick Line service.
DC Circulator has suspended service on all routes.
“If you're not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” he says.
When will roads improve?
The sun is shining, but the temperatures are cold, meaning refreezing is still a concern. Waiting a few hours after the morning rush hour will allow road crews to get out and do their jobs.
“Having a couple hours to stay off the road is great, we always say, the more space you can give them to do their job, the better,” Taylor says of the road crews.
Maryland, Virginia and D.C. road crews are out Friday morning working to remove snow and ice on main roads and secondary roads.
What should I expect if I drive?
Anticipate icy -- and often dangerous -- conditions on roadways around the region, Taylor says. Drivers should not be overconfident about the conditions and should be cautious while driving.
It is important to reduce speed, too, he says.
Visibility is good around the region, which is giving some drivers a false sense of security. But Taylor notes that veering onto icy paths can cause drivers to lose control.
Also, drivers should examine roads that seem wet. If there is road spray, the road may just be wet, however, a lack of road spray could mean the road is all ice.
An earlier crash on southbound I-95 caused the interstate to shut down to traffic for more than one hour. A tractor trailer jackknifed and icy conditions led several other vehicles to crash.
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Slushy, icy road EB 66. Please be careful http://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/573854754029330432/pu/img/xtEDKMFfrWyBAvRF.jpg
I-95 reopens after crash, bridge treatment
WASHINGTON -- A stretch of southbound I-95 has reopened after a road crews work to clear an accident and treat an icy bridge on the roadway.
Part of southbound I-95 south of Lorton closed to traffic for several hours Friday morning after a tractor trailer jackknifed just before 5:30 a.m. Several other vehicles were involved in the crash, as they spun out on ice.
The Virginia Department of Transportation shut down the southbound lanes of the Purple Heart Bridge over the Occoquan, so the bridge could be treated. VDOT crews used a combination of salt and magnesium chloride to de-ice to bridge and prevent any future refreezing.
Traffic was diverted onto Route 1.