News & Politics

UPDATED: Some Last-Minute Information About the Snowstorm

District and Maryland governments are shut down Thursday, and Metro service will be limited.

Stay warm. Photograph via Shutterstock.

UPDATE, 1:30 PM: Washington is pulling itself up from roughly eight inches of snow that fell Wednesday night and Thursday morning. But with a bit more sleet and snow on the way, “the danger is not over,” Chris Geldart, the head of DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency said a press conference.

DC Mayor Vince Gray said that while the city’s snow emergency routes are largely cleared, several hundred residents still failed to move their cars in time. Authorities issued about 700 tickets and towed 200 cars, which will be very expensive for their owners to reclaim from the impound lot.

The snow emergency will be lifted at 2 PM, but the $15 surcharge that taxis are currently charging will remain in place until 6 PM.

Additionally, Metro is restoring some bus service at 2 PM, but only on routes that travel along major arteries. A list of routes is available on Metro’s website.

UPDATE: The federal Office of Personnel Management says that all federal offices in the Washington area are closed Thursday, with employees getting an excused absence unless they are required to work remotely. The DC and Maryland governments are also suspending operations tomorrow.

Metro says that it will try to run its rail service as close to a typical weekday schedule as possible tomorrow, though it may have to suspend above-ground trains if more than eight inches of snow accumulates. All bus service is suspended.

Original post follows.

By now, everyone is surely making plans for the incoming Nor’easter, from waiting for school closures to finding the right snow-day bar special. With forecasts predicting as much as a foot of snow for DC and the surrounding area, the heavy, wet blanket Washington is about to receive will affect just about everything.

Metro says it will suspend late-night bus service after 1 AM Thursday morning, and cancel its MetroAccess service for phsyically disabled residents all day tomorrow. Additionally, it may alter tomorrow’s bus and rail schedule depending on how much snow falls over the next day. Metro says it can run above-ground trains at close to a normal schedule with up to six inches of snow, but with eight inches or more, above-ground rails can freeze over and the electrified third rail can stop functioning.

Additionally, the District government is setting up additional shelters and warming sites around the city. The following locations are being used tonight:

  • Old DC Council Chamber (441 Fourth St., Northwest)
  • Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St., Southwest)
  • Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St., Northeast)
  • West End Library (24th and L streets, Northwest)

Under normal conditions, shelters and warming sites close at 7 AM, but will remain open all day Thursday if the DC government closes down because of the weather. And unlike this winter’s previous deep freezes, the city will not be using Metro buses as temporary warming locations.

The District’s hypothermia warning is also in effect, and people who spot anyone who appears to be spending the frosty night on the streets is encouraged to call the hypothermia hotline at (800) 535-7252 or 311.

See also: Don’t be a jerk during the snowstorm.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.