As the sun rises today, the storm is pulling off the East Coast. But with over 20 inches of snow around town, it's going to take some time to dig out. I hope you've been able to stay safe and stay warm, but if you're anything like me, you've got a little cabin fever and want to get outside today. Here are some snow updates I hope you'll find helpful.Over the last 48 hours, I've been staying in constant touch with the Mayor, City Administrator, and agency directors as the storm and the city's response is monitored. Please join me in thanking the men and women who have been working hard in our neighborhoods trying to respond to this storm. They're away from their own families and working 12-hour shifts to help us all out.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - SHOVEL THOSE SIDEWALKS AND FIRE HYDRANTS
This is priority number one. Take a look at those blocks of ice we used to call our cars. It will take several days to dig out of this storm and most people will need to get around on foot. Please shovel your own sidewalk. But while you're at it, take a few minutes and help a neighbor. Odds are, you know the older resident on your block who's going to have a hard time clearing the snow. Or maybe it's the new parent trying to juggle it all. No matter the reason, please grab a shovel and chip in. Once the snow gets packed down and re-freezes, it is much harder to clear and it's a dangerous hazard for everyone. The ServeDC effort has been valiant, but they have had twice as many requests for help as they have volunteers. Don't do it because it's the law, or because the city could write a fine -- please shovel because these are your neighbors and we're all counting on each other. If I had one ask for you today, it would be to give 15 minutes to shoveling beyond your own sidewalk. DC Fire and Emergency Services could also use your help clearing snow from around fire hydrants. If you have a hydrant on your block, please take a few minutes to help shovel it out. Want to have a little fun with it? Take a picture of your sidewalk and post it to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #DCDigOut.
WHEN WILL WE SEE STREET PLOWING?
The District's Snow Team has been out plowing and treating roadways throughout the storm, but ramped things up Saturday night as the winds died down and the snow stopped falling. They worked non-stop last night and will be doing the same all day today. They start with the main artery roads and then work their way into the neighborhood streets. This will take time and the city asks for everyone's patience. I know everyone's expectations are high -- mine are -- but please keep in mind these teams are responding to an historic storm and it will simply take time to dig out from this much snow. Again, with very few safe roadways (and most cars blocked in by snow and ice anyway) helping ensure safe and clear sidewalks is very appreciated.
WILL SCHOOL BE OPEN ON MONDAY?
I'm already getting questions from many parents about whether school will be closed, delayed, or open on Monday. The short answer is that I don't know yet. I have another call with the Mayor and City Administrator on Sunday morning where we will review the operational status for the city. I suspect that it may take more than one day to ensure safe travel for students and teachers, but that decision will be based on conditions that unfold throughout the day on Sunday. Once the Mayor makes a decision, that information will be shared broadly.
WHEN WILL METRO RE-OPEN?
All Metro services remain suspended on Sunday -- Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess. WMATA has said they expect to make an announcement about Monday service on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned to local news media and check in with www.wmata.com.
ARE THE SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING RESTRICTIONS STILL IN EFFECT?
Yes, the Snow Emergency remains in effect. That means that parking remains prohibited on Snow Emergency Routes. You can find a full page of detailed information on parking restrictions here: http://snow.dc.gov/page/driving-and-parking
ARE WARMING STATIONS STILL AVAILABLE?
Yes. If you or someone you know is in need of a safe, warm place during the storm, please call 800-535-7252 or 311 (@311DCgov) anytime. Help is available around the clock.
WHERE CAN I GO SLEDDING?
Finally, for all the latest official storm updates from the city, please check out http://snow.dc.gov. Stay safe, stay warm, and please let me know if you have a question or problem I can help you with.