Fairfax County government offices are opening at 10 a.m. today as VDOT crews continue to work to clear roads around Northern Virginia.
Most highways and main routes around Tysons appear to be clear. VDOT says it is working to clear neighborhood streets, some of which remain snow-covered.
“We’re focusing on neighborhood streets today,” the agency said on Twitter. “If you haven’t seen us yet, don’t worry, you will. If you’re clearing your driveway today, please pile snow to the right or it may get pushed back. No one wants to shovel a driveway twice.”
County courts opened on time today and trash collection started after daybreak, according to Fairfax County. Vacuum leaf collection has been suspended. Fairfax Connector service is operating on a Saturday schedule, with some delays expected.
Officials are urging residents to completely clear snow from their cars before driving and to be careful on the roads.
You cleared your sidewalk and your driveway of #snow. How about your vehicle? Before you head out in your vehicle PLEASE remember to clear snow from it! Especially the roof! Not doing so could prove dangerous to others on the roads. #FCFRD #traffic #vatraffic #fairfaxcounty pic.twitter.com/kzdN7p8rji
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) January 14, 2019
We're responding to weather related events as road conditions continue to deteriorate causing hazardous conditions. Please stay home and off of the roads. Expect delays on your commute in the morning. Tips for driving in #inclementweather visit this link: https://t.co/9Z6upYu13a pic.twitter.com/DWtXvihCHa
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 14, 2019
Update at 4 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Monday, the school system just announced.
All Fairfax County public schools will be closed Mon. Jan. 14, 2019, due to the snow and hazardous travel conditions. School offices and central offices will open 2 hours late, to be opened by 10:00 a.m. (Cond 5) with an unscheduled leave policy in effect for 12-month employees.
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 13, 2019
VDOT crews have been working hard to clear roads throughout Fairfax County, but officials are still urging residents to stay home due to slick conditions.
Earlier this afternoon Virginia State Police said troopers in its Fairfax Division have responded to 34 crashes and 52 disabled vehicles since midnight. Statewide, more than 230 crashes were handled by VSP during that timeframe.
“Drivers be advised — looks can be and are deceiving!” state police said. “Highways may appear to be clear, but slick and icy conditions still exist.”
“On the second day of winter weather across northern Virginia, drivers are asked to continue to avoid unnecessary travel for crews to safely clear accumulating snow,” VDOT urged.
As of 1 p.m., just over 6 inches of snow had fallen on McLean, according to the National Weather Service.
In Tysons, NBC 4’s David Culver has been broadcasting from the parking lot of a local shopping center for most of the day.
The Vienna Community Center is closed today and “all programs, services, and rental activities for today (January 13) are cancelled,” according to the Town of Vienna.
In the City of Falls Church, a snow emergency has been declared and parking restrictions are in place.
Snow Plowing: All roads are treated. Snow Routes are plowed and crews are working on side streets. We expect another front, so we'll make more passes, first concentrating on Snow Routes.
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) January 13, 2019
More scenes from around the area, via social media:
@PatsSnowStick Pat – Will your snow stick measure this high?
(Just ran into David Culver who took these pics) I feel like Edmund Hillary climbing this parking lot Mt Everest here in Tysons Corner! Bet no one has climbed this high in your challenge! Big fan! #snowsuitchallenge pic.twitter.com/ZoTGCSHTw3
— Eddie (@WFOcom) January 13, 2019
— Ted Lopatkiewicz (@tedlopat) January 13, 2019
— Jake Kimball (@jakekimball789) January 13, 2019
— Fazli Erdem (@fazli12345) January 13, 2019
— Sam Klein (@Samck22) January 13, 2019
— Circumlocuxon Cannon (@rcannon100) January 13, 2019
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency tonight (Saturday) as this weekend’s winter storm got underway.
The storm is expected to drop 6-12 inches of snow on Fairfax County over the next 24 hours or so.
Snow is now accumulating on local yards, parking lots and side roads throughout the county. A Winter Storm Warning, meanwhile, is in effect through Sunday evening.
From the National Weather Service:
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST SUNDAY… * WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…UNTIL 6 PM EST SUNDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT DUE TO SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY ROADS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&
VDOT, which is responsible for clearing snow from roads in Fairfax County — except for those that are privately owned — is urging residents to remain inside during the storm if at all possible.
More from social media:
Friends, if you’re out and about, please finish up whatever you’re doing. We’d like you off the roads during the height of the storm. We continue to load and deploy trucks and are prepared for some unpleasant driving conditions later. pic.twitter.com/X9MvSXfktH
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 12, 2019
Who Does What: Snow Removal. A handy reminder as we go into our first snow of 2019 pic.twitter.com/fgGYmI1Xxt
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) January 12, 2019
Expected #snow totals have increased. We urge our community members to please stay home and allow #VaDOTNOVA to work on clearing the roadways. Tips for driving in #inclementweather, visit this link: https://t.co/EIBLpDcGf8 #FairfaxCounty #FCPD ❄️🚗 pic.twitter.com/e9QNp5k1BS
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 12, 2019
Here we go! First snow of 2019! Our crews are ready for the Winter Storm Warning. Have you checked on neighbors in need? Plan to clear the fire hydrant by your house? Staying off the roads? Stay safe and warm!! pic.twitter.com/V6TNUTvhaC
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) January 13, 2019
— B (@blb99) January 13, 2019
Fairfax County is under a Dense Fog Advisory this morning.
From the National Weather Service:
…DENSE FOG ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EDT THIS MORNING…
* VISIBILITIES…One quarter mile or less at times.
* IMPACTS…Areas of dense fog will cause sudden reductions in visibility and rapidly changing conditions.
A Dense Fog Advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving, slow down, use your headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue published the following tips for driving in foggy weather this morning.
A foggy start to Columbus Day this morning! There is a Dense Fog Advisory in effect until 10 a.m. Drive safely out there as our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you by “accident” this morning.
When driving this morning, please keep the following driving in fog safety tips, from the National Weather Service, in mind:
- Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
- Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
- Never use your high-beam lights. Using high beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
- Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
- To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
- In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.
Update on Sept. 18 — Social Media Week Fairfax has been rescheduled for Oct. 18.
The uncertainty of Hurricane Florence’s path has led to Social Media Week Fairfax being postponed.
The event, originally scheduled for Friday (Sept. 14) in Tyson’s Capital One Auditorium, is a one-day forum on how social media and technology are influencing society. Tickets purchased for the event will be valid for whichever date the event is rescheduled for.
“Please know that this decision did not come easily, but our main concern is and will always be the safety of our attendees and speakers,” said Rachel Adler, executive director of Social Media Week Fairfax, in a statement. “We are currently looking for a new date to present the same great lineup and will be contacting you shortly.”
The hurricane — currently a Category 3 storm — is expected to make landfall Thursday night. While the projected route will have North and South Carolina taking the brunt of the impact, substantial wind and rainfall is still expected in parts of Virginia.
The storm is expected to bring 2-4 inches of rain locally with the potential for flooding over the weekend. The impact of the flooding could continue into next week as floodwaters make their way southeast across Fairfax County, according to the county government.
Tomorrow’s Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) meeting to discuss congestion solutions in McLean, meanwhile, has been cancelled. Supervisor John Foust said the meeting was cancelled partially because of the weather risk and partially to allow VDOT to focus its effort on storm-related transportation issues. The meeting will be rescheduled.
Image via NOAA