City of Falls Church crews worked through the night on Wednesday to recover from the light snow that resulted in multiple accidents, road closures and prolonged commutes throughout the Washington, D.C. region. Although most of the municipal governments around the region underestimated Wednesday’s weather, City of F.C. crews treated and plowed streets around the City streets in time for the morning rush hour.
Now, the City’s focus is on the blizzard predicted to hit the region starting Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning lasting from 3 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6 p.m. Sunday for the entire region, including Falls Church. The City has responded by declaring a snow emergency beginning at noon on Friday, activating its snow emergency routes (see map and list of roads affected below). In addition, Falls Church City government offices and services – including the community center and library – will close at noon Friday. Falls Church City Public Schools has also cancelled classes Friday as well as all public activities through the weekend.
The National Weather Service warned of heavy snow and wind with blowing and drifting snow Friday afternoon – Saturday night and a snow-sleet mix Friday night – Saturday morning. Heavy snow will develop late Friday afternoon with the heaviest snow, strongest winds and potential life-threatening conditions expected Friday night – Saturday. Snow accumulation of 18 – 24 inches is predicted in the western suburbs and Washington, D.C. is expected to receive 24 inches of snow.
Travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday and visibility will be reduced to near zero at times in whiteout conditions. Winds are expected to be 25 – 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Temperatures will be in the mid – upper 20s.
The Falls Church’s Department of Public Works has four new trucks and 500 tons of road salt. Public Works crews will work around the clock with nine snow plows and spreaders to ensure streets are safe and passable, with treatment beginning once the precipitation starts.
Plowing begins when two inches of snow builds on the roads. Snow emergency routes will be treated and plowed first, and secondary streets will be plowed after the snow emergency routes are clear. Traffic signs identify City streets that are designated as emergency routes and vehicles abandoned or parked on the routes may be ticketed and towed to allow snow removal crews to clear the roads.
In a press release from the City of Falls Church, the City asked for patience while they work to clear the snow throughout the weekend. A citizen information line will remain in effect at 703-248-4200 throughout the storm and information, including all the emergency snow routes can be found on the City’s website at fallschurchva.gov.
UPDATE: SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES (INCLUDING SPECIAL PARKING RESTRICTIONS)
• Annandale Road from Hillwood Avenue to Broad Street (both sides of street)
• Broad Street from Haycock Road to Seven Corners (both sides of street)
• Columbia Street from Maple Avenue to Tuckahoe Street (Maple Avenue to Washington St.: both sides of street; Washington Street to Tuckahoe: single side of street
• Great Falls Street from West Street to Washington Street (both sides of street)
• Hillwood Avenue from Washington Street to Seven Corners (both sides of street)
• Lincoln Avenue from West Street to Yucatan Street (both sides of street)
• Little Falls Street from Broad Street to Great Falls Street (both sides of street)
• Maple Avenue from Washington Street to Columbia Street (single side of street)
• Park Avenue from West Street to Washington Street (both sides of street)
• Roosevelt Street from Hillwood Avenue to Roosevelt Boulevard (both sides of street)
• Washington Street from Graham Road to Westmoreland Street (both sides of street)
• West Street from Abbott Lane to Great Falls Street (Abbott Lane to Broad Street: single side of street; Broad Street to Lincoln Avenue: both sides of street; Lincoln Avenue to Great Falls Street: single side of street)
All Snow Emergency Routes are on both sides of the street, except for the following exceptions:
• South West Street (Abbott Lane to Broad Street; northwest side of street, affecting southbound traffic only)
• North West Street (Lincoln Avenue to Great Falls Street; northwest side of street, affecting southbound traffic only)
• East Columbia Street (Washington Street to Tuckahoe Street; north side of street, affecting westbound traffic only)
• South Maple Avenue (Washington Street to Annandale Road; west side of street, affecting southbound traffic only)
The City of Falls Church has issued the following special parking restrictions:
• No parking on the odd side of Poplar Drive from 201 to 301
• No parking on the even side of Poplar Drive from 100 to the end of the street
• No parking on the odd side of Gibson Street from Poplar Drive to Rosemary Lane