Blizzard Updates

Published on January 27, 2016

Here's the latest information from Arlington County related to the January 2016 blizzard. The newest details will appear at the top.

Updated Thursday, Jan. 28, 3:20 p.m.

Phase 4, the Last Phase, Continues in Storm CleanupScreenHunter_37 Jan. 28 14.35

Crews continue to work through neighborhoods, widening primary and secondary routes, as well as addressing trouble spots in residential areas. Widening and hauling snow from major corridors will continue at night when it is safest.

Report remaining snow removal issues, including snow piles that may restrict the visibility of drivers, using the online snow issue form. The snow form is now closed. For significant snow related issues, please call our Water Control Center at 703-228-6555.

Arlington Public Schools remain closed through Friday for safety. Friday evening and weekend school activities are to be held as scheduled.

In case you missed Tuesday's County Board Meeting, County Manager Mark Schwartz and other officials presented a detailed explanation of the ongoing snow response process -- watch the video on our Facebook page.

We conclude postings on this January 2016 blog with a sincere thank you for your patience and understanding as Arlington County worked to clear tremendous amounts of snow and ice from roadways and other locations.

Crews have worked non-stop for almost a full week during and following this historic storm and their efforts are also much appreciated.

Information on future rough weather this winter will always be posted here:

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 6:10 p.m.

County Government and Courts Open, Thursday, Jan. 28

Arlington County government offices, facilities, Circuit, Juvenile, Domestic Relations Courts and General District Courts will be open on time, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Unscheduled leave and telework options are available for County employees, with supervisor's approval.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 5:10 p.m.

Trash and Recycling Services will Resume Operations on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Please read the following information carefully:

Thursday Customers:

Please have your trash and recycling carts to the curb no later than 6 a.m. Any missed collections will be collected on your next service date: Thursday, Feb. 4. We understand that some roads are still icy and our trucks may not be able to access your carts. We will do our best to reach you, but operations may be limited. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Customers:

Trash and recycling services were cancelled from Monday, Jan. 25 to Wednesday, Jan. 26. Service will resume next week on Monday, Feb. 1, Tuesday, Feb. 2 and Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Where to place your cart?

Place your carts on solid, cleared ground. Crews will not collect carts stuck in snow drifts or placed behind snow drifts; this is for their own safety. They will make their best efforts to collect your trash and recycling under the circumstances.


Updated Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:43 a.m.

Most Residential Streets Plowed; Crews Working Non-Stop to Finish the Job

We continue to make steady progress in plowing residential streets.

Our crews reported at 1:15 a.m. today that, at that point,Clarendon Truck they had plowed 60 percent of neighborhood streets, with 93 percent of primary and secondary streets and school routes plowed. Overall, 70 percent of County streets have been plowed since the weekend blizzard.

We are working toward having substantially finished clearing all residential streets by midnight Wednesday.

Please report snow issues at: /Page-Not-Found.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 10:15 p.m.

County Government and Courts Open, Wednesday, Jan. 27

Arlington County government offices, facilities, Circuit, Juvenile, Domestic Relations Courts and General District Courts will be open on time, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Unscheduled leave and telework options are available for County employees, with supervisor's approval.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m.

Trash and Recycling Services Canceled for Wednesday, Jan. 27

All trash and recycling services are canceled for Wednesday, Jan. 27, to allow snow crews to continue clearing residential streets.

Service for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday customers will resume next week on Monday, Feb. 1, Tuesday, Feb. 2 and Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.

Snow Cleanup Crews Pass Halfway Point in Plowing Residential Streets; Meter Parking Enforcement Returns Wednesday

  • As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, 55 percent of all residential streets had been plowed and more roadways were being cleared by the hour.

  • Residents who have filled out a snow issue form don't have to submit another; forms are being received and prioritized for plow routing.

  • Crews have been working non-stop for 92 hours with additional contractors helping in residential areas.

  • In addition to snow clearing, County staff have responded to five water main breaks and a significant sewer stoppage in the aftermath of the storm.FtMyer at 19

If you see an inaccuracy on the County snow plow status map, please report it via the snow issue form. Staff are looking at the reports and driving out to investigate conditions. Remember that the map is updated only after each 12-hour shift so it doesn't reflect real-time conditions. This storm marks the first-ever use of the map and areas for improvement are being addressed.

With the goal of having curbside metered parking spaces available again throughout the County, meter enforcement will resume Wednesday, Jan. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. Given the tremendous amounts of snow along roadways, space availability certainly varies so enforcement will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The County greatly appreciates the continued patience of those who are still waiting to see plows in their neighborhoods. Today's warmer temperatures are helping crews move toward completing their work as quickly as possible.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 8 a.m.

Plowing Efforts Continue into Tuesday Morning

  • Our snowfighting crews report that as of 12 a.m. Tuesday, 30 percent of residential streets have been plowed. They will be working hard throughout the day on residential streets. To report snow issues, use our snow form.

  • Due to weather and street conditions, STAR will only provide dialysis rides on Tuesday, Jan. 26. All other rides are cancelled. The STAR Call Center will not open.

  • Crews are going back to some Phase 2 roads that have been reported with issue or that need salt.

  • We ask that as you shovel you sidewalks, please shovel curb cuts so that persons with disabilities, especially those using wheelchairs, can begin to get through neighborhoods. And we thank you for your patience and help in getting our community back to normal.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 26, 12:20 a.m.

Arlington County Board to Meet Tuesday

The Arlington County Board will convene as scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m. It will defer consideration of both the January Consent and Regular Agendas to the Recessed Meeting now scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

Last week's blizzard forced cancellation of the Saturday, Jan. 23 Board Meeting.

The Tuesday, Jan. 26 Meeting will include:

  • Storm recovery snow report and vote on lifting of Local Emergency status

  • Board Reports

  • Manager's Report

  • Update  on Transportation Development Plan

  • Update on Rosslyn Highlands Park

  • Adjournment around 5 p.m. for closed session

  • Reconvene around 6:30 p.m. Public Comment will be heard at this time, and again at 6:30 p.m. at the Thursday, Jan. 28 Meeting.

  • Carry over Public Comment and Consent and Regular Agenda items to Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Updated Monday, Jan. 25, 11:40 p.m.

Arlington County Government Opening at Noon Tuesday

Arlington County government offices, facilities, Circuit, Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts will open at noon, Tuesday, Jan. 26. Arlington County General District Court will be closed.

Unscheduled leave and telework options are encouraged for County employees, with supervisor's approval.

A number of Parks and Recreation programs are canceled for the day. Arlington Public Library will operate on an abbreviated Tuesday schedule beginning at noon with all children's programs canceled for safety through Wednesday because Arlington Public Schools are closed.

Updated Monday, Jan. 25, 3:35 p.m.

Slow and Steady Plowing Progress

County crews are now deep into Phase 3 of snow operations, focusing on residential streets. In many areas, crews have had to bring in heavy construction equipment to break through snow/ice banks at the ends of streets so plows can get in. The goal is to get to all neighborhood streets by Tuesday night but it may take until Wednesday for some sections given the amount of snowfall and roadway conditions including buried parked cars.Ballstonneigh

We ask for your patience as we recover from this massive storm.

Although Arlington Public Schools are now closed through Wednesday, residents are asked to lend a hand and clear school bus stops and nearby sidewalks in time for students to head back to class.

How can I check progress or report issues? You can check the snow progress map and report a snow issue. Residents can also call our Local Streets Snow Hotline at 703-228-6485.

What drivers and residents should know:

  • Plows will provide a path through neighborhoods that is drivable with caution for an average passenger vehicle. The path will likely be snow-covered and rough, due to the volume of snow and refreeze.

  • In many neighborhoods, front-end loaders and motor graders will move snow where there is not enough room to push.

  • Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles onto driveways, but in an extreme storm can be an unintended result of making roads passable.

Updated Monday, Jan. 25, 2:25 p.m.

County Crews Stabilize Water Main Breaks at Three Locations

Despite some difficult driving conditions overnight, teams from the Water, Sewer, Streets Bureau of the Department of Environmental Services have made progress with three water main breaks likely related to the storm conditions.

  • 2311 Crystal Dr.--This location is stable. Current status has been coordinated with the site engineer representing the property owner.

  • 4822 Old Dominion Rd.—-A County crew was able to control localized damage and should have the repair completed this afternoon.

  • 24th Street and Buchanan St.-— A crew is currently trying to isolate the leak for repair, which could be completed tonight barring any conflict with snow removal operations. There has been some reduced system pressure. Once the leak isolation is complete, pressure should improve.

Updated Monday, Jan. 25, 1:05 p.m.

Tonight's Open Door Monday Session with County Board Canceled

While County crews continue to clean up following the major winter storm, tonight's face-to-face chat session with a member of the County Board at Aurora Hills Branch Library has been canceled.

The next session is set to take place on Monday, Feb. 1 at the Langston-Brown Community Center. No appointments are necessary and there are never any specific agenda items. Just bring your interests for the chat.

Updated Monday, Jan. 25, 11:59 a.m.

Snow plowing

Good news: We have entered Phase 3 of snow operations. This means that crews are now widening primary and secondary arterial roadways--and beginning the process of cleaning residential streets. 11th St. N.

Please be patient with us--this is a huge operation. We are making progress, but it may take until Tuesday night to reach all the streets. You can help us identify trouble spots by reporting on our online snow issue form. Starting at noon today, crews will start to respond to these reports.

When will your street be plowed? You can check our snow progress map and report a snow issue. We ask for your continued patience, as we work to clear an enormous amount of snow.

It is challenging work, as plows not only need to maneuver in tight spaces, but also figure out where to put the volume of snow. (View Washington Post video of the Arlington "snowplow ballet.")

Snow shoveling bench

Arlington County has suspended enforcement of the Snow Removal Ordinance meaning we will not issue citations on Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 25-26). The goals behind the ordinance are to keep pedestrians safe and to get our community back up and running. Anything you can do to help clear our sidewalks is helpful. When clearing snow, shovel into yards if possible — not into the street.

Neighbors helping neighbors:

Arlington: Always on the job

Even when County facilities are closed and programs cancelled, many, many County employees remain on the job, keeping our community running. Read more.

More resources

Visit our Snow & Ice website.

Sign up for Arlington Alert (free).

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.

Entering Phase 3 of Snow Removal Tonight

Later tonight, the County transitions to Phase 3 (Residential Streets) with its snow-clearing efforts. Keep in mind, it may take until Tuesday night to reach all streets. Starting at noon tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 25), residents also can use the "Snow Reporting Form" to help the County identify snow issues that need attention — or they can call the streets hotline at 703-228-6485 (also starting at noon). More resources and information:

ART Service Update

On Monday, Jan. 25, ART 41, 51 and 55 will run approximately every 30 minutes from noon to 5 p.m. All other ART routes will not run. Check ART (Arlington Transit) updates.

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 3:45 p.m.
County Suspends Ordinance Enforcement

We ask Arlington residents to do their best with clearing sidewalks and walkways. We understand it's a lot of snow and may be difficult for some to clear by noon tomorrow (per Arlington's ordinance). As a result, we don't plan to issue citations on Monday or Tuesday, Jan. 25/26 (thus suspending our enforcement to give more time to clear snow).

We need everyone working together on snow-clearing efforts — residents, businesses, and government -- to keep our community safe and get Arlington back up and running again. We appreciate the hard work of everyone out clearing snow.IMG_2748

Additional Reminders & Info

  • Help clear fire hydrants of snow -- and if possible, start clearing storm drains, so water from melting snow can drain properly.

    • CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) has cleared 125 fire hydrants over the weekend.

  • Watch out for falling ice from roofs and gutters.

  • When clearing snow, shovel into yards if possible -- not into the street.

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 1:15 p.m.

All County Facilities Remain Closed Through Monday

Arlington County government offices, courts and facilities are closed Monday, Jan. 25. due to treacherous travel conditions. All programs are canceled.

If possible, stay off the roads while snow removal efforts continue throughout the day and overnight. jj

Although Arlington Public Library won't reopen until Tuesday at the earliest, you can still fetch great books, music, movies, language and video tech lessons right now from home.

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 12:00 p.m.

Monday and Tuesday Trash/Recycling Pickups Canceled for This Week

All trash and recycling services are canceled for Monday, Jan. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 26, to assist snow crews in the clearing of residential streets. Service for Monday and Tuesday customers will resume the following week, on Monday, Feb. 1 and Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:44 a.m.

Getting Those Bus Stops Cleared

We're on schedule to get 344 transit stops across the County cleaned today. However, ART service remains SUSPENDED, and there is NO STAR service today. Check out ART (Arlington Transit) updates 

Updated Sunday, Jan. 24, 6: 58 a.m.

Good morning! As you wake up, you are probably looking outside at our winter wonderland, and wondering what, exactly, does the County's Snow Ordinance require me to do?

We have the answer! A  weather event has deposited snow or ice accumulations measured at more than 6 inches. Arlington's sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires residents and businesses to clear their adjacent public sidewalks of snow and ice by 12:00 P.M. on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Visit our snow removal ordinance page for all the details.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 5:45 p.m. 

Snow Removal in Phase 2 (and just where are we putting all this snow?) 

Amazingly, it is still snowing, and it's not forecasted to stop until sometime in the early hours Sunday morning. As of 3:30 p.m., the National Weather Service was reporting 21 inches of snow had already fallen in Westover, and there are numerous (unofficial) measurements nearing two feet.  During winter storms, Arlington DES organizes its snow removal process into four separate phases. While the snow continues to fall, they remain in "Phase 2: Primary Routes":
What the County Does

What You Do

  • Do not drive unless necessary so roads will be open for emergency and snow removal vehicles.

  • Help your neighbors clean the sidewalk on the same side of the street as parked cars to increase pedestrian safety.

  • Keep snow cleared from fire hydrants, storm drains and downspouts on your home.

During Phase 2, residential roads will likely remain snow covered; When DES transitions to Phase 3, attention will shift to plowing and treating those streets. Follow @ArlingtonDES on Twitter to learn when Phase 3 begins.

This #Snowzilla storm has prompted an important question: Just what are we doing with all the snow? Arlington DES deputy director Mike Moon joined NBC 4's broadcast on Saturday to discuss the County's snow removal plan.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 4:22 p.m.

VIDEO: County Fire Truck Gets a Tow from the National Guard

County officials have been stressing throughout this winter storm to stay home, and most importantly, stay off the roads. Not only do the streets need to be clear for DES crews, but they also also need to be passable for County emergency services and vehicles. But this blizzard has dumped so much snow that even one of our fire trucks had difficulty driving.

Fortunately, our friends from the Virginia National Guard were able to lend a hand:

John D. Crawford, public information officer in the County's Office of Emergency Management, said no one was hurt;  "the National Guard tow truck was based at a fire station nearby exactly to help heavy equipment that became stuck."

Updated Saturday, Jan. 23. 2:05 p.m.

County Libraries, Community Centers Closed, All Parks and Rec Programs Cancelled for Sunday

All Arlington County libraries will remain CLOSED on Sunday, Jan. 24, due to the ongoing winter storm. During the closure, all due dates are extended and holds will remain on the shelves for extra days. Even when the library is closed, you can still take advantage of the its eCollection, which has plenty of movies, books, and music for a snowed-in weekend.

Additionally, all County Park and Recreation joint-use and standalone community centers and facilities are CLOSED, and all DPR classes, activities, programs and trips are CANCELLED through Sunday, Jan. 24.

View the latest updates from around the County on our Closing, Delays and Cancellations page.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 1:05 p.m.

VIDEO: 24-hour Timelapse of Snowzilla in Arlington County 

Thanks to @koset on Twitter for passing along this stunning video of the snow falling in Arlington over the past 24 hours:

Let this serve as a reminder of the severity of this storm. Arlington County continues to urge everyone to STAY HOME and STAY OFF THE ROADS -- yes, this includes walking -- as Arlington DES crews work to clear the streets.

And the storm is not done yet -- intervals of heavy snow will continues Saturday throughout the afternoon, with most accumulation occurring between 5 and 8 p.m., accompanied by wind gusts of 30-40 mph. Stay safe, and stay indoors.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 11:40 a.m.

Keep Your Neighborhood Safe: Dig Out a Hydrant

The Arlington County Fire Department is asking residents to shovel snow from around neighborhood hydrants. Hydrants and snow

That quick good deed could save precious minutes in the event of a nearby blaze.

Be a #NeighborhoodHero: Help keep hydrants visible and accessible during and after this massive winter storm.


Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:35 a.m.

Know Your Roof's Limits During a Snowstorm

The weight of heavy snow can do serious damage to a home's top layer.

Know what to look for in terms of potential problems. snow roof

Building Arlington warns: Never climb up on a roof to remove the snow yourself.


Updated Saturday, Jan. 23, 8:05 a.m.

Avoid the Roadways By Foot or By Vehicle

Plows are out working on main arteries and residential areas. Help by keeping off the roads by foot or by vehicle. Be safe by staying home as the storm continues.