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Snow Emergency

posted Feb 6, 2010, 6:39 AM by RockSpring CivicAssociation
Late last night RSCA was asked by Jennifer K. Smith, Arlington County Communications Office, to share with you the following important message:


Note: Go to the  County website for the latest updates and detailed cancellation information (

After a severe storm, it may take 36-48 hours after the snow stops falling before County plows can start clearing residential streets

o        The first priority is clearing main roads and roads around critical facilities, such as snow emergency routes, arterial streets, main bus routes, and roads to hospitals, fire stations, Metro stations, the police station and local schools.

o        Neighborhood streets are cleared last.

o        The County maintains 60 miles of arterial streets and collector streets and 256 miles of residential streets.

o        Roads with a route number (Glebe, Rt. 50 & others) are maintained by VDOT.

Map of snow plowing priorities and snow ops updates. (

County road crews will be out in force, working 12 hours shifts around the clock, to treat and clear County-maintained streets

o        Plowing will begin when snow becomes about two inches deep.

o        During snowfall, and for several hours to a day or more depending upon snowfall amounts, snow crews concentrate on keeping the main arteries passable for public transportation and emergency vehicles. With current projections, this will be at least through the day Saturday and possibly through the day Sunday.

o        Snow crews work in teams around the clock, with a force of approximately 150 crew members, 70 pieces of snow control equipment, two salt storage facilities with a capacity of 10,000 tons. 

Residents can help respond to the storm

o        When it starts to snow, park your vehicle off the street. If that is not possible, coordinate with your neighbors to all park on one side of the street, the ODD numbered side if parking is allowed on that side in your block. 

o        Stay off the roads – and be patient. Let snow removal crews clear the roads.

o        A snowplow needs a minimum roadway width of 15 feet to maneuver safely; on many streets a snowplow cannot operate when cars are parked on both sides of the street. 

o        Shovel the sidewalk on your property; keep fire hydrants clear of snow. 

o        Shovel your snow into your YARD, not the street.

o        Check on your neighbors; help those who need it with shoveling.

o        Call 703-228-6485 for snow service updates; or send snowplow inquiries or comments to, (they’ll be forwarded to snow ops team).  Individual requests will not be taken or forwarded to crews until significant progress into residential streets has been made.

o        NOTE: The County’s Emergency Winter Shelter will be open 24 hours a day over the weekend. (The shelter is operated by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.)