Winter Storm Expected February 20: Are You Prepared?

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Winter Storm Expected February 20: Are You Prepared? 

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2019

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Alexandria area, in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20. Heavy mixed precipitation is forecasted, with snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches and ice accumulation expected.

Significant accumulation of ice and snow could make travel very hazardous or impossible. This type of precipitation can also result in power outages. The City urges all residents and businesses to be prepared on an ongoing basis for the possibility that it may not be safe to travel for three or more days, and that power may be out during this period.

"The best thing you can do to protect your family or your business against any type of unforeseen emergency year-round is to have three days of food, water, and medicine available and to have a plan for what to do if you can’t travel safely," said Assistant Fire Chief Corey Smedley, the City’s emergency management coordinator. "In this case, the emergency is not unforeseen. Even if we don’t get all the weather the forecast says is possible for this storm, it’s always smart to be prepared."

Crews will stage equipment and prepare to work 24 hours a day to clear roads if necessary. Residents and businesses can help by staying off the roads during and after the storm, not parking on snow emergency routes, promptly clearing sidewalks and entrances, not shoveling snow into the street, and clearing snow from around fire hydrants and storm drains. 

The City clears snow from more than 560 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots or City-owned squares. Roads are plowed by priority, with primary and snow emergency routes cleared first, followed by secondary routes and then residential streets. During a major storm, it may only be possible to plow roads so that they are passable for emergency vehicles, rather than down to the pavement across all travel lanes.

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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