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7 Things to Know About the Snow

Posted 8:08 a.m.

If you’re a snow lover, then the luck of the Irish is with you today! As you begin your day, here are a few things to know:

1.) Please stay off the roads. We need the roads clear for public safety response and Virginia Department of Transportation snow removal crews. Plows will be out in full force this morning, so never crowd a plow!

2.) If you must drive, practice common sense and drive slowly, especially on secondary roads. Remember that your car cannot start, stop or turn as quickly on snow or ice. Find road conditions on one of our maps.

3.) The Police Department’s accident policy is in effect, meaning officers will respond to personal injury crashes, hit and run crashes involving injury and to fatal crashes only.

4.) County government offices, courts and schools are closed today. Your trash/recycling collection has likely been affected.

5.) When shoveling snow, help clear sidewalks, especially near school bus stops; clear fire hydrants; and be careful if you have heart conditions.Snow shovel safety tips

6.) To see the status of VDOT plowing in your neighborhood, enter your address at www.vdotplows.org.

7.) Check in on elderly neighbors and other housebound individuals to see if they need any help.

Visit our winter weather page for more tips and resources. Stay safe!

Changes to County Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule; Private Trash Collection Services Likely Affected

Posted 6:50 a.m.

Due to the winter weather and existing road conditions, Fairfax County trash and recycling collection in sanitary districts (15 percent of county households) has been cancelled for Monday, March 17. Collections are planned to resume in sanitary districts on Tuesday (weather and road conditions permitting) on the following schedule:

  • Monday routes will be collected on Tuesday, March 18
  • Tuesday and Wednesday routes will be collected on Wednesday, March 19
  • No changes are planned for Thursday and Friday customers

Please check the trash/recycling county customer website for updated service information. Service-related questions can also be directed to the trash/recycling customer service center at 703-802-3322, TTY 711.

Private Trash/Recycling

The impact of the winter weather may also be affecting the operations of private trash and recycling collectors. Customers of private service providers (more than 85 percent of county households) should contact their trash and recycling collector directly for any changes in service. Contact information for private trash and recycling collectors operating in Fairfax County is available online.

If your trash collection service has been postponed until another day please remove your trash containers from the curb in order to enhance the effectiveness of snow clearing operations and to avoid having your containers damaged or buried in snowbanks.

Fairfax County Government Offices and Courts Closed Monday, March 17

Posted 5:40 a.m. // Updated 6:50 a.m.

  • Fairfax County Government offices are closed Monday, March 17, and employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. (*An earlier decision to open offices at noon has been changed.)
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed on Monday.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Monday. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.

Trash and Recycling

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status.

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

View the public meetings calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar/ShowCalendar.aspx for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County Government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter.

UPDATE: County Government and Courts Closed on Monday

UPDATED 5:30 a.m. // Posted at 4:15 a.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices will be CLOSED on Monday, March 17. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Monday, March 17. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status.

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

View the public meetings calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar/ShowCalendar.aspx for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter.

Winter Storm Warning in Effect Tonight Through Monday Afternoon

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

A National Weather Service winter storm warning is in effect from 7 p.m. this evening until 2 p.m. Monday, March 17. A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring.

Significant amounts of snow are forecast — accumulations of 4 to 8 inches.

A mix of rain and snow early this evening will change to all snow by mid evening. Snow will continue overnight through early afternoon Monday. The heaviest snow is expected late this evening through early Monday morning.

Roads will become snow covered and slippery.  If you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home — plan to get where you need to be before the weather gets bad. Visit the Virginia Department of Transportation for the latest on the roads.

To stay informed about the storm, continue to follow this blog and be sure to listen to Fairfax County Government Radio.

Fairfax County Public Schools Closed Tuesday, March 4

All Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will be closed on Tuesday, March 4. School offices will be open with an unscheduled leave policy in effect. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers also will be  closed.

The following activities in schools and on school grounds are cancelled:

  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Interscholastic contests.
  • Team practices.
  • Field trips.
  • Middle school after-school programs.
  • Professional learning and training courses.
  • All adult and community education classes.
  • Recreation programs and community use by outside groups not affiliated with FCPS.

For more information from FCPS, go to www.fcps.edu

Tonight Expected to be Coldest March Night in Decades; What You Need to Know

Posted 5:35 p.m.

Neighbors: Please check in on elderly or other housebound people you may know to make sure they have enough heat and food.

Hypothermia Prevention: If you see an unsheltered person who may be at risk of hypothermia, call the police non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. Fairfax County’s emergency homeless shelters have additional capacity during winter months to take in people overnight who are at risk of hypothermia. Emergency personnel will determine which shelter option is best in the situation. Learn more about our emergency shelters and hypothermia program.

Pets: Don’t forget your pets — bring pets/companion animals inside; move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Beware of Ice: With the cold temperatures, snow that has melted will refreeze and create hazardous icy conditions, including black ice. Drive cautiously and be careful walking outside.

Reporting Power Outages and Downed Trees

Posted at 4:20 p.m.

ice covered treeSporadic power outages have been reported in the county. Heavy snow could cause downed trees and power outages. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  2. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

For downed trees:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads: Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland: Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas: Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • On Private Property: Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

Power Outages

If your power goes out report your outage; never assume a neighbor has reported it.

  • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; view outage map.
  • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711; view outage reports.

In addition, follow these safety tips:

  • Use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Unplug electrical equipment until a steady power supply returns.
  • Practice proper generator and surface heater safety.
  • Leave one light turned on so you know when power is restored.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion. If you come upon a non-working traffic signal, treat each traffic light as a four-way stop, with the driver on the right having the right-of-way. Proceed with caution only when traffic permits and enter intersections only when it is safe to do so, using your turn signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
  • If traffic lights are on flash, treat a flashing red as a stop (treat it like a stop sign). For flashing yellow, proceed with caution.

Video: Chairman Sharon Bulova Encourages Residents to “Stay Safe”

Posted 3:25 p.m.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova is in the Emergency Operations Center and talks about her experience with the snow today. She recommends that residents stay safe and off the roads.  Bulova also asked that if you see someone who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk for hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.

Photos: Fairfax County Responds to Winter Storm Titan, March 3

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova toured snow removal activities at critical county facilities.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova toured snow removal activities at critical county facilities.

Posted 2:30 p.m.

View Photo Gallery

3 Key Snow Shovel Tips for Today

Posted 11:45 a.m.

As the snow falls across the region today, snow removal will be top of mind. Here are three key tips to keep in mind when shoveling:

Snow shovel safety tips

1.) Help clear sidewalks in your neighborhood, especially near school bus stops for when school re-opens. The county and state do not remove snow from public sidewalks.

2.) Seconds count if a fire breaks out, so clear a 3-foot radius around hydrants in your neighborhood.

3.) If you have a history of heart disease, do not shovel without your doctor’s OK. Call 9-1-1 if there’s chest discomfort.

We have more snow removal tips, including storm drains, accessible parking spaces and more.

Police Response to Routine Accidents During Snow Event

Posted 10 a.m.

During this snow event, Fairfax County police will only be responding to accident reports that meet the following criteria:

  • Injuries.
  • Hit and run.
  • One or more vehicles are not drivable.
  • Active argument or conflict between the drivers.

If you call in a routine accident that does not meet the above criteria, you will be directed to exchange information with the other driver and to notify your insurance company.

County Trash Collection Service Cancelled; Private Trash Collection May Be Affected

Posted 8 a.m.

Due to unsafe road conditions, trash and recycling collection for Fairfax County customers on Monday collection routes will be cancelled. Please continue to check this blog or the County Customer website, for updated service information.

The impact of the winter weather may also be affecting the operations of private trash and recycling collectors. Customers of private service providers (more than 85 percent of county households) should contact their trash and recycling collector directly for any changes in service. Contact information for private trash and recycling collectors operating in Fairfax County is available online. 

If your trash collection service has been postponed until another day please remove your trash containers from the curb in order to enhance the effectiveness of snow clearing operations and to avoid having your containers damaged or buried in snowbanks.

Driving is Discouraged, But if You Must Go Out…

Posted 7:30 a.m.

Virginia Department of Transportation officials are asking everyone to stay off the roads today. There’s a layer of ice below the falling snow that’s making things very slick, and the heaviest snow will come this morning.

If you absolutely have to drive, here are some tips for driving on black ice and snow:

Black Ice:

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Pavement that looks dark, wet or like new asphalt.
  • Low-lying areas that may have standing water or runoff      from nearby melting snow banks or puddles.
  • Bridges and underpasses.
  • Vehicles that have slid off the road under any of the      above conditions.

Tips for Driving on Ice and Snow:

  • Slow down! Stopping on snow or ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. Drive slowly – below posted speed limits, so you can adjust to the conditions. This is especially true at intersections, off ramps, bridges and shady areas where black ice can form without being noticed.
  • Give yourself more distance from cars ahead—maintain a minimum of 8 to 10 seconds in following distance.
  • Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly and never slam on the brakes.
  • Avoid any sudden or excessive actions while steering, braking or accelerating so you don’t lose control. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Focus your attention as far ahead as possible—at least 20 to 30 seconds. Watch to see if other vehicles are having problems on the road ahead, which may give you the split second you need to avoid a crash.

Snow Is Here! 7 Things to Know This Morning

Posted 6:02 a.m.

Good morning! While most of you have been sleeping, the snow roared into the region. As you begin your day, here are a few things to know:

1.) Please stay off the roads. The heaviest snow is yet to come so our roads will deteriorate. We need the roads clear for public safety response and so Virginia Department of Transportation crews can clear roads.

2.) If you must drive, practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly. Find road conditions on one of our maps. Plows will be out in full force this morning, so please, never crowd a plow!

3.) County government offices, courts and schools are closed today.

4.) Fairfax Connector, Metrobus and VRE have all suspended service today. Metrorail is operating a normal schedule. Our Fastran service will only provide critical medical care transports.

5.) To see the status of VDOT plowing in your neighborhood, enter your address at www.vdotplows.org.

6.) Check in on elderly neighbors and other housebound individuals to see if they need any help.

7.) Avoid slips, trips and falls if you go outside today. Listen to this short audio clip:

Visit our winter weather page for more tips and resources. Stay safe!

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