Love is in the Air … As Well as Cold Temperatures and More Snow

Weekend Winter Weather

Posted at 2:45 p.m.

A

h…love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is almost here — Sunday guys in case you’ve forgotten the flowers and chocolates!

Not only is this weekend the time for love though, but brutally cold temperatures along with another chance of snow are in the forecast making this weekend one full of a variety of winter weather conditions.

Today

First, let’s start with today. Snow chances actually start tonight. The National Weather Service (NWS) says there’s a chance of a small amount of snow accumulation tonight, anywhere from 1-2 inches possible between 6-11 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is encouraging motorists to finish trips by early afternoon and to use extreme caution during the evening rush hour. With below-freezing temperatures in place and snow showers expected, VDOT reports that they will have 1,150 trucks deployed across the region to continually treat roads.

A hazardous weather outlook has been issued as well as a winter weather advisory from 6 p.m. to midnight. In addition, a wind advisory is in effect tomorrow from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. A wind advisory means that wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph are expected. You’ll want to secure any outdoor furniture and take care driving high profile vehicles such as vans and SUVs.

cold weekend weather in Fairfax County

Saturday and Sunday

NWS reports that wind chill values below minus five degrees are likely Saturday night into Sunday morning. There also is an enhanced threat of a winter storm late Sunday night through Monday night.

Snow is likely overnight Sunday night (60 percent chance) with a low around 18 and into Monday (70 percent chance) with a high only near Winter Storms Fairfax Alerts32. Snow is expected until about 8 p.m. before turning to rain and snow.

Monday is the President’s Day Holiday for many — including Fairfax County Government — so hopefully that will decrease the number of cars that have to be on the roadways. Just remember … if you don’t have to be out in the inclement weather, don’t. Allow road crews the opportunity to do their jobs.

Keep an Eye on Others

This weekend, be sure to check on your elderly neighbors and help those who may need special assistance, including people with disabilities and children. And if you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.

Pets, even those who typically live outdoors, should be brought inside; only take your pet outside for short bathroom breaks and do not leave your pet outdoors unattended. Also, make sure to provide access to non-frozen drinking water at all times.

Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Tonight Through Tuesday

Winter Weather Advisory

Posted at 3:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for snow, which is in effect from 10 p.m. this evening to midnight Tuesday night.

A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities — and use caution while driving.

Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches is possible with locally higher amounts particularly in the northwest suburbs. A mixture of rain and snow will develop this evening with precipitation turning to all snow around or shortly after midnight. Periods of snow will continue into Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), reports that crews have treated interstates and major roads in Fairfax County with brine and liquid magnesium chloride in advance of the snow. Tonight, about 1,450 trucks will pre-deploy along interstates, main roads and neighborhood streets across Northern Virginia. They will remain on duty to plow and treat roads through the day Tuesday.

VDOT also reminds you to use extreme caution during winter weather, to reduce speeds and to be aware of potential slick spots such as bridges, ramps, hills, curves and shaded areas.

Monitor the local forecast and Fairfax County’s Twitter for updates.

Flood Watch Issued for Heavy Rain and Melting Snow

Posted at 12:15 p.m.

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he National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from noon today, Wednesday, Feb. 3, through late tonight, which means that there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

The combination of melting snow and periods of heavy rain could result in flooding of urban areas and streams this afternoon and tonight. Rainfall amounts will average between one half and one inch, with isolated spots between one and two inches possible. In addition, ice may be on some of the small streams which could enhance the flooding potential.

Please continue to monitor the weather forecast and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should also be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Turn Around. Don’t Drown

turn around don't drownSix inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. As little as 12 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs.

Safety first – if you are unsure about the amount of water on a flooded road, Turn Around. Don’t Drown. With heavy rain in the forecast for today, here are a few reminders from our Police Department to keep you safe during a flood:

  • Always plan ahead and know the risks before flooding happens.
  • If flooding is expected, or is occurring, get to higher ground fast! Leave typical flood areas such as ditches, ravines, dips or low spots and canyons.
  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Turn Around Don’t Drown.

Get more tips on the Police blog.

Clear Storm Drains

Blocked stormdrains prevent the flow of rain and melting snow from reaching streams and stormwater detention ponds. The water then backs up into streets and yards and may flood basements. Blocked stormdrains also may damage residential and commercial property and cause traffic delays.

Keep the openings of storm drains clear of snow and debris to help alleviate potential flooding and to protect the environment. At no time, however, should a resident attempt to enter a storm drain to remove debris.

Property owners are responsible for driveway culverts and bridges that are part of the driveway structure and are not public storm drainage system structures. Storm drains outside rights-of-way and easements are privately maintained by the property owner.

To report a blocked storm drain, call Fairfax County Stormwater Management, 703-877-2800, TTY 711, or the Virginia Department of Transportation at 703-383-8368, TTY 711.

Fairfax County Government Open With Unscheduled Leave for Employees for Thursday and Friday, Jan. 28 and 29; Schools Closed

Government, Schools and Courts

  • Fairfax County Government offices will be open on Thursday and Friday,  Jan. 28 and 29, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 28 and 29. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers will be closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be open.

Due to the historic snow fall government facilities will have limited parking and some restricted travel lanes. Also, due to refreezing some walkways may be hazardous. Please be cautious and patient as we work to get back to normal.

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

Public Assistance Lobbies/SkillSource

The Department of Family Services employment/SkillSource centers and public assistance lobbies may be affected by inclement weather.  Call 703-324-7500, TTY 711, for the current operating status.

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 for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

operating status update

Fairfax County Government, Courts Open With Unscheduled Leave for County Employees Wednesday, Jan. 27; Schools Closed

  • Fairfax County Government offices are open Wednesday, Jan. 27, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed Wednesday, Jan. 27. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are open Wednesday, Jan. 27. 

Due to the historic snow fall government facilities will have limited parking and some restricted travel lanes. Also, due to refreezing some walkways may be hazardous. Please be cautious and patient as we work to get back to normal.

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

  • Fairfax Connector bus service may be affected by the inclement weather. Check the Connector Web page at www.fairfaxconnector.com for the current operating status.

 Libraries

operating status update

Fairfax County Government, Courts and Schools CLOSED Tuesday, Jan. 26

Posted 8:25 p.m.

Government, Courts and Schools

  • Fairfax County Government offices/facilities will be CLOSED on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. Emergency services such as public safety will be available.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be CLOSED Jan. 26
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 26.Fairfax County experienced a historic snow storm. The county is geographically diverse, and while roads are clear in parts of the county, some areas, especially the northern and western edges, are still experiencing significant problems. Employee safety is a priority and closing Tuesday will enable VDOT and homeowner associations to clear the remainder of the roads so everyone can get to work safely.

Transportation: Connector

Trash Collection

Stay Informed

operating status update

Heavy Snow Can Damage and Collapse Roofs; What You Should Know

Posted 12:25 p.m.

Heavy snow can significantly damage roofs and there are reports in our area of roofs collapsing. Look around your home and building to look for warning signs.  There are steps you can take to avoid roof damage.

What To Look For

For Homes
Most homes have sloped roofs, which means a lower risk of roof collapse. If you have a flat roof on your home, pre-manufactured home or a portion of your home, monitor the ceiling. Look for the following signs of roof distress:

  • Sagging ceiling beneath the flat roof.
  • Leaking water dripping through the ceiling.
  • New cracks on your ceiling drywall or plaster.
  • Popping, cracking or creaking sounds.
  • Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

For Commercial Buildings
Most commercial buildings are designed to accommodate a roof snow load of 24 inches of dense, compacted snow. Pay attention to the following warning signs of roof distress:

  • Sagging roof members including steel bar joists, metal decking, wood rafters, wood trusses and plywood sheathing.
  • Leaking water dripping through the ceiling.
  • Popping, cracking and creaking sounds.
  • Sagging ceiling tiles and/or sagging sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads.
  • Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

What You Can Do

  1. If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, evacuate the home or building immediately. Call or text 9-1-1
  2. When safe to do so, clear gutters, drains and downspouts of ice and debris so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from your home. Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.
  3. Be careful, falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.
  4. If you are concerned about the structural integrity your home, contact a licensed structural engineer, building inspector or other qualified individual.

Stay Informed

We have many ways you can choose to stay informed during this blizzard:

Who Maintains/Plows Your Road? Check This Map

Posted 10:15 a.m.

As the blizzard cleanup continues, we understand there’s frustration in some neighborhoods about snow removal. This storm dumped a whole winter’s worth of snow on us in two days. We continue to ask for your patience for everyone who’s trying to help dig out.

So who plows the roads? In most cases it’s the state Virginia Department of Transportation or a homeowner’s association. VDOT recognizes the frustration:

 

Fairfax County does not plow neighborhood roads (with a small, tiny exception of a few roads). We’re focusing our snow removal efforts on public buildings like police stations, fire stations, government centers and libraries.

 

Who Maintains Your Road

If you’re not sure who maintains your roads, we have a map that shows every owner of every road.

Simply enter your address:

maintenance map example

 

Who to Contact

Once you find out who maintains your road, it’ll likely be the Virginia Department of Transportation or a private entity like a homeowner’s association.

To contact VDOT, call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623). Please know we’re hearing of long wait times to get through because the storm affected most of the state.

 

Track VDOT Snow Plow Progress

You can track snow plow progress on VDOT’s snow plow tracker website. It will show you the status of roads and where plows are located.

snow plow map

 

Video: Keep From Slip, Sliding Away

Posted 8:45 p.m.

The sun was out…but expected below freezing temperatures overnight will bring lots of icy conditions tomorrow. Fairfax County Safety Officer Judy Schambach cautions residents to beware of black ice and offer tips to avoid slips and falls.

Governor McAuliffe and Chairman Bulova Provide Update, Emphasize Need for Patience

Posted 5:01 p.m.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was in Fairfax County today to assess the damage of this weekend’s blizzard in our area. The Governor and Chairman Sharon Bulova provided an update on storm clean up efforts and community priorities for what the Chairman called the Big Dig Out.

Both emphasized the need for continued patience in the coming days.

“This was a massive storm event with a tremendous amount of snow. It will take a while to move it.  We have 13,ooo pieces of equipment and we are adding more resources. We in the state are responsible for 58,000 miles of roads. Please stay off the roads and let our plows do their work.” said McAuliffe.

Watch the news conference:

 

Chairman Bulova outlined her community priorities as the Big Dig Out continues:

  • Please stay off the roads. It is critical that VDOT crews are able to effectively clear the streets and public safety can respond to emergencies. You can track VDOT snow plow progress online. Clean up will take several days!
  • There are miles of sidewalks that need to be shoveled and we need your help. While you are out today shoveling, please make sure all the sidewalks and walking paths in your neighborhood are shoveled. Help out your older or disabled neighbors who are not able to shovel. We also ask that you shovel out fire hydrants. By working together, we will get back to normal much faster
  • Please avoid walking in the streets, you are putting your life in danger.
  • Check on neighbors – stop by or give a neighbor a call if you haven’t seen them in a couple days. Take a moment to see if they are OK or need anything.
  • We are working with our faith community and nonprofit partners to shelter our homeless population throughout this storm event. This is a multi-faith response and a real demonstration of our unique Fairfax County culture. If you see someone who is unsheltered call the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.

 

Stay Informed

We have many ways you can choose to stay informed during this blizzard:

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