(NEW YORK) — Slick roads wreaked havoc on travel in Virginia and the Washington, DC area Wednesday night, sparking more than 100 accidents, stranding “hundreds” of drivers and even causing a slow-go for the president’s motorcade.
Police in Arlington, Virginia, said there were “hundreds” of drivers stranded on several roads and reports of hospitalizations for minor injuries.
More than 100 crashes were being investigated in Virginia as snow fell ahead of this weekend’s expected major storm. Most involved damage to vehicles only, according to the Virginia State Police.
Most were in the Salem and Fairfax areas, state police said.
When President Obama touched down around 7:15 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, returning from a trip to Detroit. Officials determined that he couldn’t take a chopper back to the White House because of bad weather.
It took more than an hour to travel the approximately 13 miles to the White House and the press van that was part of the motorcade slipped and slid.
Less than two inches of snow had fallen at the D.C. Zoo.
“The DC Snow Team is increasing the number of plows spreading salt tonight from more than 50 to 150 in light of the more intense storm that started after dusk,” according to a DC Department of Transportation statement. While trucks pre-treated roads earlier in the day, plows will continue to spread salt as long as necessary, the department said.
In Maryland, rescuers were responding to reports of stranded motorists and abandoned vehicles.
NOTICE: MCFRS units reporting many instances of vehicles stranded/stuck on slick MoCo roads – MCFRS handling > 1 call per minute since 630p
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) January 21, 2016
Washington, D.C. Public Schools had their opening delayed by two hours due to the weather on Thursday. Similar delays were being implemented in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties in Virginia, and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvery, and Saint Mary’s counties in Virginia.
The Baltimore City Public Schools will open two hours later than normal as well, while Charles County, Maryland public schools are closed entirely.
Schools in Alexandria City and Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties in Virginia were also closed.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, authorizing state agencies to help local governments in responding to the winter storm.
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