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The District will deploy more than 200 plows to manage tonight’s snow event, but as of earlier this afternoon, it said it would not pre-treat roads with a brine/beet juice mixture as it typically does before snow because rain would dilute the mixture.
“The District will deploy more than 200 plows, based on weather reports that call for a rain/snow mix starting between 9 p.m. and midnight that will switch to all snow overnight with perhaps one to two inches of snow mainly on grassy surfaces, but some slush could accumulate on bridges and colder locations,” a release read. “Precipitation is expected to end after noon Friday. The Snow Team will not pre-treat because the rain will wash away the brine/beet juice solution.”
The Department of Public Works relies on AccuWeather and National Weather Service forecasts in preparing for snow, a spokesperson explained. However, both those entities have today predicted snow and not rain for tonight into Friday.
Dry today; snow tonight into Fri AM. Here is the latest timing & amts. (The Fri AM commute likely to be slippery.) pic.twitter.com/KaLp962CYQ
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) March 3, 2016
AccuWeather forecasts that snow will fall starting around 10 p.m. and continue until around 9 a.m. Friday as flurries.
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) March 3, 2016
DPW has not responded to a written request for comment as to whether it ultimately decided to pre-treat roads today.
Update 6:10 p.m.: DPW has provided the following statement to City Desk about its preparations for the snow:
“While predictions may change as a storm event approaches, we build our deployment strategy on a number of factors based on the best interests of the public. Our full deployment plan must be developed in a time frame that gives sufficient time for the hundreds of people who will respond to the event to be notified and allows them time to get sufficient rest to perform safely during their 12-hour shift. Additionally, even if the storm begins with snow, our pavement sensors’ temperatures are well above freezing, in the high 40s to low 50s. The lows overnight will be at or near 32 and will go up at daybreak. We continue to remind residents to plan ahead and be safe as they go about their morning commute.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery