Georgetown residents who make the reverse commute to a job in Northern, VA were at the mercy of VDOT and other drivers Tuesday morning. Motorists driving in the north and southbound lanes of Interstate-495 in northern Virginia Tuesday morning inched along the road to keep from sliding on the slick roads.
Virginia Department of Transportation pre-treated areas of I-66, I-395, I-95 and I-495 that are prone to freezing Monday night, said agency spokeswoman Joan Morris. She said work crews also pre-treated routes 1, 7, 28, 50 and 123 with salt brine.
“Major roads are in good shape this morning but motorists need to use extreme caution,” Morris said. “The biggest challenge is getting from your front door to your car. Walkways, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots have a thick coating of ice on them.”
About 1,700 VDOT trucks were busy over Monday spreading magnesium chloride and salt brine on more than 500 miles of roads in northern Virginia. The District Snow Team had 200 trucks patrolling the District over the evening as well.
Greg Schoor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said freezing rain Monday night caused the slick roads Tuesday morning. He said more freezing rain could fall over the D.C. region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Temperatures will hang around 32 degrees over the next two days, Schoor said.
Schoor said freezing rain is formed between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above the surface. As raindrops develop in the clouds and fall, he said they fall through the below freezing level causing freezing rain before it hits the ground. He said the next round of freezing rain Tuesday night would not be as bad as it was Monday night.
“There will be another quick moving system overnight,” Schoor said. “There will be a winter mix but not as much as last night.”