Getting around Saturday after the wind storm: Here’s what to expect

Travelers in D.C.'s Union Station await word on whether Amtrak will resume Northeast Corridor service Friday, March 2, 2018. The rail service later suspended such trains for the rest of the day. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

WASHINGTON — After Friday’s blustery weather brought power outages, scattered debris and shattered windshields to the D.C. area, those who are looking to leave the house Saturday may still experience travel hiccups.

Whether you’re getting out of town, or just getting across it, here’s what your trip may look like:

Roads and bridges

The winds caused several traffic tie-ups and other headaches on the roadways Friday. The gusty winds made for hazardous travel conditions, especially for drivers in trucks, vans and SUVs.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 95 were closed Friday at the Prince William Parkway to allow a structural engineer to inspect the iconic 140-foot Potomac Mills sign, which was leaning due to gusts. They will continue to be closed through Saturday, and southbound drivers will again be diverted to the express lanes.

The mall arranged for a crane to remove it but winds have to fall 20 miles per hour first, Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Jenni McCord said.

Michael McGurk of Transurban, which operates the lanes, said it was the first time the tolls had been suspended for anything other than snow and ice.

As of Saturday morning, there have been wind warnings and restrictions applied to the following bridges:

  • Hatem Bridge (U.S. Route 40) — Wind warnings
  • Bay Bridge (U.S. Route 50) — Wind warnings
  • Tydings Bridge (Interstate 95) — Full wind restrictions
  • Robert O. Norris Bridge (U.S. Route 3) — High wind warnings
  • Downing Bridge (U.S. Route 360) — Wind warnings

In Virginia, you can see which roads are closed by visiting VDOT’s road conditions page. In addition, Fairfax County officials released a list of roadways in the county affected by downed trees and power lines and malfunctioning traffic lights.

The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management released a list of county and state road closures on Friday. Check their Twitter page to see updates.

Maryland drivers can stay informed about road conditions throughout the state on www.md511.org and find real-time travel alerts and conditions. The Maryland Transportation Authority suggests that you check out wind warnings and restrictions criteria on the authority’s website.

For the most updated traffic report, visit WTOP’s traffic center.


Amtrak will operate on a modified schedule Saturday in the Northeast region. The following trains are canceled: 150, 52 160, 88, 156, 158, 2249, 2290, 153, 65, 660, 20. Train 79, 89, 82 and 164 will originate from WAS. Train 143 will originate from NHV; trains 2251 and 147 will originate from NYP.

Amtrak canceled service Friday afternoon for the rest of the day along its Northeast Corridor, citing “multiple weather-related issues.” Amtrak also suspended southbound service out of Washington for the rest of the day as well.

Amtrack also suspended service between Washington and New York City due to storm-related power outages between Philadelphia and New York City on Saturday morning, but the Northeast Regional service has been restored between Washington to points in Virginia.

Within the D.C. area, Metrorail operated at reduced speeds above ground Friday. Riders on the Blue, Yellow and Red lines will experience delays this weekend due to scheduled repairs and shutdowns. Get Metro updates on train and bus service on Twitter.

MARC trains in Maryland will operate on a modified schedule Saturday. Check MARC for service changes.


Delays are also a possibility for anyone flying out of the D.C. area’s three major airports. At Dulles International Airport, high winds even forced a short-term tower evacuation and temporary ground stop Friday afternoon.

In contrast, conditions were “normal” at BWI Marshall Airport as of Saturday morning, but officials strongly advise you to check with your airline on your flight’s status.

WTOP’s Teta Alim, Abigail Constantino, Anna Isaacs and Ana Srikanth contributed to this report.

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