Gray: District ready for whatever Old Man Winter brings

WASHINGTON – The blizzard that dumped more than two feet of snow on parts of New England triggers bad memories of Snowmageddon for Washingtonians.

So what if the blizzard had changed course and headed for Washington? D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says the District would be ready.

“Absolutely, we purchased $4.5 million of new equipment that went into use last year. Our DDOT and DPW agencies work very collaboratively. They have exercises that they engage in that prepare them for this,” Gray says.

Gray says in extreme weather conditions people should take shelter where they are, and stay off the streets so that crews can clear the streets.

However infrastructure improvements like the 11th Street bridge and the Frederick Douglas Bridge projects will help relieve congestion. And during extreme weather conditions, Gray says commuters should avoid coming into the District.

Communications systems are vastly improved and officials have a clear plan in place, Gray says.

“I think we’re very fortunate to not have had a blizzard this weekend,” Gray says.

In February 2010, three winter storms spread over eight days dropped record levels of snow on the region. States of emergency were declared, airports closed and roads were impassable. Federal offices were closed for almost a week and schools closed for more than a week while the region slowly dug out and power was restored.

The second of those storms was nicknamed Snowmageddon.

WTOP’s Jamie Forzato contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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