D.C. roadways crippled by rush hour snowfall

The Inner Loop is seen early Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 at River Road. (WTOP/Mike Jakaitis)
The Inner Loop is seen early Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 at River Road. (WTOP/Mike Jakaitis)

Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)
Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)

Cars were paralyzed by snow on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.

"This is the current scene at 10:35 p.m. on 395 South across from Pentagon," Lori Montenegro wrote on Twitter. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)
“This is the current scene at 10:35 p.m. on 395 South across from Pentagon,” Lori Montenegro wrote on Twitter. Montenegro documented her hellish commute on Twitter on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)

Commuters like Lori Montenegro were stuck in traffic for hours after snow hit the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)
Commuters like Lori Montenegro were stuck in traffic for hours after snow hit the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)

Snow blankets a D.C. bus stop on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
Snow blankets a D.C. bus stop on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)

Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)
Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)

Snow blankets D.C.'s streets on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
Snow blankets D.C.’s streets on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)

A truck gets stuck on Route 123 in Virginia during a snow storm on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Amanda Iacone/WTOP)
A truck gets stuck on Route 123 in Virginia during a snow storm on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Amanda Iacone/WTOP)

Snow blanketed the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
Snow blanketed the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)

As snow falls President Barack Obama's motorcade prepares to leave the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, after a trip to Detroit.  While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
As snow falls President Barack Obama’s motorcade prepares to leave the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, after a trip to Detroit. While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

As snow falls, Air Force One sits on the tarmac, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after President Barack Obama left in a motorcade en route to Washington after a trip to Detroit.  While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
As snow falls, Air Force One sits on the tarmac, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after President Barack Obama left in a motorcade en route to Washington after a trip to Detroit. While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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The Inner Loop is seen early Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 at River Road. (WTOP/Mike Jakaitis)
Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)
"This is the current scene at 10:35 p.m. on 395 South across from Pentagon," Lori Montenegro wrote on Twitter. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)
Commuters like Lori Montenegro were stuck in traffic for hours after snow hit the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Lori Montenegro)
Snow blankets a D.C. bus stop on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
Evening snow and cold temperatures left cars paralyzed in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dave Dildine/WTOP)
Snow blankets D.C.'s streets on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
A truck gets stuck on Route 123 in Virginia during a snow storm on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Amanda Iacone/WTOP)
Snow blanketed the D.C. region on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Dana Gooley/WTOP)
As snow falls President Barack Obama's motorcade prepares to leave the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, after a trip to Detroit.  While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
As snow falls, Air Force One sits on the tarmac, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after President Barack Obama left in a motorcade en route to Washington after a trip to Detroit.  While in Detroit the President visited the 2016 North American International Auto Show and spoke about the progress made by the city, its people and neighborhoods, and the American auto industry. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

For the latest on road conditions, school delays and closings and other developments, click here.

WASHINGTON — As D.C. prepares for this weekend’s massive snowstorm, now forecast to reach blizzard conditions, a small clipper system pushed through the region Wednesday night causing massive traffic delays and accidents, and frustrating drivers trying to get to their destinations.

November 29, 2020 | Listen: 3:45 a.m. update from Charlie Gischler, Md. State Highway Administration

As of 1:30 a.m. Thursday, several gridlock issues remained, including traffic stoppages on Interstate 495 in the area of I-270.

“We do have crews that will be out and continuing to salt and treat slick spots again, but we recognize that the slow-moving traffic is creating a bit of a hindrance for our trucks. … Crews are continuing to be out and will be out in preparation for the morning rush,” Kelly Boulware with the Maryland State Highway Administration told WTOP, just after 1 a.m. “A little bit of sun will help, and certainly the salt overnight will help as well.”

Metrobus service was suspended overnight, and morning service could be impacted by the icy road conditions.

Latest Traffic Updates

“Exactly what part of ‘Winter Weather Advisory coming at rush hour’ did VDOT not understand? Are they surprised by the annual arrival of winter?” Jason Crawford wrote WTOP in an email.

“I didn’t see one salt truck all evening. I’m sure they will do a post-event postmortem and promise they will do better next time. Just like last time. I have informed them to expect my bill for lost productivity. Two hours to go eight miles this evening.”

Crawford’s husband had it even worse, stuck behind an accident.

“He’s been trapped at Glebe [Road] and Lee Highway for two hours and barely moved 20 feet,” Crawford said.

In other parts of the city, some abandoned their cars and decided to walk.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office released a statement on Twitter at 9:33 p.m. asking residents to stay off the roads.

“Due to icy road conditions, residents are asked to avoid travel this evening to allow crews to continue to treat the roads. Residents and business owners are also asked to clear their sidewalks tonight as the snow moves out of the area. Crews will work throughout the night ahead of the morning commute.”

John Katz told WTOP he’s been commuting from his office at 16th and L Streets NW to his home in Falls Church for 30 years, but his trip home tonight was one of the worst.

“Left the office at 7 p.m. and arrived at my home in Falls Church at 9:50 p.m. (11 miles). Saw at least 35-40 cars along the way that were either abandoned or simply stuck in place, wheels spinning in vain. In nearly three hours on the road, never saw one salt truck. One of the worst 3 commutes home I have had. Someone didn’t do their job.”

Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire & Rescue told WTOP the department was dealing with an influx of calls.

“It’s been extremely busy, in fact, at one period in time, we were handling about one call per minute. Typically in a 24 hour period … we would handle about 325 calls,” Piringer said.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, visit WTOP.com’s traffic page, follow @WTOPtraffic on Twitter and listen to our traffic reports every 10 minutes on 103.5 FM or via our online stream.

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