What RFK looks like with snow 20 feet high

A view of RFK Stadium from snow-loaded Lot 7. The mountains of snow there are as much as 20 feet tall. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A view of RFK Stadium from snow-loaded Lot 7. The mountains of snow there are as much as 20 feet tall. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Snowpile seen in a parking lot at RFK Stadium on Jan. 27, 2016. (Courtesy Julia Robey Christian)
Snowpile seen in a parking lot at RFK Stadium on Jan. 27, 2016. (Courtesy Julia Robey Christian)

D.C. borrowed this snow melting machine on wheels from Indiana. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
D.C. borrowed this snow melting machine on wheels from Indiana. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

A front loader feeds the snow melter, which can gobble up snow at a rate of about 60 tons per hour, turning it into water. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A front loader feeds the snow melter, which can gobble up snow at a rate of about 60 tons per hour, turning it into water. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Peek over the top of the snow melter, and this is what you’ll see. It’s like a big, steaming hot tub. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Here's a look at the hot water pouring out of the snow melter. There are filters both inside the machine and outside that prevent debris and pollutants from getting into the Anacostia River. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Here’s a look at the hot water pouring out of the snow melter. There are filters both inside the machine and outside that prevent debris and pollutants from getting into the Anacostia River. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

A parade of trucks has been bringing in snow from D.C. neighborhoods. They then turn around and go back out for more. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A parade of trucks has been bringing in snow from D.C. neighborhoods. They then turn around and go back out for more. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

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A view of RFK Stadium from snow-loaded Lot 7. The mountains of snow there are as much as 20 feet tall. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Snowpile seen in a parking lot at RFK Stadium on Jan. 27, 2016. (Courtesy Julia Robey Christian)
D.C. borrowed this snow melting machine on wheels from Indiana. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A front loader feeds the snow melter, which can gobble up snow at a rate of about 60 tons per hour, turning it into water. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Here's a look at the hot water pouring out of the snow melter. There are filters both inside the machine and outside that prevent debris and pollutants from getting into the Anacostia River. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A parade of trucks has been bringing in snow from D.C. neighborhoods. They then turn around and go back out for more. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

WASHINGTON — RFK Stadium’s parking Lot 7 looks like a frozen tundra fit for a polar bear.

That’s because for days, a parade of trucks has been dumping loads of snow from D.C.’s streets in the lot, and returning to neighborhoods for more.

“This is an operation that’s been going on since Saturday,” Chris Geldart, Director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency told WTOP during a visit to the parking lot.

The mountains of snow are impressive.

“They’re about 20 feet high and pretty much span almost all of Lot 7 here, and that’s a lot of space,” he says.

How long will it take to clear all the snow from city streets?

“This could go for a couple, few days more,” he said. “We’ll get the city clean.  It’s just going to take a while to get it all out of here.”

The District has borrowed snow equipment such as dump trucks and front end loaders.

“We got equipment from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, a lot of different states,” said Geldart.

That includes a snow melter from Indiana called a Snow Dragon, which lives up to its name. The big yellow contraption on wheels spews steam up top, and hot water below.

“That melter goes at about 60 tons per hour,” Geldart said.

Another snow melter was expected to arrive sometime Wednesday, part of a convoy of equipment from Massachusetts.

Filters and fencing are being used in Lot 7 to keep pollutants out of the Anacostia River.

In another move that helps the river, the city uses nothing but environmentally friendly and pet friendly products to treat roads and sidewalks for ice.

Asked how much the snow cleanup will cost the city, Geldart said it’s too soon to know.

“We haven’t even totaled our costs right now.  We had some early estimates, and I’m telling you, they’re wrong.  The good thing is the federal government will be assisting in that through the Robert T. Stafford Act.  We will be going through FEMA.  This is a disaster,” he said.

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