Cold weather causes water main breaks across region

WASHINGTON — Dangerously cold weather has led to various problems across the region Tuesday.

With morning lows in the single digits and teens, as well as frigid temperatures all day, the cold has caused a series of water main breaks throughout the D.C. area, resulting in lane closures and traffic delays.

The following routes are affected:


  • All lanes of Woodley Road Northwest are blocked between 32nd and 34th streets Northwest due to a break.


  • Old Town, Alexandria: Wolfe Street is closed between Royal and Pitt Streets.


  • Only one lane gets by the repairs of the water main break at southbound MD-650/New Hampshire Avenue.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said crews have responded to more than 60 water main breaks since Friday.

“It seems that the cold is causing a lot of water main breaks, and of course that water is freezing solid over the roads, causing hazards,” WTOP’s Matt Ritter said

Ritter said frostbite poses a danger for people with extended exposure to the cold air without proper protection from the cold. He recommends dressing in layers, wearing hats, gloves and a scarf to prevent frostbite.

Another possible outcome of this kind of weather may be shocking. Due to the dryness of the air, Ritter says today will be full of static electricity shocks.

“As this is Arctic air, it is also extremely dry outside, which makes the indoor relative humidities even lower once the air is heated. It will be another day of a lot of static electricity shocks,” Ritter said.

For the latest weather updates, check out WTOP’s weather page. Here’s a look at the latest forecast:

Tuesday night: Mostly clear. Very cold.

Lows: upper single digits to low teens.

Wednesday: Sun with increasing clouds. Not as bitterly cold.

Highs: low to mid 30s.

The National Weather Service of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. says there’s a chance of snow Wednesday to Thursday morning.


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