WASHINGTON — Freezing rain hit the D.C. area early Saturday morning, resulting in closures, event cancellations and dangerous conditions on the roads.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for sleet and freezing rain for much of the WTOP listening area until noon. Temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s Saturday afternoon, even reaching into the 50s by midnight.
Due to dangerous icy conditions, officials and emergency responders asked people to delay their travels and stay off the roads until later Saturday or Sunday.
Vehicle crashes occurred throughout the region Saturday morning. Virginia state police investigated some 41 reported crashes across the northern Virginia area, including a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles on the Beltway near Interstate 66 that closed all lanes for several hours. In Maryland, a fatal crash on northbound Interstate 95 at Caton Avenue involved 55 vehicles, MDTA said Saturday afternoon.
Operations at Dulles International Airport slowly resumed early Saturday afternoon after a morning of delays and cancellations. Two runways reopened at around 10 a.m. after they had all been closed due to the icy conditions, stopping flights from operating out of the airport for several hours. There also were delays and cancellations at BWI Marshall Airport. Reagan National Airport remained open and operating as normal. Travelers were advised to take caution when driving to the airport and to check with their airlines for the latest flight information.
Around 10:50 a.m., Metro announced that Metrobus service was being restored system-wide. Full service was restored by noon, but delays of 30-60 minutes are expected due to road conditions. Earlier, Metro had suspended all bus service until further notice. Metrorail remains in operation, but various points along Metrorail are experiencing delays.
Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are experiencing increased demand, resulting in a hike in prices for riders.
Closings and delays
Some local school systems closed or delayed activities Saturday.
The onslaught of winter weather also led to the cancellation of the opening ceremony for the Wreaths Across America event at Arlington Cemetery.
The Smithsonian Museum of African American History was closed for the day due to a power outage. Anyone with a pass for Dec. 17 will be granted entry to the museum on any other day except for Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).
All other D.C. area Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo delayed opening until noon.
Power outages across Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
The ice on the roads and cars crashing into poles have contributed to some power outages across the greater D.C. area.
Dominion reported more than four thousand outages in Fairfax County. Pepco reported 700 outages, most of them in Prince George’s County. About one thousand outages were reported in St. Mary’s County as of Saturday morning.