Though about one-third of the nation is expected to feel the impact of the monster blizzard of 2016, Washington DC is being watched especially closely. Washington DC is expected to get at least two feet of snow. The situation is expected to be so severe, that many government offices in DC closed at noon on Friday, and the Washington DC National Guard has been called up to support the nation's capital.
The DC National Guard posted on their Facebook page that a snow emergency plan has been implemented and, "The D.C. Guard is providing support at the request of the District government. D.C. Guard Soldiers and Airmen have reported to duty and have been dispatched to locations in the District to provide support using HUMVEES to transport essential personnel."
It will be deploying, "more than 100 personnel and up to 30 vehicles in support of the District."
The DC National Guard states that its focus is to function "in a support role to the D. C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). The D.C. Guard's mission is to help ensure continuous operations and response capabilities in the District throughout the snowstorm."
It lists essential personnel as, "doctors, police and fire and other emergency rescue personnel."
The D.C. Guard implies that this assistance isn't anything unusual, noting that it has, "provided similar support to the District during previous snowstorms and emergencies."
So far, more than 6000 flights have been canceled and at least six people have died in the 2016 blizzard, which is sprawling across 15 states. The snowstorm is expected to continue through Sunday.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "We see this as a major storm. It has life and death implications. And all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way."
Interstates 95 and 81 are expected to be hit the hardest, with an expected amount of 24 inches in some places. Blizzard warnings are expected to remain in effect into Sunday, with many roads being impassable. Flooding is also expected as early as Saturday in the coastal states. Four states are currently under a state of emergency or snow emergency.
A few suggestions that have been offered for helping out emergency personnel and crews include:
- Shovel frequently, every 4 hours
- Keep downspouts shoveled out
- Keep mailbox shoveled out
- Mark and keep street drains clear, remember this all has to melt
- Mark fire hydrants
- Keep snow off of your heat pumps
- Check on the elderly
- Sleep on the first floor in case limbs or a tree falls on your roof
The Red Cross has also posted a winter storm safety checklist here.