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Snow piles up, delaying emergency crews, causing millions of power outages

[Updated Noon] Nearly a foot of snow fell across the region so far today.

The storm moved in early this morning. The snow machine ramped up after 8 a.m. making roads impassable, causing power outages, and causing headaches for emergency responders who were stranded in the snow and had to call for help from wrecker services.

About 11 a.m., trees across the region began to fall onto powerlines, cars, and houses. Emergency crews did their best to respond to emergencies. However, many were impeded by heavy snowfall.

A spokesman announced that the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes would close between 1 and 5 p.m. so crews could remove the snow. Operators said the lanes would remain pointed north for the remainder of the day and not reversed to allow traffic to travel south from Washington, D.C.

As of 10:30 a.m., more than 2.7 million Dominion Power customers in Virginia were without power. Locally, Stafford County saw the most outages, with 31,500 Dominion customers in the dark.

More than 13,00 Dominion customers in Prince William County were in the dark.

NOVEC reports more than 11,000 customers without power. About 7,200 of them are in Prince William, while about 3,100 are in Stafford.

Emergency crews in Stafford County battled the elements to reach the sick and injured Monday. More than 30 trees fell across the county — some reportedly onto people and fire trucks.

Several fire trucks got stuck in ditches on two-lane roads and called for tow trucks to free them. At 10:30 a.m., a 911 dispatcher instructed drivers to stop calling dispatch to report stranded engines.

In Prince Willaim County, only one fire engine got stuck in the snow, said Batalliion Chief Matt Smolsky. “Obviously, any emergency response will be slightly delayed due to road conditions,” he said.

Manassas, fire crews assist with snowplow operations to keep roads clear, said city spokeswoman Patty Prince.

OmniRide and FredTransit canceled bus service today.

The message we continue to hear from local officials – stay off the roads. “Our public safety teams are experiencing a high number of calls, and it would be better if everyone could stay home at this time until the storm subsides,” said Stafford County spokesman Andrew Spence.

Schools across the region are closed today. Click these links to get opening information about local schools and governments.

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Community Notes

The Schools Boards of Alexandria City, Arlington County, City of Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Hampton City and Prince William County, filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Executive Order 2 issued by the governor on January 15, 2022.

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