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Nation's capital region shuts down after snowfall

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm •  Published: February 13, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's capital and surrounding area shut down Thursday as snow blanketed the region, dumping nearly 9 inches in Washington and more than a foot in other places.

A second wave of snow arrived in the region Thursday night, as officials urged residents to stay off the roads so crews could clear streets again.

Bus service in Washington, which had resumed about 2 p.m., was suspended again about 7:30 p.m. as falling snow again covered roads.

In Prince George's County near D.C., Pepco reported more than 4,700 were without power late Thursday.

Federal and local government offices in Washington were closed Thursday along with state offices in Maryland and some Delaware counties. Universities in the region canceled classes, and schoolchildren in Washington had their second snow day in less than a month.

Many schools announced they would be closed Friday.

The snow also halted bus service in Washington and closed the runways at two of the region's airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. One man used skis to get around on the National Mall while others built snowmen by city landmarks.

Some hard-hit areas planned closures for Friday, too. Public schools in Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Charles County were among those in Maryland that planned to be closed.

Snow totals were on the high end of what had been forecast, said National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Bettwy.

"It definitely was a very fluffy snow with big snowflakes, so it piled up pretty quickly," Bettwy said, calling travel "absolutely treacherous."

The Weather Service said the 11 inches of snow that fell at Washington Dulles Airport broke a record.

The agency said the old daily maximum snowfall of 3 inches was set in 1992.

On Thursday morning, a truck driver in Ashburn, Va., working to clear snowy roads died. State police say he had pulled off the road and was standing behind his vehicle when he was hit by another dump truck.

Fire officials in Howard County, Md., said two men died after suffering medical emergencies while shoveling snow, and a third died when he collapsed outside in the snow. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine if any of the deaths were directly blamed on the weather.

Though snow totals varied, a number of cities throughout the region saw more than a foot of snow. Westminster, Md., reported 19 inches and Rockville, Md., reported 12 ½. Newark, Del., reported 14 inches.

Additional accumulations across the whole area were expected from a secondary band of snow moving through the region Thursday afternoon and evening.

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