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Winter Storm Warning Puts Virginia, Maryland Into States Of Emergency

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Snow removal crews will be pre-treating roads in Virginia ahead of the storm on Wednesday.
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Snow removal crews will be pre-treating roads in Virginia ahead of the storm on Wednesday.

Both Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley have declared states of emergency ahead of a storm that is expected to drop as much as 9 inches of snow and sleet on parts of the D.C. area on Wednesday night into Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of the area effective from 8 p.m. Wednesday night through 3 p.m. Thursday. Their forecasts call for snow, mixed with sleet and rain and gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

The storm is likely to impact travel, as accumulation will make for slippery conditions on are roadways. The Virginia Department of Transportation is already treating roads in parts of the Commonwealth, and they say crews will be out in "full force" to keep the streets clear.

The NWS also says heavy, wet snow has the possibility to cause outages from downed powerlines.

"Just as state government is preparing for this storm, I urge every Virginian to take proper preparations," McAuliffe said. "Prepare to limit unnecessary travel during the storm, have emergency supplies on hand and be ready in the event that power in your area goes out."

Virginia State Police will have additional troops on patrol to respond to traffic accidents. The Virginia National Guard has also been authorized to bring on additional personnel to respond to possible emergencies.

In D.C., the District Snow Team says there will be more 280 snow plows on the streets ready to respond by 9 p.m. tonight.

District officials have not declared a snow emergency, but say given the amount of snow forecasted they may do that this evening.

Also affected is Amtrak, which is suspending some trains ahead of the storm. Amtrak says the suspensions Wednesday are meant to reduce the exposure of passengers, crews and equipment to extreme weather.

The suspensions include trains between New York and several destinations in the South and the auto train between Washington's northern Virginia suburbs and Orlando, Fla. Amtrak says other services, including the Northeast Corridor, are scheduled to operate.

MWAA says airport operations out of Dulles and Reagan National Airports are expected to continue as normal, at least through tonight. Cancellations will be made on a case-by-case basis Thursday, but given the magnitude of the storm and the number of airports its likely to affect, delays seem likely.

The long-range forecast also calls for a slight chance of snow showers on Friday night and more snow early next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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